A young couple goes to the Island of the Gods to fulfill a dream, but instead they are reborn through the magic and madness of a mysterious 700-year-old banyan tree.
Their story begins at the Babakan Temple in the Tabanan regency of Bali, Indonesia, where a stunning Russian Yogi Influencer poses for her husband’s camera.
Her naked body pressed against a massive root-like trunk beneath its leaves is said to be the resting place for the god of Krishna.
She must have felt one with the 700-year-old banyan tree, whose roots could reach as far as they pleased.
The banyan tree’s branches produce roots that enter the earth before turning into trunks that are either directly or indirectly attached to the central trunk.
They are called “walking trees” because they seem to wander as they please.
We as humans have roots, too. Move them and you sever those roots, but they’ll heal stronger than before.
We are all connected, directly or indirectly.
The banyan tree incident revealed that respecting local customs is not simply the polite thing to do when it comes to visitors making the right choices, but it’s also culturally imperative.
This story investigates whether some cultural traits are too deeply ingrained to change.
Let’s rewind to the day Russian yogi influencer Alina Fazleeva and her husband Andrey started to heat things up beneath a centuries-old sacred tree.
90% of people have a “herd mentality,” which means they just go along with what everyone else does. People who don’t think for themselves just follow the latest social trend and wander perpetually within the cycle of birth and death.
And people post mundane things online because, well, most of us spend our lives doing everyday things. Still, people want to believe that their lives are in some way unique and special.
It’s impossible to see the tree’s true form unless you know where it begins and ends as well as where its foundation is. Similarly, the couple was unable to understand Bali’s cultural norms due to cultural blindness.
This is why Alina Fazleeva openly posted naked photos on top of a sacred Balinese tree, infuriating local Hindus and almost putting herself in jail.
As soon as she realized her mistake, she deleted the post and replaced the image. This time, though, she was clothed and praying beneath the same tree.
“I sincerely apologize to the people of Bali and Indonesia, and I regret what I’ve done,” she wrote in Indonesian.
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you in any way; I had no knowledge of this place,” she admitted.
Despite the apology, Bali’s Governor, Wayan Koster, personally ordered her deportation, saying it was “far more important to preserve the culture and dignity of Bali” than to tolerate such behavior for tourist dollars.
Maybe the sacred tree has the power to change anyone who touches its trunk (fully clothed, of course). Separating people from their materialistic preoccupations and anxieties, and bringing them closer to spirituality.
Its branches grow downward and upward, nourished by nature’s modes (goodness, passion, and ignorance).
Combining natures modes under the control and purview of eternal time, there are activities known as karma.
This tree has strong roots, so the only way to cut it down is with the weapon of detachment, which comes to those who travel far enough.
The naked tree huggers’ and her husband’s views about the sacred tree and its mystics were clearly mistaken. Both are transcendental to the three modes of nature.
700-year-old banyan tree breakdown
Its roots are linked to our fruitful actions.
Its lower parts are home to many different forms of life. These live on the lower parts of the branches, while demigods, celestial beings, and many other higher forms of life live on the higher parts.
We develop different senses as different modes of nature develop, and we enjoy different varieties of sense objects as the senses develop.
The upper twigs are thought to be the source of the six senses—the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind—which are tuned to enjoy various sense objects.
The leaves are objects of sound, form, and touch.
Secondary roots are the aftermath of many sorts of pain and pleasure. As a direct result, attachment and aversion emerge.
These roots spread in all directions and are thought to be tendencies toward piety and impiety.
The true root comes from Brahmaloka, while the other roots are found in human planetary systems.
After enjoying the benefits of virtuous deeds in the upper planetary systems, we return to Earth to renew our karma or fruitful activities for advancement. This planet full of humans is regarded as a field of activities.
So, as you can see, the 700-year-old banyan tree can teach us many important lessons and points that can be used in real life.
Everything from our entanglement with nature’s material ways to the origins and goals of the Vedas to
how we might bring this tree of the material world crashing down to our relationship with the Supreme
Lord and our ultimate return to the spiritual realm are all relevant to our current understanding of the
world we live in.
Does looking at this 700-year-old banyan tree make you thirsty? Drink a Jamuku.