Tree of Life

The concept of a Tree of Life in India as a many-branched tree illustrates the idea that all life on earth is related, has been used in Science, Religion, Philosophy and Mythology over thousands of years.

The image of the Tree of Life used throughout our collaterals is inspired by the Varsha Picchvai. It was painted by Shammi Bannu, a renowned master painter based in Rajasthan with a very long family tradition of miniature painting which stretches back several hundred years. Shammi is among a small group of artists in India, working in a completely traditional style using mineral pigments which they prepare and grade themselves. The Tree of Life is also painted with delicate gold leaf to bring about a depth of color and complexity.

In the Varsha Picchvai, the Mango tree with the vine creeper entwining it, symbolizes the cosmic law of Nature. The symbolic structure divides the trunk into seven equal parts, which represent the Seven Charkas The vine, which eventually blossoms into the six petals at the top of the tree, represents the ascent of the serpent power.

In India, trees are venerated and worshiped in temples and roadside shrines in villages and towns. In the Varsha Pichhvai, the eight companions of Krishna are making offerings to Krishna—the inner spirit of the tree. For our own purposes, we have kept only two companions: one is offering a Lotus flower (kamala or padma) and the other a flower garland (mala).The Lotus is venerated as a sacred symbol of purity, perfection, compassion and renunciation.