Bonsai is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ. The Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years, and has its own aesthetics and terminology.
"Bonsai" is a Japanese pronunciation of the earlier Chinese term "Penzai". A "Bon" is a tray-like pot typically used in bonsai culture. The word "Bonsai" is often used in English as an umbrella term for all miniature trees in containers or pots.
The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower). By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food, for medicine, or for creating landscapes. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container.

Introduction to Bonsai

Creation of Bonsai
A bonsai is created beginning with a specimen of source material. This may be a cutting, seedling, or small tree of a species suitable for bonsai development. Bonsai can be created from nearly any perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species that produces true branches and can be cultivated to remain small through pot confinement with crown and root pruning. Some species are popular as bonsai material because they have characteristics, such as small leaves or needles, that make them appropriate for the compact visual scope of bonsai.
The practice of bonsai is sometimes confused with dwarfing, but dwarfing generally refers to research, discovery, or creation of plant cultivars that are permanent, genetic miniatures of existing species. Bonsai does not require genetically dwarfed trees, but rather depends on growing small trees from regular stock and seeds. Bonsai uses cultivation techniques like pruning, root reduction, potting, defoliation, and grafting to produce small trees that mimic the shape and style of mature, full-size trees

Bonsai size classifications
The ultimate goal of Bonsai is to create a realistic depiction of nature. As a bonsai gets smaller (even down to a few inches/centimeters) it increasingly becomes abstract, as opposed to resembling nature in a more precise way. Several classifications of Bonsai have been put forward, and although the exact size classifications are disputed, they help to gain understanding of the aesthetic and botanical aspects of Bonsai. The classifications are originally based on the number of men needed to lift the actual tree.
The size classifications, increasing in size:

  • Keshitsubo - 1-3" (3-8 cm).
  • Shito - 2-4" (5-10 cm).
  • Mame - 2-6" (5-15 cm).
  • Shohin - 5-8" (13-20 cm).
  • Komono - 6-10" (15-25 cm).
  • Katade-mochi - 10-18" (25-46 cm).
  • Chumono / Chiu - 16-36" (41-91 cm).
  • Omono / Dai - 30-48" (76-122 cm).
  • Hachi-uye - 40-60" (102-152 cm).
  • Imperial - 60-80" (152-203 cm).

Bonsai Garden - SGS Ashram
“Bonsai is a rare human Endeavour that has held me in awe and introspecting over years. In the miniature plant lives a grand life. It reflects the cosmic creation, the play of celestial paradoxesnear, yet far, more, yet less, known, yet unknown, Small yet Big" says Sri Swamiji.
Kishkinda Moolika Bonsai garden is an exquisite collection of more than 450 carefully shaped and miniaturized trees. The trees have been aesthetically displayed in oriental garden setting amidst the tranquil surroundings of Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashrama, Mysore, India.. more..

Devotee's Experiences

Swami Sahaja Datta Pada, Mysore
"Swamiji, you give so many things to your devotees, how come you never give me anything?"
He looked at me and said in the most compassionate voice, "I don't give you anything, for I have kept you in my heart"

Swamy Vishnudatta Padarenu, Russia
Sri Swamiji addressed me by my name, Varada Raja, greeted me, allowed me to do Namaskaram, and then began speaking with me as though He had known me for several years....

Mysore Patrike Venkatramu
"I bless all those who come to me irrespective of their caste or religion. If a Christian comes to me I tell him to believe in Jesus and continue to have faith in his own religion. Likewise, if a Muslim comes to me I stress upon the importance of being a good Muslim and follow his own faith..."

S Dwarkanath, Mysore
"Your friend Satyanarayana has become a Swamiji, I went and paid my respects, you also go and do the same", I did not pay any attention to this talk so she hit me on the head....

C S Venkatesh, Bangalore
"Wherever you work, as a clerk or an engineer, be honest and sincere and pray to God and your Guru. You will come out good in life".....

Krishan Kumar, Mysore
Then He took me to His room and showed me a map of India, showing certain places saying that He wanted to go there. "Will you take me? Will you take me?"....

Sheetal Persad
"Don't worry; Sri Swamiji will take care." I realized at that moment that he was answering my thoughts. He knows everything for He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. He is my master.....