Famous Holy Plants in India

Holy plants - Karuna Nursery

We as Indians are known for our long line of ayurvedic and herbal medicines that helped saved millions of lives and better billions before the intervention of western science. Our traditions do define who we are up to a certain extent and that is why it is important to understand our roots more clearly. I have compiled some of our most sacred plants and with the help of biodiversityofindia.org researched the religious significance for each of them. Have a good time reading through our history and mythos as they do give a backdrop of how things were and how they reflect on our everyday lives today.

 

Deodar Cedar

These are evergreen conifers known for their ornamental value and broadly used as timber. their wood has an aromatic smell with red or red-tinged color and is decay-resistant and insect-repellent.

Mythos:

Among Hindus, it is worshipped as a divine tree, particularly in Kashmir and Punjab villages, as the name deodar suggests. The first half of the word deva means the words divine, deity, deus, and Zeus and the second part connotes durum, druid, tree, and true.
Several Hindu legends refer to this tree. In Valmiki Ramayan
Forests full of Devadaru trees were the favorite abode or living place of ancient Indian sages and their families who were devoted to Hindu god Shiva for whom they performed very difficult tapasya (meditation) to please him.

Water Lily

The Indian Lotus, also known as the Sacred Lotus, is a culturally significant plant in many Asian cultures in general and Indian culture in particular. It is a plant native to the Indian subcontinent but now is found as an ornamental plant worldwide. The Lotus is considered a symbol of devotion and purity. It is the seat of Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Brahma. The flowers of Lotus have several medicinal properties as per Ayurveda. Lotus is also the national flower of India.

Mythos:

Lotus is a symbol of purity and innocence. It is the seat of Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Brahma. It is most significantly associated with Lord Brahma. Lotus flowers are used as offerings in Indian temples.

Ashoka

Saraca indica or the Ashoka tree is an important plant from a religious and cultural point of view in India. The tree has beautiful red flowers and a dense foliage which makes it seem stately to its devotees. The tree is a symbol of fertility in Indian culture and has been recently shown to provide relief to women during menstruation. The tree is revered in Hinduism and Buddhism and is frequently found in royal palace grounds or near temples.

Mythos:

The Ashoka tree is closely associated with the Yakshi mythological beings. One of the recurring elements in Indian art often found at gates of Buddhist and Hindu temples is the sculpture of a Yakshi with her foot on the trunk and her hands holding the branch of a flowering Ashoka tree. As an artistic element, often the tree and the Yakshi are subject to heavy stylization. Some authors hold that the young girl at the foot of this tree is based on an ancient fertility symbol.
The Ashoka tree has a symbolic importance in Buddhism. Queen Māyā of Sakya is said to have given birth to the Buddha under an Ashoka tree in a garden in Lumbini. According to tradition, the queen walked in the garden until she came to an Ashoka tree to take a rest. Then the tree magically bent down for her and she grasped a branch. At that moment the Buddha emerged from her right side.

Thoughts

At Karuna, we practice traditional methods of gardening without any artificial fertilizers. Our stance on 100% pure organic gardening is inspired for the words of our elders and treating plants with the sacred respect they deserve – after all, they literally are the reason we can breathe. Do come over to our nursery to understand and learn more about our culture and way of life.

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