An ode to the Banyan tree
I touch your feet and ask your blessings
to speak about you,
to unravel your secrets,
to go beyond the appearance of stupid modernity
scraping the skies
in ignorant arrogance.
Generations have grown around you
suckling life straight from your breasts.
A single seed turned red from yellow from green
and turned into a tree, a forest, a sacred grove
with snake deities in stone at the base,
mutely watching cobras in real divine dance.
Like a giant witch
you hug the Mother Earth with your tresses.
In the storm you shake and laugh
passes through your veins,
no thunder can scare you
out of your senses.
you are inviolate,
infinite beyond births and deaths.
It is no superstition,
the one who dares to pick up an axe
is a leper.
Civilization was born at your foot,
you are ancient knowledge,
which your younger sister Bo,
transmitted to the human,
at her feet.
You are there in the beginning
and you stretch and embrace beyond space.
in the Angkor Vat of time
all the marvels
of the mind
will lie at your feet.
Ananda Surya, 3rd July 2007
Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India
Ananda Surya Thiruvannamalai,
Tamil Nadu, India
Banyan Presentations and Workshops:
07-06-07 48 h Neukölln, Berlin, Germany
16-10-07 BHU University, Varanasi India
08-01-2008 Burrows School of Art, Georgetown, Guyana
Ananda Surya, born in Kochi, lives and works in Thiruvannamalai, India. He writes poetry and is at work with his novel “The Book of Sacred Moments”.
His documentary video “Once the Monsoon Comes” was entered in the Okomedia Ecological Film/Video Festival, Freiberg, in 1996. He initiated and directed the “Ist Encounter Contemporary Art Festival 2001” and the Annual “Tree Festival”s from 1999 to 2003 in Kochi, India.
In early 90s he led the ecological street theatre “Council of all Beings” in villages of Kerala. He has participated in the Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva, represented Friends of People Close to Nature in a Bundestaag Parliamentary Commission in Bonn and made presentations on ecology and consciousness in the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
He has done art exhibitions and installations combining words and theatre with the paintings and sculptures of his wife , Gayatri Gamuz in various places including the Indian Embassy in Berlin.