This is part one of a two-part series on the Bayan tree.
There are many images that come to mind when we think of Asia, from dragons to beautiful beaches, spanning varied cultures.
One of my favorite views is that of the banyan tree, for it must be strongly grounded in the earth, which also allows its larger branches and leaves to provide overreaching shade.
Photo from Shutterstock
It was under a banyan tree where the Buddha felt his calling to a new level of enlightenment. Under these same trees, Gujarati businessmen hold their meetings. It is even used as a place for political meetings: Recently in Malaysia, the state assembly met underneath the welcome atmosphere of the banyan tree. So for much of Asia, spirituality, entrepreneurship, politics are taking place right outdoors.
Photo from Walk of Hope 2015-16
The banyan tree represents solidity, rootedness, and strength. At the same time, it also represents comfort, shade and welcome. It is a source of power, balanced with peace. It represents firmness, as well as welcome.
This is part one of a two-part series on the Bayan tree. Read part two tomorrow.