The Giving Tree

There once was a young boy who had a favourite tree. He would go to it every day and play in its branches and talk to it, and the boy loved the tree.

One day the boy came to the tree looking sad. The tree said, ‘why don’t you want to play in my branches, little boy and be happy?’ The boy said, ‘I don’t want to play any more. I want to make some money and buy things’. So the tree offered its apples, which the boy picked and sold.

After a while the boy returned to the tree. ‘Hello’, said the tree, ‘come and play in my branches!’ The boy said, ‘No, I am too old to play with you. I want to have a house and get married’. So the tree said, ‘Take my branches and build yourself a house’.

The boy did this and became happy for a while. A long time had passed. One day a young man came to the tree looking unhappy. ‘I want to travel the world and make a fortune’ he said. So the young man cut the trunk and made a boat and sailed away.

Time past and the tree stump felt all alone. After many years the tree heard slow footsteps approaching him. The tree knew it was the young boy, now an old man. The tree asked, ‘hello, have you come to play with me?’ ‘No’ whispered the old man. ‘Do you want to build a boat?’ ‘No’. ‘What do you want to do?’ ‘All I want is somewhere to sit quietly”. Sighed the old man. The tree exclaimed, ‘Well I am good enough for that!’

From the Bhagavad Gita chapter 18, as narrated by Mansukh Patel of the Life foundation.