The Immortal Sage

Prodigious Banyan tree,
Enlightened living sage,
Stands propped on columns strong,
Fortified by roots long.
Throttles its benign host,
Strangler tree yet prayed most.

Pollinating fig wasps,
Lease a home free of cost,
Impregnate seeds that fly,
Land on host trees nearby.
Tender roots soon embrace,
Thrive killing, its host base.

Spread across hectares vast,
Shades humans shadows cast.
Worship chants sound aloud,
Monkeys, birds, bats abound.
Hallowed as holy shrine,
Banyan spared the axe fine.

Freedom voice often hushed,
British kill, rebel crushed.
From banyan tied unsung 
Heroes many were hung.
Witnessed martyrs death spree,
Thus named National tree.

Fused roots of gnarled banyan,
Braided by tribal men, 
Shape in form, as bridge strong,
Living wonder breathes on.
Centuries few, pass by
Khasi lifeline stands by.

O Kalp Vriksha, Bodhi,
The Giver of Knowledge,
The Protector of life.
The Immortal one lives
Seasons change many times
Banyan thrives every time.

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Facts about Banyan:

  • The banyan tree is pollinated only by its own tiny wasps, which breed in partner trees.
  • Banyan are strangler figs as they grow from seeds that fall on host trees and with time it kills its
    host.
  • Biggest banyan is alive in Andhra Pradesh, India covering 4.7 acres, the sheltering capacity of 20,000
    people.
  • During the Independence era, Britishers used banyan as death tree and hung hundreds of rebel
    from its branches. India later adopted it as National Tree.
  • Living root bridges are made by hand braiding aerial roots in Meghalaya by the local Khasi tribes.
    Kalp Vriksha means a wish-fulfilling tree.
  • Bodhi is another name for banyan as Buddha attained enlightenment under the same family
    tree.

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Aradhna Shukla

Solace is my companion best,
Exploring within is like a fest,
As I sit in silence, thoughts emerge,
I seamlessly stitch them with words diverge.
My passion is new, but talent is old ,
As many a time, magic with words I unfold.

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