There can be said to be two trees of life.
The first tree is the one most of us know better. It is rooted in the “world of men.” The roots originate in action, born of attachment to its fruits. We act to achieve a desired result. Seems natural, right?
Yet by grasping at what we want and avoiding pain, we impede the smooth flow of life. We build a web of unresolved energy that ties us to our past and others around us. It gets much harder to fulfill desires and action often leads to undesired consequences. Our past continues to be regurgitated into life events, seeking ways to be resolved.
Yet all we have control of is our actions – what we choose to do. And how we are with what then happens.
Our attempt to control outcomes ties us to the world of doing, keeping us caught in the cycle of birth and death.
When we go within and discover who we really are, those attachments fall away, uprooting the first tree. Then we discover that we had it backwards. Those roots are actually the leaves of another much larger tree.
Only this tree is upside down. It is called “Ashvattha” and is named for a sacred fig tree which grows so quickly that it is said to change every day. It is the always changing nature of creation.
This is the tree of cosmic life with roots in transcendent being.
The leaves of the tree are Chhandas, the objects or appearance of the world. The stage on which the play of life unfolds. They are the meter of the song that moves the actors on the stage and brings the play to life.
This tree has seasons in the cycles of time. It is said to last through 100 years (a lifetime) of Brahma, the creator. (by common calculation, this is about 154.6 trillion earth years. By Yukteswar calculation, about 1.8 trillion earth years.)
Yet even the cosmic tree of life remains a tree of experience. To be liberated, we must unbind ourselves from that too. Only then are we free to enjoy the fruits of life without being caught by whatever arises. Then we are freed from suffering.