Among the very many evocative metaphors of Ishwara is one where the Supreme Lord is likened to a banyan tree. He provides shelter and comfort to all His devotees just as the banyan tree does to many a weary traveler. The banyan has particular religious significance that it is found in many a temple and is revered as a Kalpavruksha (world tree that grants all wishes).
A striking aspect of these trees is their immortality. With aerial roots further growing down into the soil and forming additional trunks and creating offshoots of the original tree, banyan trees essentially live for centuries.
The religious significance of these trees cannot be overstated and the most divine among them is believed to be the immortal banyan tree of Jyotisar, which is said to be an offshoot of the original tree that has borne witness to the Supreme Lord Krishna preaching the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. This tree is thus believed to have borne witness to what is indisputably among the foremost of religious discourses.
The holy site, located a few kilometers into Kurukshetra in modern day Haryana and aptly named Jyotisar which translates to ‘the light of true meaning’ does indeed live up to its name. With a pleasant and soothing atmosphere that radiates tranquility, it inspires a sense of peace exactly as we derive from reading or listening to the Gita.
It comes as no surprise that a tree that can withstand the test of time, is considered to be witness to a discourse whose perpetuity is unchallenged, a discourse graced unto us by the immortal being that will forever be immortalized in all our hearts as one that can confer immortality and liberation to the spiritual seeker who reads and listens to the Bhagavad Gita with devotion.
In one of the shlokas of the Gita Mahatmya (The glories of the Gita), the Supreme Lord says:
सहायो जायते शीघ्रम् यत्र गीता प्रवर्तते।
यत्र गीताविचारश्च पठनम् पाठनम् श्रुतम्।
तत्राहम् निश्चितम् पृथ्वी निवसामी सदैव हि।।
Help comes quickly where the Gita is recited, and ever do I dwell where it is read, heard and contemplated on.
The compassion of the Supreme Lord is such that anyone who even only listens to the Bhagavad Gita with faith is blessed with the Lord’s grace in full. There then remains nothing to be said about the divinity and power of the banyan tree of Jyotisar that is regarded to not only have been witness to the Supreme Lord’s Bhagavad Gita but also of His Vishwaroopa darshana (infinite cosmic manifestation).
Location: Jyotisar, Josar, Haryana 136119, India