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Meaning Of Inverted Tree Concept in Hinduism - Inverted Tree Of Life

This meaning of Ashvattha Tree – the famous inverted tree concept in Hinduism - is based on the Kathopanishad.

This tree of the world is an ashvattha (literally, ‘not existing tomorrow’) that which by its nature is ever unsteady, like the peepal tree, shaken as it is by the wind of desire and deeds; . .  downwards are its branches, consisting of heaven, hell, and states of beasts and ghosts; (it is) existing from time immemorial, having no beginning. That very thing—which is the root of the tree of the world — is white, pure, resplendent — being in reality the light of the Self which is Consciousness. (Kathopanishad 2.3.1) Commentary of Adi Shankaracharya



The above description of the tree of world that we live in have the following implications

  • The world is impermanent; it is ever changing
  • The world is full of dualities of life, of pain and pleasure, good and bad.
  • The world, though impermanent, is ever-rooted in God—in other words, it
  • emerges from the Self or Pure Consciousness. It does not come from nothing; it comes from God.
  • The way out of the world is through the practice of detachment and other spiritual disciplines.
(Source – Vedanta Kesari Editorial May 2013)