Trees in Indian Mythology and Spirituality – Discover What It Is!

As mentioned in Rig Veda, “Do not trouble trees. Do not uproot or cut them. They provide protection to animals, birds, and other living beings”. However, modern people tend to forget these words or they like to stay in a state of ignorance. Hinduism is the 3rd largest religion in the world with more than 1.2 billion followers. Believed one of the oldest religions, dating back to 7000 BC, Hinduism harbors sacred and ancient beliefs about nature, specifically regarding the trees in Indian mythology and their religious and spiritual significance.

Religious & Scientific Testimonials Behind Significance of Trees 

In Puranas, our religious text, it is considered that trees can experience happiness, pain, and sorrow, and they have a conscience. And, our Indian scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose had also proven that plants have a life like any other living beings in 1901. Similar to other living species, plants are part of Samsara and are entitled to the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. From ancient times, trees have been honored for various reasons including medicinal benefits, food, shelter, unparalleled contribution to nature, and restocking groundwater. In short, trees are an inseparable part of our lives, culture, and civilization, and hold great importance to the existence of humans, animals, birds, insects, and microorganisms.

Trees in Indian Mythology & Spirituality

Directly and indirectly, we must be thankful to trees for serving our lives and living grace. Thus, it would be great to discover some of the trees that have great significance in Hinduism and Indian culture, tradition, and mythology. Let us delve into the discussion through an amazing note on trees in Indian mythology shared by ‘Curious Kasturi’ – a popular online platform for learning and inquisitive minds.

The Bodhi Tree:

Bodhi Tree - Wikipedia

The Bodhi tree is also known as the Peepal Tree, Pipala tree, and Ashvattha tree (especially in India and Nepal). The scientific name of the tree is Ficus Religiosa. This tree is called Bodhi because it is believed that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment or Bodhisattva under this tree. The tree is situated in Bodh Gaya, Gaya District, Bihar, India. The tree holds special importance in the Doctrine of Buddhists.  The heart-shaped leaves and long stems of the leaves project an ever-dancing appearance of the tree; even when there is no wind.

In the Hindu religion, the leaves of the tree are associated with Lord Shiva, the roots are associated with Lord Brahma and the trunk with Lord Vishnu.

Banyan Tree:

Banyan Tree

The scientific name of Banyan tree is Ficus Benghalensis. This tree grows on a host of plants and takes over the host gradually. In Indian mythology, the tree holds great importance for ‘Wish Fulfilment’ for women who are praying to conceive and to be blessed with healthy children. This tree also manifests the presence of cosmic creators, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

Ashoka Tree:

Ashoka Tree

The tree is scientifically named Saraca Asoca. It is well known for its sonorous red flowers. This tree is deeply associated with Kama Deva, the deity of Love and Passion. The reason why, many Hindus pray to this tree is to attain success in love life and to be blessed with a child. You can also find the presence of this tree in the Buddhist Monasteries. Because it is said that Lord Gautam Buddha was born under an Ashoka Tree.

Neem Tree:

Neem Tree

The scientific name of the Neem tree is Azadirachta Indica. The tree is appreciated worldwide for its medicinal properties. The leaves of this tree are extraordinarily beneficial to treat skin issues. The smoke created by burning neem leaves is believed to ward off negative and evil effects. The tree is also associated with Neemari Devi in some parts of India. Some associate Devi Durga with the Neem Tree. Astrologically the tree is associated with the planet Saturn and Ketu.

Banana Tree:

Banana Tree

Most of the parts of this tree including flowers, fruits, leaves, and even the stems are used in Hindu rituals. The tree is connected with the planet Jupiter in Astrology. The leaves of the plant are highly used to offer Prasadam or Bhog to deities. The tree is worshipped by natives to reduce delays or obstacles in marriage. Also, the tree is worshipped for prosperity and happiness.

Bael Tree:

Bael Tree

The scientific name of the tree is Aegle Marmelos. The tree is highly acknowledged for its medicinal properties. Each part of the tree has medicinal values in the domain of Ayurveda and other natural forms of treatments.

The fruit of the tree is called Beal or Stone Apple. This plant is also known as Sivadruma (as the leaves of the tree are offered to Lord Shiva) and is associated with Vishakha Nakshatra in Astrology. The appearance of the leaves manifests the Trident of Lord Shiva.

Mango Tree:

Mango Tree

Scientifically known as Maggifera Indica. The tree manifests love and fertility. The aroma of the mango fruits and the leaves is refreshing and delightful. The leaves of the tree are used to make garlands with flowers and hung outside homes to welcome auspiciousness and positivity at homes. On various occasions, Hindu people use mango leaf-made garlands to decorate their homes and temples. Astrologically, the mango leaves are associated with Purba Bhadrapada Nakshatra.

Sandal Wood:

Sandal Wood

The wood is highly recognized for its aroma and calming effect of the sandalwood paste on the mind and soul. The paste of this wood is widely used during Hindu rituals and customs. In Buddhist and Hindu temples, the paste is widely used to purify the ambiance and spread fragrance. The sandalwood paste is highly recommended to use to pacify the ill effects of Rahu.

Coconut Tree:

Coconut Tree

The scientific name of the tree is Cocos Nucifera. The tree retains great significance in Hindu rituals and religious programs. The fruit of this tree is the base ingredient for many South Indian dishes. The anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil help cure skin diseases and infections. In Vedic Astrology, Srovana and Dhanistha nakshatras associate the coconut tree.

Wrapping Up….

The strong and sacred connection between trees and Hinduism can not be overpowered. No matter how modern and/or innovative the current society is, the contribution of Mother Nature is unfathomable. Trees in Indian mythology, religious practices, and day-to-day lives hold a significant role in nourishing our health, mind, and soul. So, say no to deforestation and plant trees as many as you can for the betterment, prosperity, and healthfulness of our successors.

Save Tree to Save Live……..

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