Faith

The tree concept

The Mahabharata is likened to a tree, and the different parvas are like different parts of a tree, elaborated Kidambi Narayanan in a discourse. Thus the Sambhava parva is the base of the tree; Sabha parva is where birds nest; small branches are Aranya parva; Virata and Udyoga parvas constitute the sap of the tree; Bhishma parva is like the big branches; Drona parva is like the leaves; Karna parva is like white flowers on a tree; Shalya parva is the fragrance of flowers; Sthree parva is the shade given by a tree; Shanti parva is like the fruits of a tree; Ashvamedha parva is the juice of the fruits; Ashramavasika parva sustains in the way a tree sustains birds.

While trees protect birds, the latter too protect trees. If many birds have made their home in a tree, then a woodcutter will hesitate to cut the tree. Birds also disperse seeds of the tree and thus help in propagation. Those who want to read the Mahabharata are like these birds. It is because of such people, that the Mahabharata continues to be popular and widely read. The Mahabharata is the life force that nourishes people. All these attributes of the Mahabharata are ones listed by Brahma to Vyasa, who in turn told his son about the tree comparison. Vaisampayana, the disciple of Vyasa, communicated this to King Janamejaya, and it was at this time that the Suta Pauranika heard it.

The Kauravas too are like a tree — Duryodhana being the tree, Karna the base of the tree, Sakuni the branches; Dushasana being like the flowers and fruits and Dritharashtra being the root. The Pandavas too are like a tree. Yudhishtira is the tree, of which Arjuna is the base; Bhima is the branch; Nakula and Sahadeva are the flowers and fruits. The roots are Lord Krishna and the Vedas.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 10:24:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/the-tree-concept/article37778097.ece

Next Story