“Bhikkhus, suppose there is a guest house. People come from the east, west, north, and south and lodge there; khattiyas, brahmins, vessas, and suddas come and lodge there. So too, bhikkhus, various feelings arise in this body: pleasant feeling arises, painful feeling arises, neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling arises; carnal pleasant feeling arises; carnal painful feeling arises; carnal neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling arises; spiritual pleasant feeling arises; spiritual painful feeling arises; spiritual neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling arises.”
The banyan tree is central to several Asian religions including Hinduism & Buddhism. Banyan refers to many species of fig, but most specifically to the Indian banyan, Ficus benghalensis. Banyans also serve a practical purpose, as a shady place for merchants to meet – banya is from the Gujarati word for trader. The epiphytic tree starts by wrapping itself around a host tree before plunging roots into the ground – a convenient metaphor for forces beyond human control, or struggle more generally. The banyan is sacred to Buddhists as a place of reflection. After attaining enlightenment, the Buddha is said to have sat under a banyan for seven days, reflecting.