Vrikshana se Mati Le

Performed by the music ensemble in Gurudev Siddha Peeth.

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Introduction by Manasi Jain

In his bhajan Vrikshana se Mati Le, the sixteenth-century poet-saint Surdas entreats us to seek wisdom from trees. The compelling teachings of his bhajan are beautifully underscored by the stilling and centering melody that Gurumayi Chidvilasananda composed in the year 2000. And now, you are invited to learn and become immersed in this bhajan as part of your study of Gurumayi’s Message for 2024 and your celebration of Birthday Bliss, Gurumayi’s birthday month.

After listening to this bhajan only a few times, I found myself singing it continuously throughout my day. One evening during my weekly hatha yoga class, I was struggling more than usual with my balance. As I adjusted my posture, I also shifted my attention to the bhajan that was playing in my mind—the lower notes of the refrain drew my awareness to my feet and helped me to feel grounded, while the ascending notes of the verses encouraged me to extend my spine even higher. I felt both strong and supple. In a moment of equipoise, I closed my eyes and saw in my mind’s eye the forest of stately trees depicted in Gurumayi’s Message Artwork for 2024.


Surdas wrote Vrikshana se Mati Le in Braj Bhasha, a dialect of Hindi that was the vernacular commonly spoken in regions of North India when he lived. Surdas was blind from birth, and he devoted his life to composing poetry to express his immense love for God. In this bhajan, Surdas extols the intrinsic wisdom and generosity of trees, which he indicates are reflections of God. The saint says that trees neither favor those who care for them nor are dismayed by those who show them neglect. Even to those who do them harm, trees will offer their fruit.

In other words, trees are dispassionate and unconditionally munificent. As a scientist, I see trees as a symbol for the interconnectedness of nature—and it is this very interconnectedness that gives them the strength Surdas describes. When we think of a tree, we generally picture its trunk and branches but tend to overlook its often extensive roots. Yet this powerful root system is what anchors a tree, giving it stability and nourishment. Moreover, the roots are part of an unseen world, connecting a tree to other trees. A tree’s roots are like its heart, and a tree’s very existence is contingent upon its being firmly established in its heart.

Further, trees seek and grow toward the sun’s light. The radiance of sunlight guides a tree’s physical growth and increases its strength. And while this strength can help a tree grow tall, it also ensures that all around the tree, the air is purified. Trees use sunlight to produce and release oxygen into the atmosphere. So, each tree has a unique cycle of growth that also benefits and sustains our planet. Surdas says that a person who, like trees, tenders benevolence to the world around him is blessed. We can benefit our surroundings by cultivating the wisdom and virtues we see exemplified in trees.


Gurumayi composed the music for this bhajan in the Revati raga. Many Vedic verses and shlokas are recited in this raga. Revati is said to calm the mind and dispel roused emotions. Taken together, the qualities of this raga and the words of the bhajan invite us to be beneficent and equable—in other words, to be like trees.

This recording of Vrikshana se Mati Le is sung by the music ensemble in Gurudev Siddha Peeth and includes the lyrics and their translation. I invite you to read and listen to this bhajan again and again; to contemplate it, sing it, and memorize it—so that you may savor its beauty and allow its teachings to take root in your heart.