I am a tree, tall and imposing, standing all alone near the campus of a temple. My life is ever so interesting as, I see a huge spectrum of society, funny gestures of -people, and hear all kinds of conversation of the devotees who pass by me.
I was not always so huge. As is true of all living beings I was also a long time back, a young sapling with this huge tree within me. At that time I looked fresh and beautiful as all other beings who are young, but, at that time I was of course not so imposing. This is what I have seen about life that, every stage has something good about it.
I understand that, I am a peepal tree ‘which just grows anywhere and everywhere. Ever since I was young, I remember several people coming to my root and worshipping me. They would light an earthenware lamp, and put it near my root, say their prayers and go away. This was a daily ritual which scores of people followed at my root ever since I can remember. As I started growing up bigger and bigger, the temple authorities put a two feet wall like boundary around my trunk. This was done to protect me from being destroyed by crowds who thronged to me. Since I am near a temple, I have always had the pleasure of a lot of company daily and, the great honour of being worshipped by scores of believers every day.
Now, I am a full grown tree, and that two feet wall has been converted into a broad platform all around me, with my root out of sight, and the trunk also somewhat covered from vision. Here on the platform people sit and say their prayers and relax. At times they also consume their temple prasad while sitting on this platform. Oh, what a wonderful feeling it is to be so loved and cared for and, above all, being so honoured and respected. This honour is given to me as, I understand now that, a section of the Indian society considered me a holy tree to be worshipped. This is why there is so much hype about me and my kin.
As I stand here, near a temple, I never ever feel lonely I get all sorts of company throughout the day, so, where is the scope of feeling lonely. Early in the morning the temple is opened at 6 a.m. It is cleaned and washed so, I get the company of people who clean the premises. They come to me also and broom the area around me, wash the platform and I am trim and neat to welcome my guests for the day. After the temple is cleaned there is a pooja, and from 7 a.m. devotees start pouring in, and the temple bells start ringing and breaking the silence of the night. Devotees continue pouring in the temple right from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., when the temple closes. These long hours of the day, there is no chance of my getting bored as, I have the company of so many people moving around the area. Even though I am alone, a lonely tree but, my life is full of thrill and excitement, as I get lots of, and variety of company. This in turn is an added honour for me that, while my friends have the company of trees only, I have the company of human beings who talk and walk and discuss matters to make my life more lively and enjoyable.
I often wondered to myself as to why there is so much of greatness thrust upon me, though I am just a tree like any other. Yes, here is the catch, I believe I am so revered because I am considered by the Hindus, a religious sect as a holy tree, an incarnation of their God. Aha! this makes me feel proud of myself and I am prone to thank God for this birth in which I get honour, respect, love and care. What else could any living being aspire for. I and my honour are further enhanced as, I stand near a temple of God. Now, all my anxiety is put to rest as, I have learnt that I am also here to be worshipped just as God himself. I stand here alone yet in great company of human beings. My life is just wonderful, I pray to God that HE grant such a wonderful and eventful life to all humans.
One thing I forgot to tell you all, about my life. When people come and sit on the platform around me, I also get a lot of information about man’s world. I hear scandals, I hear about murders, thefts and what all evils that exist in this man’s world. At times I also get to hear small children saying lovely words to their mothers and, seeing the mothers cajoling them, I feel what a beautiful life men have. Thus to add to my experience of life, I have come to know a lot about human beings and their lives. Their lives are also full of pleasures and disappointments. It is not that men only enjoy as, most of us lesser beings seem to feel. Men also have their own problems. So, to add up I’d say my life is a pleasure and a rich experience.