‘Save the Trees’ and ‘Save the Forests’ in Manu Smrti!(Post No.3043)


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 the Pictures)




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)



The topics Manu covers in his Law book are amazing. He makes passing remarks on several things; since ancient people know all these things he takes them for granted. Let us look at the couplets where he mentioned the trees, saving the trees, sacred trees and saving the forests.


If a Brahmin cuts the fruit trees, shrubs, vines, , creepers or  flowering plants , a thousand Vedic verses should be chanted – Manu 11-143


Cutting down green trees for fire wood, undertaking acts for one’s own sake only and eating forbidden food  are minor crimes — Manu 11-65


Assembly halls, road side watering places, cake-stalls, whore houses wine shops , SACRED TREES, cross roads, crowds and places where people assemble for spectacles, GARDENS, ARTIFICIAL GROVES MUST BE WATCHED FOR THIEFS –9-265


Trees that have fruit but no flowers are traditionally known as the Lords of the Forest; those that bear flowers and fruits are called trees–  Manu 1-47


The various sorts of plants that have one root and those with many roots , the different species of grasses and climbing vines and creepers all grow from a seed or a shoot. — Manu 1-48




The belt of a priest should be made up of smooth, three ply rushes; of a ruler it should be a bow string of hemp fibre; and of a commoner, a thread of hemp.

If rushes are unattainable, the belt should be made up of kusa asmantaka or balbaja (Eleusine Indica).

The initiatory thread of a Brahmin should be made up of cotton; of a ruler it should be made up of hemp threads and of a commoner it should be of wool threads.

A priest’s staff should be made up of wood apple (Aegle Marmelos)and the palasa (Butea Frondosa);

A ruler’s of banyan (Ficus Indica) and acacia (Acacia Catechu);

A commoner’s of palm (Careya Arborea) and fig (Ficus Udumbara).

Height of the Staff of a priest – – up to his hair

King = up to his forehead

Commoner = up to his nose


–Chapter 2 of Manu smrti


Sitting on a kusa grass mat is mentined in 2-75




Picture of Acacia Catechu

Grass laid down for a resting place, space to rest, water and pleasant conversation – these four things never run out in the house of good people – 3-101


Priests should sit on a seat of sacrificial grass/ kusa—3-208.

Kusa grass and mat made up of Kusa grass are emtioned in several places.

Weights made up of krsnala seeds (Kundu mnani in Tamil) are found in the book.

It is good to see so many plants names in a Law Book.



From these passages we come to know:-

Cutting trees is a crime;

Preserving trees is encouraged;

Sacred trees were there in every town;

Gardens and artificial groves were there;

Temples and Kiosks/stalls were constructed underneath huge trees.

Like Tamil kings had three different trees for each of them, three castes have different trees.

Even before the Westerners classified the plants, Hindus divided them into various groups.




Picture of Darba/Kusa mats

Please read my research articles posted here earlier: –

Flowers in Tamil Culture, posted on 25 August 2012

Confusion about Vedic Soma Plant , posted on 5 May 2013

107 Miracle Herbs in the Hindu Vedas, posted on 16 September 2013 

255 Indian trees, herbs and flowers mentioned in Brhat Samhita Part-1, posted 21 February 2015

255 Indian trees, herbs and flowers mentioned in Brhat Samhita Part-2, posted on 23 February 2015

Amazing Medical information in Hindu Vedas, posted here on 18 June 2015

Jangida Mystery in Atharva Veda , posted on 29 December 2014


Hindus’ Amazing Knowledge in Botany, posted here on 20 July 2014

Knowledge of Biology in Hindu scriptures, posted on 10 February 2013

Dynasties with Plant names and Dynasty in Shiva’s Bilva tree name, posted on 24 January 2015

Lord Shiva and Tamils adopted Trees, posted on 6 July 2013

Hindus’ respect for trees and forests , posted on 18 February 2015

Cucumber in the Rig Veda