Plantain tree (Wyl. chu shing) — the tree referred to in Buddhist texts as ‘chushing’ (often translated as plantain or banana tree) is said to bear fruit once and then die. It is often referred to in Buddhist texts, where it is used as an example for things that lack any real substance, because when the chushing is peeled it is found to lack any core or essence. Gendün Chöpel, on his pilgrimage to India, painted this tree and sent his painting back to Tibet, claiming he had found the real ‘chushing’ tree, and that it was a kind of pine.
- All other virtues are like the plantain tree:
They bear their fruit, and then they are no more.
Yet constantly the marvellous tree of bodhichitta
Yields fruit and, undiminished, grows forevermore.
(Bodhicaryavatara, I, 12)
- When you see them as insubstantial like bubbles,
A mirage, a plantain tree or a magical illusion,
You will understand how in these too there is nothing
To which one could ever be attached.
Mipham Rinpoche, Wheel of Analytical Meditation