THE GOLDEN TREE
The symbology used in our golden tree logo is drawn primarily from Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, the foremost text on the life and teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the golden Avatar of divine love.
Wish-fulfilling trees, that is, trees that can supply anything one desires, are praised throughout the revealed scriptures. Our golden tree represents the most rare of these, the wish-fulfilling tree of divine love brought to the earth by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the whole tree itself, the trunk of the tree, the grower of the tree, the primary distributor of its fruits, and the primary enjoyer of its fruits.
The shape of the tree trunk is meant to slightly resemble the worshippable posture Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu assumes while chanting the Holy Names of Krishna during sankirtan.
The two initial branches of the tree are meant to represent Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Advaita Prabhu, and the upper branches are meant to represent all the other innumerable devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The fruits represent divine love (prema). They are sweeter than nectar, and just one of them is more valuable than all the wealth found throughout the whole of the world combined.
Mangos were chosen for the fruits on the tree because Srila Ramananda Ray compares divine love to mangos. Furthermore, mangos are honoured within Vaisnava culture as the king of fruits, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu once miraculously planted a mango tree after a sankirtan and festively fed His devotees mangos from it every day for a year.
The fruits are also meant to be reminiscent of Srimad Bhagavatam, which is compared to the ripened fruit of the tree of the Vedic scriptures because it crowns divine love the ultimate attainment for every living being.
The fruits appear easily accessible and abundant to convey that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His devotees are eager to freely spread divine love to one and all.
Gold is symbolic of purity, brightness, and beauty. Divine love (prema), specifically, is compared to gold throughout the scriptures, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s divine complexion is also said to be radiant like molten golden. Furthermore, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s golden complexion indicates both that He is the fulfilment of the prophesies in the scriptures about the Avatar for the Age of Kali and that He is the combined form of Radha and Krishna.
The outer circular shape of the tree represents the completeness of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His gift of divine love as the all-sufficient and most exalted spiritual attainment within the absolute whole of existence.
The text ‘premadharma’ is written together to imply the words are in compound. Dharma is written in bold type to indicate that our focus is on properly following the path to divine love (we do not consider it something cheap and easily attainable), and prema is written in a lighter weight to imply that it is so subtle, fine, and high that without complete sincere adherence to the dharma that leads to it, it is completely inconceivable, let alone unattainable.
The Wish-fulfilling Tree of Divine Love
The following except from Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta (Adi-lila, Chapter Nine) is the primary scriptural basis for the symbology found in the golden tree.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu brought the wish-fulfilling tree of divine love to the earth, planted it, and sprinkled it with the water of His will. Many branches sprouted from the trunk and innumerable branches grew over and above them. Scores of branches formed clusters and all these massive branches covered the entire world. Every branch had hundreds of sub-branches. Who can count how many branches grew?
The tree of devotion then bore fruit everywhere like a wild fig tree which bears fruit from every branch. The fruit, divine love, born from the branches and sub-branches of the trunk, surpasses nectar. When the fruit of divine love ripens, it becomes sweet like nectar, and the gardener Sri Chaitanya distributes it without charging anything. All the gems, jewels, and wealth present in the three worlds do not equal the price of even one fruit of divine love.
The gardener does not consider who asks for it and who does not or who is a fit recipient of it and who is not. He simply gives away the fruit. He fills His palms with the fruit and then throws it in all directions, and when poor people pick it up and eat it, He laughs.
The gardener says, “How many places can I alone the gardener go? Alone, how many fruits can I pick and distribute? To collect and give away all the fruit alone is laborious, and I suspect that only some would receive the fruit and others would not. Therefore, I order all the branches of this tree, ‘Give these fruits of divine love to everyone everywhere.’ How many fruits can I alone the gardener eat? If I do not give them away, what will I do with them? At will, I regularly water the tree, and as a result there are innumerable fruits on the tree. So, give out all the fruit to anyone and everyone. May everyone eat the fruits and become ageless and immortal.”
When the gardener Sri Chaitanya gave this order, the branches of the tree were overjoyed. They gave away the fruits of divine love everywhere, and everyone was delighted by the taste of the fruit. As though intoxicated, they laughed, danced, and sang, and seeing this, the gardener laughed joyfully. Even those who previously criticised the gardener, not understanding His divine ecstasy, also ate the fruit, began to dance, and called out, “Very good! Very good!”
malakarah svayam krsna-premamara-taruh svayam
data bhokta tat-phalanam yas tam chaitanyam asraye
“I take shelter of Sri Chaitanya, who is Himself the immortal tree of divine love for Krishna, Himself its gardener, and Himself the distributor and enjoyer of its fruits.”
Read here the full text of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Adi-lila Chapter Nine.
Daily Mango Festival
Another except from Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta which describes Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s distribution of mangos.
One day, the Lord performed kirtan with all the devotees. When they became tired, they sat down. The Lord then planted a mango seed in the courtyard, and immediately a tree appeared and began to grow. As everyone looked on, the tree bore fruit. Many of the fruits ripened, and everyone was astonished.
The Lord quickly picked about two hundred fruits, washed them, and offered them to Krishna. Each fruit was red and yellow, had neither skin nor a seed, and was full of nectarean juice. Eating just one of them filled a person’s belly. Seeing the fruits, the son of Sachi was pleased. He fed everyone first and then ate.
The tree produced fruits in this way every day for twelve months. The devotees ate them, and the Lord was delighted. In this way, the Lord had a mango festival after kirtan every day for a whole year.
1: Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Adi-lila Chapter Nine.
2: Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 8.257.
3: Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 17.79–88.
5: Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 4.209.
6: Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.43.
7: Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 1.4.
8: Srimad Bhagavatam: 11.5.32; Mahabharata: Dana-dharma, 127.
9: Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 1.5.
10: This summary of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter Nine is derived from verses 9, 17–19, 25–30, 34–39, 47–50, 53, and 6.
11: This is a summary of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Adi-lila, 17.79–88.