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Benefits of Trees - Related to Tradition


1. Panchavati:

Peepal and Banyan trees Panchavati is a sacred grove of five trees planted in specific directions for performing sadhana. The exact trees may vary, but the usual trees are: Vata, Aswattha, Bilva, Aamalaki and Ashoka. Udumbara, Nimba and Shami are also included in some Panchavati.

Sri Ramakrishna: Sri Ramakrishna created a Panchavati within the Dakshineshwar Kali temple premises for performing sadhana.


2. Kalpavriksha:

Coconut tree trees Some trees are classified as Kalpavriksha. Kalpavriksha literally means a wish-fulfilling tree, but in reality it refers to certain trees with special characteristics which make them very unique. The Kalpavikasha trees are:

Vata or Banyan: Known as the Tree of Immortality. The tree spreads itself through its pillar-like aerial roots which forms new trunks and makes the tree grow laterally.

Aswattha or Sacred Fig: Known as the Tree of Eternal Life. The tree grows to a gigantic size and has a very long lifespan.

Udumbara or Cluster Fig: A large spreading tree.

Aamra or Mango: Known as the Tree of Prosperity. The tree grows to a huge size spreading laterally and produces abundant fruits which are called the king of fruits.

Baobab: The trunk of the tree grow unusually wide and stores water in them.

Narikela or Coconut: Known as the Tree of Life. It is is a multi-purpose tree, each of whose parts is useful.

Parijata or Night Jasmine: The plant blooms at night and covers the ground with flowers in the early morning.


3. Associated with Deities:

Sri Ganesha is worshipped with Durva grass Bhakta Hanuman is worshipped with Chameli flowers Hindu Trinity is associated with Peepal tree Lord Vishnu is specially worshipped with Tulasi leaves Bilva tree and Lord Shiva Banyan tree and Lord Dakshinamurthy Devi Parvati is called as Kadamba-Vana-Vashini Devi Kali is worshipped with Japa flowers Many trees are associated with various deities and hence are considered as sacred in that tradition. Those trees are often planted in the temples and offered ritualistic worship.

Kadali: Kadali or Banana plants is associated with Sri Ganesha. It is used to make Navapatrika during the Navaratri festival.

Durva: Durva grass is used in the worship of Sri Ganesha.

Chameli: Chameli flowers are used in the worship of Bhakta Hanuman.

Ashvattha: The Hindu Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) are believed to dwell in the Ashvattha or Peepal tree.

Udumbara: The Udumbara or Cluster Fig tree is specially sacred to Lord Dattatreya. Udumbara is also one of the names of Lord Vishnu.

Bilva: The Bilva tree is associated with Lord Shiva. According to Shiva Purana, the Bilva tree is a form of Mahadeva.

Rudraksha: The Rudraksha tree is associated with Lord Shiva. According to Shiva Purana, the Rudraksha tree originated from the tear drops of Lord Shiva during His penance.

Vata: The Vata or Banyan tree is associated with Lord Dakshinamurthy. Lord Dakshinamurthy is depicted as sitting under a Banyan tree and instructing His disciples through His meditative silence.

Arka: The Arka or Maadar flowers are used in the worship of Lord Shiva.

Tulasi: The Tulasi plant is very sacred to Lord Vishnu and is considered to be an embodiment of Devi Tulasi (an incarnation of Devi Lakshmi). Lord Vishnu is worshipped with Tulasi leaves.

Padma: Padma or Lotus flower is associated with Devi Lakshmi. Devi Lakshmi abides on a Lotus flower.

Nimba: Nimba or Neem tree is specially associated Devi or Ambal. It is often worshipped with haldi and kumkum.

Kadamba: Kadamba tree is associated with Devi Parvati who is called as Kadamba-Vana-Vashini (the one who stays in the forest of Kadamba trees). Madurai was previously called as Kadamba Vanam (a forest of Kadamba trees). Kadamba tree is also associated with Sri Krishna, many of whose Leelas are associated with this tree. Sri Krishna kept the stolen clothes of gopis on a Kadamba tree.

Bakula: Bakula tree is also associated with the Leelas of Sri Krishna.

Japa: Japa or Hibiscus flower is specially associated Devi Kali. Devi Kali is worshipped with red Japa flowers.

Amalaki: Amalaki or Indian Gooseberry is considered as Dhatri, the Mother Earth (Bhoomi Devi) who sustains all.

Ashoka: Ashoka tree is associated with Devi Sita, who sat under an Ashoka tree while in captivity in Lanka.



4. Associated with Temples:

Many trees are associated with various temples and holy places.

(a) Sthala Vrikshas:

Peepal tree Many Hindu temples are associated with Sthala Vrikshas which form part of the temple tradition:

Bilva: Bilva is the Sthala Vriksha of many South Indian temples.



(b) Trees associated with Holy Places:

Banyan tree Many holy places are associated with trees which form part of their cultural tradition:

Panchavati: Panchavati or five Banyan trees of Nashik.

Akshaya Vat: Akshaya Vat of Prayaga.


(c) Sacred Groves:

Bilva tree Trees form the integral part of many sacred groves spread in India and abroad:

Kovid Kadu: In Tamil Nadu the sacred groves are known as Kovil Kadu.

Devara Kadu: In Karnataka the sacred groves are known as Devara Kadu.



5. Used in Puja:

Mangal Kalasha Many parts of plants and trees are used in the ritual of the Puja.

Aamra: Aamra or Mango leaves are placed on Mangal Kalasha during puja.

Chandana: Chandana or Sandalwood paste is extensively used in puja.

Tulasi: Tulasi leaves are extensively used in puja.

Durva: Durva grass is extensively used in puja.



6. Associated with Festivals:

Worshipping Peepal tree Many trees are associated with various festivals.

Somavati Amavashya: During Somavati Amavashya married women worship the Peepal tree and circumambulate it praying for the long lives of their husbands.

Kadali Vrata:

Bakula Amavasya: Bakula Amavasya is celebrated on Pausha Amavasya in Odisha.

Amala Ekadasi: Amala Ekadasi is celebrated on Phalguna Shukla Paksha Ekadasi.

Amra Pushpa Vakshana Vrata: Amra Pushpa Vakshana Vrata is celebrated on Chaitra Shukla Paksha Pratipada.

Ashoka Pratipada: Ashoka Pratipada is celebrated on Chaitra Shukla Paksha Pratipada.

Karavira Vrata: Ashoka Pratipada is celebrated on Jyestha Shukla Paksha Pratipada.

Vata Savitri Vrata: During Vata Savitri Vrata on Jyestha Poornima, married women tie a ceremonial thread around a Banyan tree and circumambulate it praying for the long lives of their husbands.

Bilva Saptami: Bilva Saptami is celebrated on Ashwina Shukla Paksha Saptami.

Bilva Navami: Bilva Saptami is celebrated on Ashwina Shukla Paksha Navami.



7. Associated with Saints:

Many trees are associated with various saints.

(a) Trees of Enlightenment in Buddhism:

Gautama Buddha and Peepal tree In Buddhism, the Bodhisattvas attained enlightenment under various trees. The exact list of the trees sometimes vary. The trees are:

Nagakesara: Bodhisattvas Mangala, Sumana, Revata and Sobhita attained enlightenment under a Nagakesara tree.

Arjuna: Bodhisattva Anomadassi attained enlightenment under an Arjuna tree.

Kadamba: Bodhisattva Sumedha attained enlightenment under a Kadamba tree.

Vamsha: Bodhisattva Sujata attained enlightenment under a Vamsha tree.

Champaka: Bodhisattva Atthadassi attained enlightenment under a Champaka tree.

Karnikara: Bodhisattva Siddhattha attained enlightenment under a Karnikara tree.

Asana: Bodhisattva Tissa attained enlightenment under an Asana tree.

Aamalaka: Bodhisattva Phussa attained enlightenment under an Aamalaka tree.

Patali: Bodhisattva Vipassi attained enlightenment under a Patali tree.

Shala: Bodhisattva Vessabhu attained enlightenment under a Shala tree.

Shirisha: Bodhisattva Kakusandha attained enlightenment under a Shirisha tree.

Udumbara: Bodhisattva Konagamana attained enlightenment under an Udumbara tree.

Vata: Bodhisattva Kassapa attained enlightenment under a Vata or Banyan tree.

Ashvattha: Bodhisattva Gotama or Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment under an Ashvattha or Peepal tree.

(b) Trees of Enlightenment in Jainism:

Mahavira and Shala tree In Jainism, the Tirthankaras attained enlightenment under various trees. The exact list of the trees sometimes vary. The trees are:

Vata: Tirthankara Rishabhanath or Adinath attained enlightenment under a Vata or Banyan tree.

Shalmali: Tirthankara Ajitnath attained enlightenment under a Shalmali tree.

Shala: Tirthankaras Sambhavnath and Mahaveer attained enlightenment under a Shala tree.

Sarala: Tirthankara Abhinandannath attained enlightenment under a Sarala tree.

Priyangu: Tirthankaras Sumatinath and Padmaprabhu attained enlightenment under a Priyangu tree.

Shirisha: Tirthankara Suparshwanath attained enlightenment under a Shirisha tree.

Nagakesara: Tirthankara Chandaprabhu attained enlightenment under a Nagakesara tree.

Vibhitaka: Tirthankara Pushpadanta attained enlightenment under a Vibhitaka tree.

Gorakshi: Tirthankara Sheetajnath attained enlightenment under a Gorakshi tree.

Tendu: Tirthankara Shreyansnath attained enlightenment under a Tendu tree.

Patali: Tirthankara Vasupujya attained enlightenment under a Patali tree.

Jambu: Tirthankara Vimalnath attained enlightenment under a Jambu tree.

Ashvattha: Tirthankara Ananthnath attained enlightenment under an Ashvattha or Peepal tree.

Aparajita: Tirthankara Dharmanath attained enlightenment under an Aparajita tree.

Nandi: Tirthankara Shantinath attained enlightenment under a Nandi tree.

Lodhra: Tirthankara Kuntunath attained enlightenment under a Lodhra tree.

Aamra: Tirthankara Arahanath attained enlightenment under an Aamra or Mango tree.

Ashoka: Tirthankara Mallinath attained enlightenment under an Ashoka tree.

Champaka: Tirthankara Munisuvratnath attained enlightenment under a Champaka tree.

Bakula: Tirthankara Naminath attained enlightenment under a Bakula tree.

Vamsha: Tirthankara Neminath attained enlightenment under a Vamsha tree.

Dhava: Tirthankara Parshvanath attained enlightenment under a Dhava tree.

(c) Trees associated with Gurudwaras:

Guru Nanak In Sikhism, there are various trees associated with Gurudwaras. The trees are:

Amlika: Gurudwara Imli Sahib is associated with Amlika or Tamarind tree.

Ashvattha: Gurudwara Pipli Sahib is associated with Ashvattha or Peepal tree.

Aamra: Gurudwara Amb Sahib is associated with Aamra or Mango tree.

Badari: Gurudwara Ber Sahib is associated with Badari or Ber tree.

Nimba: Gurudwara Neem Sahib is associated with Nimba or Neem tree.

Phalahi: Gurudwara Phalahi Sahib is associated with Phalahi tree.

Shami: Gurudwara Jand Sahib is associated with Shami or Jand tree.

Shveta Varvura: Gurudwara Reru Sahib is associated with Shvetavarvura or Reru tree.

Shimshapa: Gurudwara Tahli Sahib is associated with Phalahi Shimshapa.



8. Associated with Astrology:

Many trees are associated with astrological elements.

(a) Nakshatra (Star):

Nakshatra Trees are associated with various Nakshatras (Stars):

Vishatindu: Vishatindu is associated with Ashwini nakshatra.

Amalaka: Amalaka is associated with Bharani nakshatra.

Udumbara: Udumbara is associated with Krittika nakshatra.

Jambu: Jambu is associated with Rohini nakshatra.

Khadira: Khadira is associated with Mrigashirsha nakshatra.

Shimshapa: Shimshapa is associated with Ardra nakshatra.

Vamsha: Vamsha is associated with Punarvasu nakshatra.

Ashvattha: Ashvattha is associated with Pushya nakshatra.

Punnaga: Punnaga is associated with Ashlesha nakshatra.

Vata: Vata is associated with Magha nakshatra.

Palasha: Palasha is associated with Purva-Phalguni nakshatra.

Ashmantaka: Ashmantaka is associated with Uttara Phalguni nakshatra.

Aamrata: Aamrata is associated with Hasta nakshatra.

Bilva: Bilva is associated with Chitra nakshatra.

Arjuna: Arjuna is associated with Swati nakshatra.

Kapittha: Kapittha is associated with Vishakha nakshatra.

Bakula: Bakula is associated with Aniruddha nakshatra.

Shalmali: Shalmali is associated with Jyeshtha nakshatra.

Aragvadha: Aragvadha is associated with Moola nakshatra.

Vetra: Vetra is associated with Purva-Ashadha nakshatra.

Panasa: Panasa is associated with Uttara-Ashadha nakshatra.

Arka: Arka is associated with Shravana nakshatra.

Shami: Shami is associated with Dhanishtha nakshatra.

Kadamba: Kadamba is associated with Shata-taraka nakshatra.

Aamra: Aamra is associated with Purva-Bhadrapada nakshatra.

Nimba: Nimba is associated with Uttara-Bhadrapada nakshatra.

Madhuka: Madhuka is associated with Revati nakshatra.

(b) Raashi (Lunar equivalent of Zodiac sign):

Rashi Trees are associated with various Raashis (Lunar equivalent of Zodiac signs):

Raktachandana: Raktachandana is associated with Mesha (Aries) raasi.

Saptaparna: Saptaparna is associated with Vrishabha (Taurus) raasi.

Panasa: Panasa is associated with Mithuna (Gemini) raasi.

Palasha: Palasha is associated with Karkataka (Cancer) raasi.

Patali: Patali is associated with Simha (Leo) raasi.

Aamra: Aamra is associated with Kanya (Virgo) raasi.

Bakula: Bakula is associated with Tula (Libra) raasi.

Khadira: Khadira is associated with Vrishchika (Scorpio) raasi.

Ashvattha: Ashvattha is associated with Dhanusa (Sagittarius) raasi.

Shimshapa: Shimshapa is associated with Makara (Capricon) raasi.

Shami: Shami is associated with Kumbha (Aquarius) raasi.

Vata: Vata is associated with Meena (Pisces) raasi.

(c) Navagraha (Planet):

Navagraha Trees are associated with various Grahas (Planets):

Arka: Arka is associated with Surya (Sun) graha.

Palasha: Palasha is associated with Chandra (Moon) graha.

Khadira: Khadira is associated with Mangala (Mars) graha.

Apamarga: Apamarga is associated with Budha (Mercury) graha.

Ashvattha: Apamarga is associated with Guru (Jupiter) graha.

Udumbara: Udumbara is associated with Shukra (Venus) graha.

Shami: Shami is associated with Shani (Saturn) graha.

Durva: Durva is associated with Rahu graha.

Kusha: Kusha is associated with Ketu graha.




Benefits of Trees:

Related to Sustaining Lives
Related to the Five Elements
Related to Aesthetics
Related to Tradition


Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:

1. Stotras
2. Scriptures
3. Pilgrimages
4. Festivals
5. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana
6. Sadhana
7. Sanskrit
8. Nature

Meditation on Earth and Life: >>



Om, May there be Peace in Heaven,
May there be Peace in the Sky,
May there be Peace in the Earth,

(Shanti Mantra of Upanishad)


Preserve Nature,
And Nature will preserve Us,
Simplify Life,
And help Nature thrive,
Plant Trees,
And make our planet Green.

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Green Message: The Evergreen Messages of Spirituality, Sanskrit and Nature

Last updated on Sep-2021

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