Kalpavriksha - The Wish Fulfilling Tree & the Nature of Our Mind

In the scriptures there is mention of a tree called Kalpavriksha – the Wish Fulfilling Tree. Sitting under this tree, whatever one wishes for will manifest.

As the story goes, a man was walking on a hot, sunny day. He was tired, and when he saw this beautiful tree, he went to sit in its shade.  As he sat there, he thought, “It would be so nice if there was a glass of cold water.” A glass of cold water appeared. Not only that, but a glass of cold beer, too! He enjoyed them both. 

As he continued to rest, the man thought, “I’m feeling hungry. It would be so nice if there was a little food.” A few of his favorite dishes appeared and he enjoyed a nice meal. Then he thought, “Wow, it would be really nice if there was a comfortable bed.” Even the bed appeared and he rested after his long day.

When he woke up, the man realized there must be a genie somewhere that was responding to all his thoughts.  As he set out walking again, he soon came across a small man sitting underneath a tree.  The man called to him, “Come, come. I’m a genie!  I need a home and I promise I will give you anything you want. Anything you wish for, I will provide. But the day you don’t have anything for me to do, I will devour you. Can I come with you?”

 The man thought for a while and said, “Okay, come. I have many projects that you can help with.” The genie accepted the man’s invitation, saying, “I will come with you, but remember, the day you don’t have anything for me to do, I will devour you.”

The man returned to his home with the genie and they got started on all of the small projects around his house. The very moment that he mentioned a project, it would be completed: wells were dug, walls were built, things were moved from here to there. The man started thinking of bigger projects and the genie completed those very quickly as well. 

In time, the man began to worry that he would run out of things for the genie to do.  He decided to seek the advice of a sage living at the edge of the town. The Babaji listened intently to the man’s predicament and responded, “Okay. Have him install a long pole in the ground.  When you have nothing for him to do, ask him to go up and down the pole. And whenever you have a project, call him to do it. When the project is finished, send him back to the pole.”

The man followed the sage’s advice and lived happily ever after!

What is this story really about? The genie of the Wish Fulfilling Tree is our mind.

The mind is a beautiful instrument.  Whatever comes into the mind will manifest. It may take some time, but the mind can create whatever we want. But if we don’t cultivate the mind, we get into trouble. With nothing to focus on, the mind’s tendency can veer towards destruction, negativity, and getting caught on small things. 

What is the pole that can be used to control the genie, our mind? Our breath. Whenever the mind is free with nothing specific to focus on: straighten your spine, imagine your breath rising up and descending.  The mind will follow and you can save yourself from all kinds of negativity.

No matter where you are, with determination and with a little joy, bring the mind back to your breath. Imagine a light sitting at the bottom of your spine. As you inhale and the breath is rising, that light rises up the spine to the space on your forehead between your eyes. As you exhale, the breath and light go back down the spine. Hold that imagery. Breath in and out three times. Then return to engage in the world, renewed. 

This mind is capable of providing us with anything we want, if we just learn how to use it, and how to prevent it from running our lives.  It’s all about remembrance. Before you start flowing out in a negative direction, remember to take that breath. You’ll see it will change your day. It will change your life. 

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