The Sacred Trees and plants of India

India is a country of different religions and different cultural beliefs. There are various customs and beliefs that are still followed by different religions. In Indian culture, plants have special mentions in religions and certain trees are considered holy, and they are neither cut nor their wood used as fuel.

Here is our compiled list of such trees and plants which are still worshipped in India.

1 The Pipal

One of such trees. It is considered to be the incarnation of a Brāhman, and to cut it is considered to be as great a sin as murdering a Brāhman. It is believed that the family of one who cuts it becomes extinct.

Some people believe that the spirits of the deceased do not get water to drink in the next world. The water poured at the root of the Pipal on the 13th, 14th and 15th day of the dark half of Kārtik and Shrāvan and on the 14th day of the bright half of Chaitra is believed to reach these spirits and quench their thirst.

Although to cut the Pipal is supposed to be a great sin, it is believed that if a corpse is burnt with its wood, the soul of the deceased attains salvation.

2.The Vad or banyan tree

Believed to be a representation of the god Shiva.There is a proverb to the effect that one who cuts this tree is punished with the extirpation of his family. According to another belief, the god Vishnu once slept on this tree.

3.The Tulsi or sweet basil

Considered to represent Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu. It is also related that Krishna wanted to kill the demon Jalandhar, but he could not be killed on account of the merit of the chastity of his wife Vrinda. Krishna, therefore, assumed the form of Jalandhar, violated the chastity of Vrinda, and was thus enabled to kill the demon. Krishna next expressed a desire to marry Vrinda, when she transformed herself into the Tulsi plant. It is considered an act of great religious merit to wed Krishna with the Tulsi, and this marriage is celebrated every year by all Hindus on the 11th day of the bright half of Kārtik otherwise called Dev Divāli.

4.The Khijado or Shami tree

Also held sacred. When the Pāndavas lost their kingdom in gambling with the Kauravas, the latter promised the former that they would give them back their kingdom if they lived in the forest for twelve years and unknown for one year. After having completed their stay in the forest, the Pāndavas remained unknown for one year in the city of Virāt. During this year they concealed their weapons on a Khijadotree. Before taking these weapons, they worshipped the tree. Next took place the great battle of Kurukshetra in which the Pāndavas won a splendid victory. This has given rise to the custom of worshipping the tree on the tenth day of the bright half of Ashvin or the Dasara day.

5. The Kadamb (Anthocephalus cadumba)

Considered sacred because it is believed that God Krishna rested under this tree when he took cattle to graze.

6. The Limbdo (Nim tree)

considered sacred as it represents the god Brahma. Some believe that it represents Jagannāthji.

7. Rudrāksha

Believed to be a representation of the god Shiva. It is therefore considered a sin to cut it. Garlands of Rudrāksha beads are worn round the neck by the devotees of Shiva.

8. The leaves of the Bel (Aegle marmelos)

Offered to the god Shiva as they are supposed to be liked by him. It is also considered a sin to cut this tree.

9. The Karan (Mimusops hexandra)

Is believed to be a representation of Shiva. A grove of the Karan trees is supposed to be inhabited by natural powers called Mātās and to cut a Karan is supposed to bring disaster to the cutter.

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