In Indian culture, trees play a very important role in the lives of people. They are not only important for their material use. Trees are a part of family, a part of society and a part of life. In fact, trees were planted and worshipped in all religous cetemonies. A description Ram Charit Manas says that King Janak (Father of the bride – Sita) planted fruit trees throughtout the path of barat ( the wedding procession). According to another ancient tradition, a fruit tree is planted at the birth of a child. It was believed that the tree would be a steady companion for the child. It would take away any mishap that might befall the child. Today we know that at least that tree will compensate the co2 exhaled by the child and give a constant supply of food!
My meditation teacher Daadji recounts a incidence in his life when he fell sick and was not getting cured. Someone advised him to try a traditional remedy – go to a tree and request it to take away the sickness. So, he went to a nearby tree and meditated on his request to the tree. And to his surprise, he got cured soon after. This can be an effect of placebo also. But it worked and we should see if there is a cure elsewhere than the pills.
These might be just stories, but the strong emotions, faith, devotion and even greed attached to them have saved the forests in India for ages. However, these values are withering fast in the face of modern consumerism.
Plants and animals form an integral part of all ancient cultures. The tradition of worshipping a tree or an animal is nothing but a part of being truly grateful. Because we are not masters but fellow living beings. Masters require slaves and history proves it. Possessed by this spirit of mastery, once humans have enslaved other human beings, leave alone plants and animals!
Trees and plants do have a connection with us. And I know that we all have our own stories about trees, old or new. So, let’s start sharing them and make a compelling collection of these stories!!! I invite everyone to share their tree story. These stories might revive the culture of tree worship.
Here are some of the Hindu mythologies related to trees.
Tulsi Plant (Holy Basil)
- In Hindu mythology, Tulsi is worshipped as Goddess, also considered as a wife of Lord Vishnu (called as Vishnupriya, the beloved of Vishnu).
- Tulsi Plant or Holy Basil is a very sacred plant, in other words, its also called Miracle or Queen of Herbs. It has been significant to mankind in many religious and medicinal ways.
- It is believed that you show not chew Tulsi leaves. According to science, Tulsi leaves contain a very high level of mercury that might damage the teeth!
Peepal Tree (Ficus religiosa)
- Worshipping the tree helps in controlling the thoughts, removes hurdles in marriage and good for children and fertility and prosperous for family growth.
- It also helps in removing obstacles in Financial growth and brings multiple sources of income to the worshipper.
- In Vedic Astrology, the Peepal tree is related to the planet Jupiter. If a person has a auspicious Jupiter, worshipping Peepal tree, makes Jupiter into very graceful and rewarding one and if a person has an inauspicious Jupiter, worshipping Peepal tree turnsit into a stronger one. And Also, wood of the Peepal tree is used for havana ceremony to calm down the effects of malefic Jupiter.
- Peepal tree is the most preferred tree for all kinds of pollinating insects, esp the honey bees. And in this way, this tree is a spring of life for all vegetation growing nearby.
- Banana Tree is a very pious tree and symbolizes Lord Vishnu. People worship the tree on Thursdays to get the benefits of Jupiter. Roots of Banana Tree are tied with yellow thread are worn for their special astrological benefits.
- Banana as a fruit is offered to Lord Vishnu and Laksmi for good Married Life and good Financial Condition and happiness of a family.
- Mango Tree is a very sacred Tree and its fruit and leaves are used for many religious purposes like Yagya (Yagya is an important ceremony to calm down the negative effects planets and obtain their beneficial results).
- It’s also said that planting 5 mango trees can help 14 generations, as long as the thoughts are positive – otherwise the benefits will be for the business only.
- According to Vasthu Sastra, mango leaves are helpful in removing Evil’s Eye and brings harmony in one’s house.
Take 11 mango leaves, string together and hang over entrance of your house.
- According to Feng shui, Planting a Mango tree in your house or property, helps in inviting the God of Wisdom, Peace and Luck.