What Is the Tree of Life?


I believe Yogananda referred to the "tree of life," per mentioned in the bible, as the human body. Could you confirm that, and perhaps even tell me where I can find that account. Thanks.

—Dave Steiner, USA


Dear Dave,

Paramhansa Yogananda referred to the “tree of life” in several books and writings. He said that the tree of life refers to the spine, the tree of consciousness.

You can find it in: Autobiography of a Yogi, 1946 edition, in “Chapter 16: Outwitting the Stars.”

Paramhansa Yogananda writes:

Genesis is deeply symbolic, and cannot be grasped by a literal interpretation. Its ‘tree of life’ is the human body. The spinal cord is like an upturned tree, with man’s hair as its roots, and afferent and efferent nerves as branches. The tree of the nervous system bears many enjoyable fruits, or sensations of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.”

There is a longer explanation of the tree of life in Yogananda’s book, The Second Coming of Christ (published by Self-Realization Fellowship) in the chapter, “The Physical Nervous System.”


Nayaswami Diksha