The Tree of Life
The Human Nervous System resembles an upside-down or upturned peepal or ashvattha tree (Ficus religious). The brain and the cranial nerve rootlets are found above in the crown, and the mixed spinal nerves roots carrying motor, sensory and autonomic signals are below. This anatomical area of the human body is philosophically called the ‘tree of life.’
It is within the ‘Divine Cave’ where a seeker-‘self’ (sadhak) seeking union with the Self is expected to make such a ‘contact.’ It is the ‘path’ one must enter when practicing yogic practices of meditation. By entering the ‘tree of life’ humankind moves beyond individuality of “I” & “Me” & “Mine”. Through ‘self’-unfoldment and eventual ‘self’- realisation that one is and always was the Self, one discovers the purpose of human expression and draws nearer to the efforts one must undertake in one’s human existence.
The idea of the Tree-of-Life is used in biology, religion, philosophy, mythology as well as in theology. There is a mystical idea to the term, suggesting there is interconnectedness of all life. It connects past-and-present with the planet, variously called Mother Nature, Prakriti or the deity Aleph or El. It is a symbol suggesting a common descent as well as interrelatedness of individual with the Whole, in an evolutionary sense. The tree connects heaven and underworld by linking the world tree with the cosmic tree.
According to Vedantins knowledge and actions, both good or bad, are absorbed individually by personal will and documented in the Tree of Life. The nature of and quality of a particular tree, is dependent on the inner state of being. When Will is focused on vague spiritual truths of faith, Will converges on its natural Memory Knowledge with a ‘seeing is believing’ attitude. The result is living life according to personal understanding based on memory. For the uninformed, life is ‘eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of both good and evil.’
In Revelation, the Tree is a spiritual journey symbolising self-discovery and spiritual growth – also called regeneration. It provides the leaves (truths) for the healing which if applied to one’s spiritual life results in the repair of inherent egotistical tendencies. A cycle of self-discovery through rejection of negativities of ‘self’ is the ‘path’ pointed to by the Tree-of-Life,
The Tree-of-Life has been variously described as the White Stone River, the Philosopher’s Stone, as well as kundalini. It contains all Knowledge of Creation. It is a symbol that represents the outcome of man’s inner transformation, the ‘alchemical’ change-over of base ‘self’- metal of outer human character to the golden properties of the higher Self. It is all about evolution of matter towards the energy of consciousness in the alchemy of space and time (MEST).
There is a fashionable preoccupation with awakening and raising the dormant kundalini to its highest consciousness. Statements about ‘awakening chakras’ are bandied around without perceptive understanding. Seven nodes (chakras) are surely ensconced within the Tree-of-Life, but their ‘awakening’ is directly proportional the degree of ego-transcending practiced (sadhana). Awareness then ends in the melting with the Holy Spirit vibration OM in the ‘third eye’ or kutastha.
In Yoga, the seven spiritual centres of ‘being’ exist in the brain and spinal cord. Also known as the ‘divine cave’ or inner temple it is here where pure reflection of Consciousness is met by those who practice the Science of Kriya Yoga. Nowadays everywhere there is a public outcry about taking up the practices of Kriya Yoga. But where does one find an eligible student or an Illumined Mind of revelatory suprarational teacher needed for spiritual and personal evolution? Kriya Yoga is about Brahma-vidya – the knowledge of Brahman or Supreme Consciousness. Other than God-realized Masters or Rishis who are Sadgurus, nobody is capable of passing on Kriya Yoga.