Sunday, December 9, 2012

Spiritual Tree Of SEA: Banyan Tree (榕樹)

The Chinese believe that Banyan Tree is the tree that can suck up all type of chi energies. The thick air roots of a Banyan tree that hang vertically from the tree branches remind spectator of the beard of an old man. Old folks say that a Banyan tree can maintain the luck and prosperity for 100 years and it governs the well being of a village. Hence a century old Banyan tree amongst Chinese community has the title of “Uncle Guardian” of an area.


As to the question if the chi accumulated by a Banyan tree is auspicious, we will have to refer to Feng Shui theory: If the Banyan tree is situated near a slaughter house, graveyard, hospital, rubbish dump; and then naturally the chi accumulated won’t be pure and hence whoever lives near the tree will have very bad luck and health. But if the Banyan tree is grown in an area with clean air, water and beautiful environment; needless to say then, the chi will be good.


In Filipino belief, banyan trees or locally known as balate tree. Some Filipino sorcerers will plant banyan trees during Good Friday celebrations.


In some areas of Philippines, some people believe that balete trees are dwelling places for supernatural beings like kapre or tikbalang. In some places, sorcery rituals are known performed inside the chambers formed by the tree. Also among others, some folks suggest not bringing in balete as decorative plants inside a house as they allegedly invite ghosts.


Balete Drive in New Manila, Quezon City, named after a gargantuan balete tree that used to stand in the middle of the street, is allegedly one of the most haunted places in the city. The tale of a white lady appears at night hailing cars that drive by have been circulated since the 1950s.


The fact is that whatever the belief of a banyan/balete tree is, please do not plant this tree too near your house, or its roots will damage the foundation of your new house pretty soon.

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