The Buddha's Love of Nature
- The Buddha's Love of Nature
The Buddha was born under a tree.
The Buddha was Enlightened under a Bodhi tree.
The Buddha was grateful to the Bodhi tree
that sheltered Him towards His Enlightenment.
It is said that He gazed at it in gratitude for seven days.
The Buddha taught in the shelter of trees and groves.
The Buddha passed into Parinirvana between trees.
We see that the Buddha was one with nature and saw the importance of its relationship with all. Respect nature. We belong to nature; we are part of nature in interdependence. Nature does not belong to us. Destroy nature and we destroy ourselves. Buddhism is a green religion!
The next time you see a tree, be it a Bodhi tree or not, gaze at it respectfully. Realise the great possibilities that might just happen because of this tree. The grandest thing that last happened under a tree was the Buddhas attainment of Enlightenment. Imagine that. Without flora, fauna, which includes us, human beings would not be be able to exist- lacking the natural regeneration of oxygen and food.
In the Buddha's time, He set precepts which forbade monks from breaking branches off trees, or to dig into the Earth (ground), for no good reason. Acts like these were seen as disruptions to nature and its animal/insect inhabitants. Sadly, today, man is over-logging the forests for timber and burrowing too deep into the scarred Earth for minerals and fossil fuels. The extent which the Buddha went to to preserve and protect nature was indeed great. Monks had to walk in single file, even when numbering in thousands, through forests barefoot, to avoid trampling on excess vegetation. The Buddha's example is worth emulating indeed.
In the Buddhist tradition, the descendents of the original Bodhi tree, which the Buddha sat beneath before Enlightenment, are taken care of and greatly venerated. Perhaps, this is an example of how all of mankind should respect and protect all of nature- to see nature as nothing less than sacred. If we learn to love both the sentient and non-sentient, there would be not only peace on Earth, but peace for the Earth. This must be true peace- making peace with not only yourself and others, but with the world, the universe, that is nature, synonymous with Truth itself- the body of all Buddhas (Dharmakaya) that pervades all space and time.
Expanded from http://asp.thedailyenlightenment.com/archives/tdebooks/1jan.asp : shian@...