MORE ABOUT TREE WORSHIP IN ANCIENT INDIA (Post No.4389)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 12 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 13-17

 

 

Post No. 4389

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

 

 

I have written several articles on trees. Now I am adding more points to the Pipal and Nyagrodha tree articles:-

Three important trees of Ficus genus (Plant Family: Moraceae) are considered holy by the Hindus. Of the three, the most important one was Ficus Religiosa known as Pipal or Peepul or Bodhi tree. Tamils named it as King Tree, i.e. the King of the Trees. Hindus has never lived without the Pipal tree. They used the sticks for the fire sacrifice. Even today Brahmin boys use it for their daily Samidhadanam ( fire ritual of celibate boys) . The seers were named after this tree. Pippaladan is found in Vedic literature. Almost all the Pipal trees in Tamil Nadu will have one god’s statue underneath and worshipped. Because of its sanctity Buddha who was born as a Hindu sat under it and attained wisdom. Asoka made the tree more popular by sending its branches to Sri Lanka and other places. Then it became more popular among the Buddhists.

 

Upanayana and Wedding to a Tree!

Pipal tree is believed by some as to be the abode of Brahma and is consequently invested with the sacred thread by the regular Upanayana ceremony. Others believe that all the Three Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva abide in it. Ohers again connect it to Vasudeva, father of Krishna.

Devout Hindus worship the tree, pour water at its roots and smear the trunk with red ochre. Women make vows under the tree to get a male child. In Tamil,  there are even proverbs about it. “As soon as she went round (circumambulated) the tree, she touched her abdomen” to see whether she had become pregnant is the Tamil proverb.

 

Women tie cotton threads around its trunk or fastening red strips of red materials to its lower branches. A vessel of water for the comfort of the departed souls on their way to ‘the land of the dead’ is hung from its branches.  And beneath it is placed the rough stones which form the shrine of many village gods. In Tamil Nadu, Ganesh statues or Nagadevas (snake figures) are installed under the tree.

 

When a statement is made on oath the witness sometimes takes one of its leaves in his hand and invokes the gods above him to crush him if he is guilty of falsehood.

In South India the trees are married to Neem trees. Some people touch it only on Sundays believing Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, comes to it on Sundays.  They go around the tree after pouring water at its roots. If a Monday coincides with new moon day, pious Hindus go round it 108 times. They wind cotton threads about its trunk.

 

Birds drop its seeds in the cracks of the building and it sprouts from there damaging the buildings. But yet because of its holiness some people never disturb it.

BANYAN TREE WORSHIP

Huge banyan tree, another Ficus species (Ficus indica), is also worshipped in the same way. This tree is sacred to Vishnu. But we find other village gods also under the tree. The tree once planted propagates itself by its hanging roots. It lives for several hundred years. The planter uses the following prayer:

“Oh Vishnu, grant that for planting this tree, I may continue as many years in heaven as this tree shall remain growing on earth.”

He also expects that he won’t be scorched on his way to Yama loka (after death).

 

Please read my old articles on Trees:-

Nyakrodha tree | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/nyakrodha-tree/

Posts about Nyakrodha tree written by Tamil and Vedas.

of trees | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/of-trees/

5000 year old Yew Tree (from The Guradian News paper). Research Article Written by London swaminathan. Date: 3 November 2015. Post No:2297.

Trees in literature | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/trees-in-literature/

Picture of Deodar: Tree of the Gods. We have heard about people adopting children. But the greatest of the Indian poets Kalidasa and Sangam Tamil poets give …

 

save trees | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/save-trees/

 

Picture of Palasa tree. Research Article Written by london swaminathan. Date: 7th August 2016. Post No. 3043. Time uploaded in London :– 16-24. ( Thanks for …

Trees of Wisdom | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/trees-of-wisdom/

Picture shows Newton under Apple Tree. Hindu Saints composed Upanishads under the Himalayan Trees. Buddha attained wisdom under the Bodhi Tree.

water and trees | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/water-and-trees/

Posts about water and trees written by Tamil and Vedas.

Peepal tree | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/peepal-tree/

19 Feb 2017 – Trees are used as similes and metaphors in Tamil and Sanskrit literature from very ancient times. The upside down Peepal Tree(Ficus …

Bodhi Tree | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/bodhi-tree/

Mahabodhi Tree in Bodha Gaya. Research paper by London Swaminathan Post No.1325; Dated 3rd October 2014. This article is part of my series on …

 

Nature | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/category/nature/

Posts about Nature written by Tamil and Vedas. … “Trees that have fruit but no flowers are traditionally known as the Lords of the Forest; those that bear both …

Hindus’ Respect for Trees and Forests | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/hindus-respect-for-trees-and-forests/

 

18 Feb 2015 – In the Vedas, Lord Shiva is called the Lord of the Forests (Vanaspathi), Lord of the Trees (Vrkshanaam pathi) and Lord of the Animals …

 

Tamarind Tree | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/tamarind-tree/

Posts about Tamarind Tree written by Tamil and Vedas.

 

Magic of Trees! | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/2012/11/25/magic-of-trees/

 

25 Nov 2012 – Buddha attained wisdom under the Bodhi Tree. Vaishnavite saint Nammalvar attained wisdom under a Tamarind tree. Sanatkumaras attained …

Tansen and Tamarind Tree! Ghosts in Tamarind … – Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/tansen-and-tamarind-tree-ghosts-in-ta…

 

26 Mar 2016 – Tansen and Tamarind Tree! Ghosts in Tamarind Trees! (Post No 2666). tansen tomb. Research Article by london swaminathan. Date: 26 March …

 

Indian Wonder: The Banyan Tree | Swami’s Indology Blog

swamiindology.blogspot.com/2012/05/indian-wonder-banyan-tree.html

26 May 2012 – There is a beautiful verse in the Panchatantra about Banyan Tree: “Deer recline in its shade; Birds in multitude gather to roost. Darkening its …

Swami’s Indology Blog

swamiindology.blogspot.com/

Nov 6th. வேதத்தில் மரங்களின் கதை (Post No.4372). Nov 6th. STRANGE STORIES ABOUT TREES IN VEDAS –Part 2 (Post No.4371).

Plants in Mahavamsa | Swami’s Indology Blog

swamiindology.blogspot.com/2014/10/plants-in-mahavamsa.html

3 Oct 2014 – In the same chapter we come across the story of Nigrodha (MrBanyan Tree). When Emperor Asoka killed his elder brother Sumana, his …

Significance of Neem Tree in Hinduism – Swami’s Indology Blog

swamiindology.blogspot.com/2017/06/significance-of-neem-tree-in-hinduism.html

11 Jun 2017 – 18 Mar 2013 – Reand and enjoy this article about “Banyan Tree” from Mr. Santhanam Swaminathan. Tamarind Tree | Tamil and Vedas.

 

–subham–