Did you know that trees have a powerful spiritual presence? The old world and the new both inherently recognize the power of trees scientifically, mythologically and spiritually. The value of trees has continued to expand with the constant evolution of man and his lifestyle.
Trees massively contribute to ecological and environmental value in innumerable ways. They significantly improve the air quality of our planet. When the trees photosynthesize, they take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen that we breathe. As per the US Department of Agriculture, a single one-acre forest can absorb six tons of carbon dioxide and produce four tons of oxygen. Interesting isn’t it? Another interesting fact is that this is more than sufficient to cover the annual oxygen requirement of 18 people. Trees help in maintaining low levels of carbon dioxide. This reduces the heat intensity of the greenhouse effect. The trees control climate and lower the air temperature. They also contribute to the environment through conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife.
Apart from the scientifically proven qualities that the trees exhibit, trees also add immeasurable spiritual value to our lives. For centuries trees have been used as sacred shrines, and places of rituals, ceremonies, spiritual pilgrimage and celebration. Trees have a powerful aura. Every tree possesses a unique personality. Meditating around the trees opens us to our past, present, and future. The roots of the trees help you ground yourself and connect to your past and your ancestors. The branches underline all manifestation. They help you reach out to the Centre of the universe, the sun, the stars, and heaven. The flowers, the fruits, the leaves and the seeds of the trees offer messages for your future. The trunk symbolizes the center of your divine presence in the eternal world. Trees add meaning to our lives spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Here are symbolic and spiritual values of some trees that you may find fascinating.
Mango Tree: Mango tree is a prominent icon of love and fertility. The mango tree has significant relevance in many religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. The mango tree has been mentioned in Hindu mythology innumerable times. It has found a place in the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas. The leaves of the mango tree are used in several social and religious ceremonies of the Hindus. Mango tree leaves are used to adorn entrances at home to signify good fortune. It is believed that Lord Buddha had planted a mango tree in Shravasti. This marks the religious significance of a mango tree in Buddhism.
Coconut Tree: A coconut tree is a symbol of good health and relaxation. It is also called the tree of life. Almost all its parts can be useful in some or the other way. It holds a special place in Indian cuisine, and Indian rituals. Coconut represents divine consciousness. It is the symbol of Goddess Lakshmi and good fortune. It is also said to represent Lord Shiva. The three black spots on a coconut are believed to be Lord Shiva’s eyes. Breaking a coconut at the beginning of any religious ceremony is considered auspicious in Hinduism. Coconut water symbolizes cleansing. When a preacher cracks a coconut, he annihilates the egoism of a person. This practice in Hinduism is a way of humbling and surrendering yourself to God. Coconut also has anti-bacterial properties that are used to heal several skin ailments and infections.
Tulsi Plant: In Hinduism, a Tulsi Plant is a symbol of purity. The Padampuran emphasizes that wherever there is a garden of the Holi Tulsi Plants, it is like a place of pilgrimage. The Skandpuran asserts that the more number of tulsi plants you grow, the more you get rid of your sins. As per Ancient Hindu beliefs, every home should have at least one Tulsi plant. It is believed that the presence of Tulsi at Home keeps Yam (God of Death) away. Tulsi plant is also immensely priced in Ayurveda due to its immense medicinal properties. All prayers are incomplete without Tulsi leaves in Hindu temples and households. Yogis and mystics have known to be wearing tulsi beads around their necks to purify the mind, body, and soul.
Neem Tree: A Neem Tree holds immense significance in Ayurveda because of its beneficial medicinal properties. It has antiseptic and disinfectant properties. Hence it is used to cure wounds, cuts, boils, skin ailments and fever. Consumption of Neem increases immunity. Apart from tremendous medicinal importance, the Neem Tree has deep-rooted significance in Hinduism. It is worshipped very intensely. It is believed that Goddess Durga is a manifestation of the Neem Tree. The leaves and the flowers of the Neem tree are used in traditional Indian cooking. It is believed that the smoke of burning Neem leaves to cleanse the energy of the house and ward of evil spirits and negative energy. Classical texts describe the neem tree as “Earth’s wish-fulfilling tree”.
Banana Tree: Banana Tree has sacred importance in many religions such as Hinduism and Islam. In Islam dreaming about a banana tree is considered as a good omen. In south India, it is considered as a symbol of prosperity. Hence different dishes are prepared from the fruit and food is served on banana leaves. Banana is also considered a sacred fruit and offered to Hindu deities such as Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha, and Goddess Lakshmi on auspicious religious ceremonies in different parts of India. In all significant festivals and religious ceremonies of the Hindus, the serving of banana plays a prominent part.
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