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| Last Updated:: 02/02/2016

Sacred Plants

 

 

 

                                                                                                Tulsi Worship

 

 

 

Tree / Plant worship has its roots in ancient times and continues to be an element of modern Indian tradition. Tree cults, in which a single or group of trees have flourished in India throughout history. In the scriptures, the kalpavriksha and chaityavriksha are mentioned, indicating that the worship of the plants is indeed an ancient Indian practice.

 


Plants have been traditionally considered sacred for the following reasons:

 

 

  • Its close association with a deity. For example Bilva tree (Aegle marmelos) with Lord Shiva, Neem tree (Azadirachta indica) with Mariamman and Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) with Lord Krishna

 

  •  Trees sheltering any object of worship like a deity, a fetish or an attribute have traditionally been considered sacred. Sthalavrikshas are actually the tree that first sheltered the deity beneath the open air and which was later replaced by a temple or shelter for the deity. The sacred tree became secondary and was worshipped along with other nature gods as the sthalavriksha of the temple, becoming a part of the faith.

 

  • Some plants are believed to have originated from bodies or limbs of Gods and hence, the sanctity. For example, the Flame of the forest (Butea monosperma) is believed to have originated from the body of Lord Brahma and the Rudraksha tree (Elaeocarpus ganitrus) arose from the tears of Lord Shiva.

 

  • Some plants became sacred through what might have occurred in their proximity. For example, the Peepal tree (Ficus religiosa), under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment, is considered sacred by the Buddhists

 

  • Plants that have an important social or economic significance or a major role in the local ecology are also considered sacred. For example, the veneration of the Khejri tree (Prosopis spicigera) by the Bishnois of Rajasthan is related to the crucial role the tree plays in desert ecology. It provides the community with food, fodder and building material.

 

 

 

 

LIST OF SACRED PLANTS

 

 

Alexandrian Laurel (Ball Tree)

 Arabian Jasmine 

Asoka

Aquatic plants of the Rig Veda

Bamboo

Banyan

Bengal Quince

Blinding tree

Blue waterlily

Butterfly pea plant

Camel Foot Tree

Cannon ball tree

Cluster Fig

Cutch Tree

Castorbeanplant

Champaka

Clearing nut Tree

Coconut Tree

Crepe Jasmine

DownyJasmine

Flame of the forest

Fragrant Screw Pine    

Giant Milkweed

Grasses of  the Rig veda

Heart-leaved moonseed

Henna

Holy Basil    

Indian Beach

Indian Black Plum

Indian Butter

Indian Jackfruit

Indian Jasmine  

Indian Jujube 

Indian Laburnum 

Indian Laurel Fig

Indian Lavender

Indian Medlar

Indian Mesquite 

Indian Oleander

Indian Persimon

Indian Siris

Ink-Nut Tree 

Javanese Wood

Kadam

Khus Khus grass

Kusha grass

Large Sebasten

 Lemon

Lotus   

Mango 

Marigold

Neem Tree 

Night Jasmine  

Palmyra Palm

Plantain/Banana

Rice

Rudraksha Tree

Sacred Fig

Sandalwood Tree

Sandpaper Tree 

Shoe-flower Plant / China Rose

Sugarcane

Tamarind Tree

Three-Leaved Caper

Trumpet-Flower Tree

Turmeric

Trees of the Rig Veda

Winter Cherry

White Marudah Tree