XV. atha pañcadaśodhyāyaḥ. (puruṣottamayogaḥ)
ūrdhvamūlam adhaḥśākham aśvatthaṃ prāhur avyam
chandāṃsi yasya parṇāni yas taṃ veda sa vedavit 15.1
Ya = [he] who, tam = this [tree], veda = understands, sa = he, vedavit = understands Vedas. He who understands this tree of samsaram, has understood Vedas! Urdhva = high up, mulam = are roots, adha = below are, sakham = branches, asvattam = peepal tree. Peepal tree is regarded as the king of trees. Aswattam means never permanent. Avyayam = never decaying, prahu = so [people] say, chandamsi = Veda mantras or sentences, yasya = to this [tree], parnani = are leaves. Thus Veda sayings are all leaves of this tree! Person understanding this tree thus, is said to be knowing Vedas! Why Veda mantras are compared to leaves of this tree? When we see leaves we should understand Three things:
- Leaves cover or obscure the tree.
- Leaves take energy from Sun and nourish the tree.
- Whithering of leaves indicate that the tree is dead.