763 – Veneration of Trees in Hinduism

We were taught to respect Mother Earth and treat the trees with respect. Many trees are considered sacred to specific deities. Trees become objects of worship or shrines are built beneath them. Mango trees are considered holy because they are associated with many rituals. Tulasi is considered sacred to the disciples of Vishnu, Wood apple or Bilva tree is considered sacred to disciples of Shiva. The neem tree wards off evil.

Mango trees are considered very special. Mango leaves are used as decoration in rituals. Lord Shiva is said to have meditated under the mango tree. Lakshmi is believed to have emerged from its branches. Kamadeva, the god of love, made his bow from mango wood and this created desire when he shot with his arrow.

Tulasi is identified with the presence of Lakshmi and Vishnu. Every Hindu home has a pot of Tulasi outside the house. It offers protection and there is a belief that one’s husband will never leave one, if one has a pot of Tulasi and tends to it. Tulasi has healing properties and our cat which had a slight breathing problem, would sit under the tree for hours. Tulasi wood is considered very high in energy and its wood is used for making beads.

The Bael tree’ leaves are offered to Shiva and Parvati and it is said to possess the celestial light.

Neem tree brings prosperity and good luck and is considered a sacred plant.

Then there are other trees which are also venerated. The Peepal tree known as the Bodhi tree of enlightenment. The Banyan tree is considered the tree of life. The Ashoka tree protects one against grief.

My dear ones one is used to seeing these tree and just being aware that they are special. Often one sees a little shrine under a Peepal tree or Banyan tree. It can sometimes become a temple. It is the presence of the divine and one feels protected and loved.

Aim Hrim Klim

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