Sacred Trees and Plants in Mythology: Symbolism and Significance Across Cultures

Do not trouble trees. Do not uproot or cut them. They protect animals, birds, and other living beings”

Rig Veda

India is known to be the third largest religious country in the world, and the most followed religion is Hinduism which was itself originated in India. In India various trees are also considered to be related to gods and goddesses and are worshipped. So, here are some of the sacred trees and their importance in different cultures and traditions.

1. Peepal tree

The Peepal tree is considered religious especially in Buddhism and Jainism, as according to Buddhist community, Buddha attained knowledge sitting under the Peepal tree, so it is considered the symbol of knowledge. In Hinduism, Peepal tree is considered the place where Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi resides, also in some traditions Peepal tree it is considered as the goddess of prosperity.

2. Kadamba Tree

Kadamba tree is associated with lord Krishna and is often mentioned that he used to play flute near it, which makes the tree religiously significant, also the flowers of Kadambari are worshipped in many traditions.

3. Banyan tree

It also has important significance in Hinduism, it is often associated with Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh, it is the symbol of life and fertility, it is often noticed and heard that women who hope to have children worships this tree, also married women worship banyan tree for the long lives of their husband.

4. Tulsi

Also called the holy basil holds significant importance in Hinduism, it is associated with goddess Lakshmi and is a symbol of prosperity, it is planted in the or near house for its purifying property.

5. Sandalwood

Sandalwood considered holy and is associated with lord Shiva, sandalwood paste also called Chandan is used in religious ceremonies.

6. Banana tree

Also holds significant religious importance in Hinduism and other traditions, it’s the symbol of prosperity, In South it is worshipped in special festivals like Pongal. Food is offered on banana leaves on auspicious ceremonies, banana trees are usually associated with Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi

7. Lotus

One of the most important-plant, which symbolises beauty, purity and divinity, it is associated with goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati and Lord Brahma, it is seen as the manifestation of God, it also signifies wealth and prosperity.

8. Shami tree

Shami trees are also one of the sacred tree in Hindu culture, people plant Shami trees in their house and worship it every morning, it is said that in order to get blessing from Shanidev. People worship it and it also brings fortune. Hinduism holds religious and sacred beliefs about nature specially regarding the significance of trees as in the Rig Veda where it is written that trees have been the most important to humans since time immemorial. In many religious texts like Puranas importance of trees has been written, as the Hindu religion also believes that trees are the origin of life and will continue to be so until the end of time.

Article By Yashvi Kumar | Edited By Sanika Vahora