adhashchordhvam prasritaastasya shaakhaa gunapravriddha vishayapravaalaahaa |
adhashcha moolanyanusantataani karmaanubandheeni manushyaloke || 2 ||

 
Its branches are spread below and above, nourished by the gunas. Sense objects are its sprouts, and, below in the human realm, stretch its roots that bind through actions.
 
adhaha : below
cha : and
oordhvam : above
prasritaahaa : spread
tasya : of that
shaakhaa : branches
gunapravriddha : nourished by gunas
vishayapravaalaahaa : sprouts are sense objects
adhaha : below
cha : and
moolani : roots
anusantataani : stretching
karmaanubandheeni : binding due to actions
manushyaloke : human realm
 
Shri Krishna began describing an upside-down tree as a metaphor for the material world in the prior shloka. Here, he continues to describe it in more detail. When its buds or sprouts grown into branches and touch the ground, they turn into roots that embed firmly into the ground, and then grow into several additional trunks around the main tree. Such gigantic tree structures are common in the Banyan tree family. Over a period of time, a small tree with one trunk becomes a mini forest in itself.
 
Our lives are no different. For many people, the American dream comprises owning a large house, two cars, good schools for children, a big screen TV and so on. First, the newly married family takes out a big loan to buy a house. The house is empty, so it needs furniture and appliances. The garage is empty, so two cars need to be purchased. The living room is empty, so a large screen TV is needed. The TV requires a cable connection, a DVD player, a Playstation and so on endlessly. The one purchase of a house led to other purchases, which led to other purchases and so on. This is nothing but the upside down tree of samsaara playing out in our lives.
 
So this tree of samsaara, made up of the three gunas of Prakriti, grows and expands through repetitive chasing of sense objects. Each sense object generates desires, desires generate actions to get those sense objects, and attainment of sense objects creates further desires. Actions bind us by making us giving importance to the branches of the tree, by making us run away from Ishvara, who is at the root of the tree. How do we tackle this problem? Shri Krishna gives the solution in the next shloka.
 
Notes
1. Computer scientists will recognize the tree of samsaara as a recursive process.

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