STRANGE STORIES ABOUT TREES IN VEDAS –Part 2 (Post No.4371)

Granite tree in a Tamil Temple; posted by Lalgudi Veda

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 6 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 16-08

 

 

Post No. 4371

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

(First part was posted yesterday)

 

Picture of a sacred tree in Varanasi

 

The Gods and the Asuras, both of them sprung from Prajapati, strove together. The gods, having placed Agni in the front, went up to the Asuras.  The Asuras cut off the point of that flame held forward. It settled down on this earth and became that Krimuka tree; hence it is sweet, for there is vital essence in it. Hence also it is red, for it is a flame, that Krimuka tree being the same as Agni; it is in the shape of fire that he imparts growth to it- Satapata Brahmana 6-6-2-11

 

When Prajapati performed the first offering, a Vinkankata tree (Flacouritas apida) sprang forth from that place where, after offering, he cleansed his hand  –6-6-3-1

 

“When the gods and Asuras, both of them sprung from Prajapati, strove together, all the trees sided with the Asuras, but  the Udumbara tree alone did not forsake the gods. The gods having conquered the Asuras took possession of their trees. They said, ‘come let us lay into the Udumbara tree whatever pith, whatever vital sap, there is in these trees; were they then to desert us they would desert us worn out like a milked-out cow or like an ox that has been tired out drawing the cart. Accordingly they laid into the Udumbara tree what pith and essence there was in those trees; and on account of that it matures fruit  equal to all other trees; hence that tree is always moist, always full of milky sap- that Udumbara tree indeed, being all the trees, is all food—Sat Br. 6-3-2-3

 

Aitareya Brahmana also gives the same story (1-23)

 

(VERY IMPORTANT POINT: Gods and Asuras came from Brahma/Prajapati. Foreigners wont highlight this point anywhere in their writings; those cunning and conspiring people wanted to project Asuras as aborigines or Dravidians. Throughout Hindu literature, Asuras, Rakshasas or so called Shudras are shown as children of same father and mother)

 

“Trees were temples of Divinities, and in the old way the simple country folk to this day dedicate any remarkable tree to a god”—Pliny in Natural History 12-3

Pliny (23-79 CE) was a Roman scholar and his Natural History reflected the Hindu views on Trees.

 

Persian Poet Haafiz praised the trees too,

“Mark where yon tree rewards the stony shower

With fruit nectareous, or the balmy flower,

All nature calls aloud, ‘Shall man do less

Than heal the smiter and the railer bless?”

Posted by Lalgudi Veda, Vellerukku, Siddhavatam

In India that is Hindustan all life is sacred. Hindus are believers in the law of continuity, for in their creed the life of gods is connected with that of demons, the life of demons  with men, the life of men with animals, the life of animals with that of trees and plants, the life of plants with a supposed life in rocks and stones, and the divine soul is thought to permeate all. There is no break anywhere. Tamil Saints like Manikkavasagar sings about several births of soul from stone to man. According to Hindus, all plants are conscious beings, having distinct personalities and souls of their own as gods, demons, men and animals (Manu 1-49).

 

Good spirits and demons occupy the trees. They may often resort to it as guests or take up their abode as tenants.

 

There is a firm belief that certain trees are demon haunted. Tamils believe that demons occupy Tamarind trees. However it is necessary to make clear  distinction between sacred trees and trees feared as the home of evil spirits. Hindus worship trees out of fear or out of its sacredness. Another reason for the worship of trees is their wonderful utility in daily life. Their shade is grateful in a hot climate. Their wood is the source of fuel/fire. Their fruits, juices are bark have medicinal and curative properties. Plamyra palm or Coconut tree of south India has over fifty distinct uses.

Huge banyan trees are assembling point for vendors, gossip mongers, Assembly Hall and Court House of the village communities. It becomes the abode of village god or Ganesh in South India.

Kuruntha Tree, Avudayar Koil, by Lalgudi Veda

 

TREE MARRIAGE

 

In the olden days a Hindu who plants a grove of mango trees will not take the fruit f the mango tree before they have been married to another kind of tree, usually a tamarind tree, sometimes an acacia or even a jasmine plant which is planted in the grove. It is done only when the mango tree reaches fruit bearing stage. In the same way a tank is married to a plantain tree.

 

The tree worship began in Vedic age. We see a whole Mandala of Rig Veda is devoted to Soma (plant) worship. Pipal tree is worshipped from the Vedic days. Rishis/ seers are named after Pipal trees. Buddha, born as a devoted Hindu, did penance under the pipal tree (Bodhi).  Parijata came form the ocean when demons/ Asuras and Devas/angels churned the milky ocean.

 

Tree worship is seen among tribal Hindus as well; in the Birbhum district annual pilgrimage is made to shrine in the jungle to leave offerings to a Bel tree.

 

The custom of hanging votive offerings or rags or threads on the trees is of great antiquity. It is seen from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

Kadamba  Tree in Chir Ghat, Yamuna River

This custom existed in other parts of the world as well; names like Holyoake, Hollywood recall the English worship of trees and groves.

 

Ovid (43 BCE), the Roman poet, says,

“There stood a mighty oak of age-long strength

Festooned with garlands, bearing on its trunk

Memorial tablets, proofs of helpful vows”

–Metamorphoses, 8-741, also Fasti 3-267

 

This Hindu custom was prevalent in different parts of the world; now we can see such pictures in museums or in their literature; but in Hindu India, where it originated, is still practised!!

 

The famous Bodhi tree in Gaya (Bihar, India) and its sister trees in Sri Lanka, Tamarind tree of Tansen and Nammalvar, Banyan Tree of Lord Krishna and Panchavati (five Banyan trees) of Lord Rama are some examples. There are hundreds of trees like these throughout India Every Tamil temple has a tree worshipped in its complex.

A pilgrim under a tree

Classical analogies of tree deities are found in many places: Daphne turned into a laurel that Apollo honours for her sake, and the sorrowing sisters of Phaethon changing into trees, yet still dropping blood and crying for mercy when their shoots are torn”

–Metamorphoses of Ovid 1-452, 2-345

 

Like I have pointed out earlier, they are all in old literature or museums in other parts of the world; In India, Hindus practise it even today and worship all the nature as God; and India is not primitive; it is the first developing country to send a spaceship into sky; it is the first developing country to explode a nuclear device. it is the country with highest number of computer personnel.

–Subham–

 

 

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