- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
The Tree – A Silent Speaker
Learn the art of conversion and the whole world will become
a means of spiritual food for you.
Everyone likes a house surrounded by green trees.
Verdant foliage beautifies our world. It is this idea
that has brought farmhouses – houses in gardens – into
But it is difficult to find anyone who is able to listen
to the silent message of the trees or who tries to adopt
the culture of the tree in his own life. The culture of
planting trees is widespread but adopting the culture of
the tree is seldom in evidence. Trees beautify our homes
but they do not beautify the person living in that house.
A tree lives in the same world as the one in which
we live. But, there is a difference. People’s lives are
marred by tension, malice, hate and violence, whereas
all these negative features are totally missing from the
tree culture. Man is like a walking tree, but he fails to
follow the culture of the tree in his own life. Trees share
our world. But while, for man, this world has become
a source of complaint, hate and stress, this same world
has a different meaning for a tree. The beauty we see in
the tree has come from this very world – it has not been
imported by it from outer space. How was this possible
for the tree? The reason is that the tree, by nature, has
adopted the art of conversion: converting things to
one’s own advantage.
What does the tree do? It takes minerals and water
from the soil and converts them into food for itself.
The tree, through the process of photosynthesis, takes
light energy from the sun and converts it into chemical
energy, which is then used to fuel its activities.
This is the result of the art of conversion. In doing
so, every tree gives a silent message to man: Learn the
art of conversion and the whole world will become a
means of spiritual food for you. Make the whole world a
global source of your personality development. You will
be able to live in this world as a complaint-free person.
For example, if someone says something that goes
against what you think, then turn it into a point for
discussion. If somebody speaks ill of you, then make
that a source of self-discovery. If you are discriminated
against, then draw the lesson from this instance that
you need to develop in yourself that missing quality on
the basis of which you have been discriminated against.
If someone provokes you, you should defuse the issue
through unilateral avoidance. If someone makes you
angry, you should calm yourself down by forgiving him.
If a person differs from your point of view, then enter
into a discussion with him and thus increase your own
There is a story which tells us that once someone
hit Ram with a stone. In return Ram embraced the
person and in this way he made the throwing of a stone
a means to inculcate in him a positive quality, that is,
love for humanity.
This story teaches us a lesson on how to adopt the
culture of the tree in one’s own life. If you throw a stone
at a tree, it will give you a fruit in return. This is the
highest kind of positive behavior. By adopting this
positive behavior, you can make the whole world turn
in your favor, just as the tree does.
Everyone is free. This free culture has filled the world
with differences. It is these differences that lead to
negative thoughts about others. Then what is the art of
living in such a situation? It is in some way or the other
to convert every difference into something positive
which will be in your favor.
Source: Leading A Spiritual Life