Kalpataru

Standing by the Maandar Parbat
A stand-alone hill in Banka , Bihar
At some distance from the fingers
Of the Chotanagpur hills and plateau
I am told by the locals that this is the churner
Yes this standalone mountain arising surprisingly out of the plains
Halfway between Bhagalpur and Dumka
Is claimed to have been the Meru Dand
The Earth Stick or Magnetic Pole that churned the Ocean
In the fight between the Gods and the Demons
When Lord Shiva volunteered to hold the poison that came out first
In his throat and became Lord Neelkanth
The God who holds Blue Poison in his throat
The Gods cheated the Demons out of Amrit
Or The Nectar of Immortality in the end
But meantime many other blessings came out of the Ocean Churning
The Kamadhenu or the Cow of Plenty for instance
That would grant all wishes asked for from it
And then the Kalpavriksha
Or the Wish-Fulfilling Tree, Kalpataru
Standing in those vast dusty plains
Far away from any sea or ocean
But with the mighty jungles of Jharkhand close by
With their wealth of Teak and Sal trees
Their gorgeous giants of Arjun and Asan
Mahua and Palash , Tamarind and Mango
Goolar and Sweet Palm
And more species than I can name
I thought to myself :
“ Food and Seed
Shade and Wood
For building and fuel
Shelter for Man and Bird and Insect and Beast
Storehouse and recharger of Groundwater
Attractor of Life- giving Rain
Friend of the Clouds :
If the Forest is all this and more for us already
Why should we be looking for any different KalpaVriksha ?
Why , this itself is our Kalpavriksha, our Kalpataru
Let us honour , protect and worship it
Let us save our forests instead of looking for any supernatural entities to worship and ask separate boons from
For all that we need , the Forest already grants us
Such is Nature’s Blessing upon Mankind
If only we knew how to recognise and honour it . “

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