Photographer's Note

The Indian Banyan or Ficus Benghalensis is a sacred tree and the national tree of India. It's a fig tree and its fruit are dependent on fig wasps for reproduction.
Aerial prop roots grow vertically and downwards from the branches and become thick woody trunks.
Thus, the Ficus Benghalensis can grow into a giant tree covering up to 2 hectares.
The Indians say it's symbolic of the Indian family : Children grow, root themselves and become the support of their parents.

The name comes from India where early travellers observed that the shade of the tree was frequented by BANIAS or Indian traders. In the Gujarati language, "bania" means "grocer/merchant", not "tree". As early as the 17th century, the English began to talk about the Banyan tree, the tree under which Hindu merchants would conduct their business.

The Banyan Tree of Auroville is over 100 yrs old and has great spiritual significance to the community. When Mira Alfassa, the "Mother" decided to start this universal city in 1968, all the land that is green and forested today, was a desert at the time, except for this one banyan tree.
They discovered there an old Indian woman who lived under the tree and had been protecting it for years from firewood-seeking villagers.
This woman said that God wanted her to protect this tree, because something great was going to happen in this place.

On the picture, the man in white is drawing energy from the tree.

1WS showing the temple of Auroville, the matrimandir, and telling you more about the place.
In fact, THE Banyan of Auroville is not this one, but the one next to the Martrimandir. See WS2.

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Additional Photos by MarieLouise Davies (maloutim) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2267 W: 353 N: 4068] (13617)
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