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Dyuman tells about the Service Tree and the Pergola

by on April 23, 2012

The Planting of the Service Tree
There was a mango tree where the Service Tree now stands. The mango tree had to be cut down; the Mother asked us to get a Service Tree plant from the Botanical Garden. As Parichand is now the Ashram gardener, Manubhai was then the gardener—his helpers were Ambu and myself. The tree was planted on a Tuesday in [May] 1930.

The Pergola supporting the Service Tree
The Service Tree began to grow; the branches began to go on the roof of the old kitchen. When we had to remove the old kitchen, what to do with the branches which were taking support on it, how to support them? So this scaffolding was built, what we call the Sanchi railings were built. They were done by Sammer, the architect from Czechoslovakia, who had come here with Raymond and Nakashima. The three together built Golconde. So this whole construction in the Ashram courtyard was done by Sammer and, at the foot of each pillar, you’ll find a square place. You see, the Mother used to come in the evening on the terrace and give meditation. Her idea was to have grass in each square but that could not be done, so pebbles were put.

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  1. Govind permalink

    I had heard that the scaffolding was built because Mother was not in favor of cutting the branches. Apparently someone suggested it and Mother rejected it outright. It’s also documented somewhere that Mother could communicate with plants and trees. I remember an instance long ago, working in a massive office building the glass windows of which opened on to the surrounding area. They were clearing out space to expand the parking lot and in the distance stood a lonely tree in front of a wooded area. I distinctly remember getting a feeling of sadness from it, almost a kind of awareness that it knew it would be cut down very soon. Whether or not it was my own imagination work the memory of the sight of that lonely tree stayed with me.

  2. RY Deshpande permalink

    The Mother could have conversation with the trees and plants and flowers. That is how she gave them those apt names. The ancient Rishis and Yogis had that rapport with them. In fact that is how the herbs and plants disclosed to them their medicinal properties. They would say, “Here we are! We can do this! We can do that! See if we are of any help to you.” There were no multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical laboratories and industries to produce drugs. My own maternal great-grandfather had a kind of intimacy with the herbs and trees and he used to prepare medicines from them. He never charged money for the treatment. Of course in return he received gifts of various kinds. He would be particularly happy if someone volunteered to collect for him herbs and roots and leaves. The rich Indian food itself is called “aushadhi”, medicine, which contains in right proportion all the ingredients needed for the health of the body. And processed food! And these milk factories with the animals as a part of the cruel machinery! Calamitous! As calamitous as the Lives of Sri Aurobindo! But do you think Ashish Nandys can make any sense of this, or for that matter of the preposterous Lives? No chance, if they live in their rationally irrational minds! Alas, the perception that is desirable is absent! Which makes one wonder if one should call them Indians at all!

  3. Govind permalink

    Dear RYD,

    This comment of yours is as valuable as any article we can post here. Extraordinarily illuminating and inspiring at the same time. It was only following my marriage to an Ayurvedic physician that I got some faint idea of the complexity and vastness of the field of Indian medicine. It was quite puzzling how this could have come about without extensive “research” and “experimentation” i.e. a process of infinite trial and mostly error, that we associate with the building up of any kind of deep and elaborate system of knowledge. Therefore your description of the spontaneous inner contact and communication between the various plants and the Rishis makes perfect sense. As for the TLOSA, its author and his followers/admirers, the consciousness behind them all is felt to be one of supreme ignorance wedded to and safely encapsulated within an adamantine shell of impregnable arrogance. It is a willful and vainglorious self-exile from all things bounteous, beautiful and beatific into a stifling abyss of constricted narrowness that suffocates and strangles the marred and oppressed soul within… and all in the name of “truth” and “freedom”.

    • RY Deshpande permalink

      But the great puzzle rather mystery for me is about the following: “There was a mango tree where the Service Tree now stands. The mango tree had to be cut down…”

      Did Dyuman tell us all that had to be told to us? He mentioned bare facts, but about other things … ? The interviewer didn’t pursue. Of course Dyuman wouldn’t question the Mother why one tree should be cut down and some other planted.

  4. Govind permalink

    There certainly seems to be more to it than the brief description we have. Even the choice of phrase, “had to be cut down”, makes it appear as if something that had to be done out of necessity.

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