The Lord of Trees

Published on March 16, 2015 11:15:15 AM
1. What is the significance of the Peepul tree in Hindu parlance?
Hindu religion has an all encompassing approach to worship even vegetation and wildlife. One aspect of this eclectic attitude is to worship trees as Vanspati (vegetation) which gives medicines for human health and which have been extolled by the Vedas. One such tree is the peepul tree which is extolled by the Upanishads as the ‘king among trees' as it is a personification of Brahma ,Vishnu,Maheswara as extolled by the famous verse.
"Moolato Brahmarupaya Madyato vishurupine agrato siva rupaya Vriksharajaya te namaha
(I salute to the Peepul which has its roots as the creator, its bark as the the protector and its top as the destroyer of this universe,).
Hence, the Peepul has the distinction of being the simplification of the whole cosmos into a tree. This tree is propitiated by tying sacred red threads by women to get progeny. It is also a strong belief that circumbulating this tree would ward off evil effects and bring good luck.

The tree is scientifically efficacious as it is the only tree which releases oxygen at night times .In villages, particularly in south India, one finds the concept of Arasa mara pillaiyar (literally the Ganesha seated under the peepul tree), The warder of evils and the bestower of good luck, Lord Ganesha seated at a pedestal and on each morning, people in villages gong to their work pray there and start their daily chores. It is a concept that unites the divine aspects of Idol worship and worship of the elements of the nature.
Peepul though is not useful for furniture or as firewood.