‘This Inverted Ashwattha Tree’


This Inverted Ashwattha tree,
With its roots above
And it’s branches below,
Is not in view to one
Rooted in this world..
The Sun illuminates not,
Nor Moon, nor Fire..
[That Source] from where
All light sets-forth
And that having reached,
The Traveler never returns.’

The Bhagavad-Gītā

Poetry should not be explained or interpreted. It should wander as it will, dance with the spirit of the Reader. Only the incorrigibly pedantic are presumptuous enough to tell you how it is to be read.

Having said that, I will take a minute to interpret the above lines:

‘The Traveler never returns’: Once sighted, Shūnyam can never be ‘unsighted’. It is a one-way street. That is its street-level meaning. Noting that, you can now elevate it as high as you want.

‘Is not in view to one rooted in the World’: Just keep in mind that any attempt to ‘Exit the World’ is itself a very worldly act. One of the many tasks of the Self-Negating Expression is to convince you of that condition.