The tree of life is a widespread myth in the World‘s mythologies. The tree of knowledge, connecting to heaven and the underworld, and the tree of life, connecting all forms of creation, are both forms of the world tree or cosmic tree, and are portrayed in various religions and philosophies as the same tree.
Various trees of life are recounted in folklore, culture and fiction, often relating to immortality or fertility. They had their origin in religious symbolism.
During the cyclic destruction of creation when the whole Earth was enveloped by waters, akshaya vata remained unaffected. It is on the leaves of this tree that Lord Krishna rested in the form of a baby when land was no longer visible.
And it is here that the immortal sage, Markandeya, received the cosmic vision of the Lord. It is under this tree that Buddha meditates eternally. The Bodhi tree, according to Buddhist tradition, is the pipal under which the Buddha sat when he attained (Bodhi) Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya.
In Catholic Christianity, the tree of life represents the immaculate state of humanity free from corruption and original sin before the Fall.
The tree first appeared in Genesis as the source of eternal life in the Garden of Eden, from which access is revoked when man is driven from the garden. In Eastern Christianity the tree of life is the love of God.
The tree of immortality is the tree of life motif as it appears in the Quran. Unlike the biblical account, the Quran mentions only one tree in the Garden of Eden, also called the tree of immortality, which Allah specifically forbade to Adam and Eve.
Satan, disguised as a serpent, repeatedly told Adam to eat from the tree, and eventually both Adam and Eve did so, thus disobeying Allah.
The film The tree of Life chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a man’s childhood memories of his family living in 1950’s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the known universe and the inception of life on Earth.
The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father.
Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern World, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.