[Advaita-l] Trees have life- bhAshya

sriram srirudra at vsnl.com
Mon Dec 10 15:49:01 CST 2007

Dear Sri Pranav
Trees have been observed to possess consciousness which means that they 
respond to certain stimuli.I have heared my father telling that if one goes 
near tree with an axe to fell it it does tremble and with loving signals 
they grow well and even brush such individuals with their leaves.We have 
instances of insects killing plants for food which again confirms that 
plants recognisetheir preys.But whether they are conscious that they are 
plants is not known.But if they posses soul then it is likely that they know 
what they are.Perhaps this may be the reason for worshipping trees-like 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Pranav Peshwe" <pranavpeshwe at gmail.com>
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" 
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2007 11:17 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Trees have life- bhAshya

On Dec 7, 2007 8:57 PM, S.N. Sastri <sn.sastri at gmail.com> wrote:

>  Dr. J.C. Bose (1858 –1937) is said to have discovered that trees and
> plants
> have life and react to stimuli. I do not know whether this was known to
> science earlier. Scientist members of this group must be able to say.
> But it is interesting that this has been stated by Sri Sankara himself in
> his bhAshya on chandogya upanishad, VI. 11. 2:--
> "That a tree is possessed of a soul is indicated by such signs as
> exudation
> and drying up of sap. From the illustration in the Sruti that the
> non-moving
> living things are possessed of consciousness, the view of the Buddhists
> and
> the vaiSeshikas, who hold that the non-moving things have no
> consciousness,
> is seen to be without substance".

                   The Upanishad talks about the tree having
'consciousness', while science discovered that trees have 'life'. Is
'consciousness' in the bhAshya equivalent to what science calls 'life' ?
Of course, who knows, trees may also possess consciousness, maybe in a
cruder form as compared to us humans. Only some light has been thrown on the
softer problems about consciousness, but answer to the hard one still evades
Kindly correct me wherever wrong. Would be glad to hear comments on the

Best regards,

Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.
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