अधश्चोर्ध्वं प्रसृतास्तस्य शाखा
गुणप्रवृद्धा विषयप्रवाला: |
कर्मानुबन्धीनि मनुष्यलोके || 2||
adhaśh chordhvaṁ prasṛitās tasya śhākhā
adhaśh cha mūlāny anusantatāni
adhaḥ—downward; cha—and; ūrdhvam—upward; prasṛitāḥ—extended; tasya—its; śhākhāḥ—branches; guṇa—modes of material nature; pravṛiddhāḥ—nourished; viṣhaya—objects of the senses; pravālāḥ—buds; adhaḥ—downward; cha—and; mūlāni—roots; anusantatāni—keep growing; karma—actions; anubandhīni—bound; manuṣhya-loke—in the world of humans
Above and below spread its branches, nourished by the gunas. Sense-objects are its buds; and its clustering roots spread downward in the world of men, giving rise to action.
The tree of samsara is vividly described here. It is not a small tree. It has grown strong and firm from millions of births, and has deeply established its roots in the world. Its branches spread upto Brahma loka. Its roots are the past samskaras of action. The three Gunas are its branches. Its tender shoots grow by enjoyment of sense-objects. How then to cut this mighty tree? The branches should be struck by purifying the mind of the three Gunas; the tender shoots should be cut by dispassion towards sense-enjoyments; and the roots should be destroyed by removing the past tendencies of the mind. As all trees are sustained by their roots, this tree of samsara is sustained by deeply impregnated ‘samskaras’ or ‘vasanas’, and when they are destroyed, the whole tree falls to the ground being struck at the roots. It is there that the operation should be conducted. When the roots are cut, the branches, shoots and buds wither away in a short time. The wise man therefore should cultivate dispassion (vairagya) towards sense-objects. Dispassion brings about the cessation of the impulses and urgings of action. Where there is no action, there is no bondage, resulting from Karma. If, on the other hand, man nurtures the vasanas with raga and dvesha, he can never cut the tree and gain his freedom. He will be bound to samsara almost endlessly.
Question: How is the tree of samsara further described?
Answer: Its branches are nourished by the three Gunas. Sense objects are its buds. It spread upwards and downwards. Its roots are actions prompted by desires. It is firmly established in the world of men.