Planting 3 Ashvattha trees in the Temple Garden

Planting 3 Ashvattha trees in the Temple Garden

The ashvattha tree, Ficus religiosa, also known as the bodhi tree or peepal tree is a sacred tree in India.  This is the tree species under which Gautama Buddha attained liberation while meditating.  In the Bhagavad Gita the ashwattha tree symbolizes both the eternal Self and the embodied self.  Lord Krishna says, “Among trees, I am the ashwattha.”

Several volunteers planted 3 ashvattha trees over 2 weekends, on June 3rd and June 10th.

They were planted above the Temple in a special area where Amma led one of the first group meditations on the property.  These were started a few years ago as seedlings by a long-time senior devotee and we have been potting them up into larger and larger pots ever since, while we waited for the drought to end.  We also needed to feel more confident that they would survive here in our climate.  But after the recent winter season and so many frosty mornings, we noticed that they had survived without losing leaves.

So the auspicious planting days finally arrived!

Volunteers worked hard digging large deep holes into the clay soil.  Finally, one resident came to the rescue with an auger to aid in the digging by drilling first to loosen up the soil.   Wire cages were made and dropped into the holes before planting to help protect the roots from gophers.  Temporary wire fencing was placed around them to protect them until the branches can get a bit taller and out of reach of the deer that usually find a way into the Temple garden.

The trees are planted on sloping ground so they will have good drainage. And they are higher on the hill so that the first rays of the sun will reach them and reduce the amount of time they will be exposed to frost during winter.

When finished with the planting for the day, all volunteers gathered around the trees to offer flowers and incense and pray for the peace and happiness of all beings.