Encyclopedia of Vedic Astrology: Remedies: Vastushastra and Feng Shui, Chapter XIII, Part – 9

Dr. Shanker Adawal

Vastu and Sacred Vegetation

Part 1

Lord Vishnu is ssociated with various trees and the Tulasi plant as per the Pauranik traditions. Certain trees, plants and some other items have their own place of importance in the Hindu life style and tradition including Vastu Sastra during initial puja ceremony and remedies, these are used, since the approach of Vastu is scientific, but the goal is always spiritual.

Asvattha (Pippala) Tree- The Skanda Purana, says that Vishnu is the same as the Asvattha tree and this tree is to be worshipped as Vishnu, the idol of the latter is not available. Especially in the Karttika month, worship of this is enjoined. As Vishnu is closely associated with the Asvattha tree, it is interesting to note and it is not surprising that even the semblance of the latter should figure in the worship offered to the Sun, which is identified with Asvattha in the brahmanical ritual tradition. The Brahmanda P. enjoins that before engaging in the muttering of sacred formula of the goddess Lalita, one should give offering to the Sun in a vessel or ladle shaped like the leaf of Asvattha. The Padma P. contains a mantra, which identifies the Asvattha tree with the Bodhisattva and which states that the Asvattha tree is the resort of Vishnu. It is worth noting that the mention of the Bodhisattva here is clearly the influence of the concept of Vishnu’s incarnation as the Buddha. Bodhisattva is slightly less in status that of the Buddha but spiritually is on par with him. The same Purana says that in ancient times, when the demons defeated the gods, the latter entered the trees to save their vital breaths, assuming a subtle form. At that time, Vishnu took resort in the Asvattha tree.

It has been accepted as the most auspicious and divine tree and is being worshipped all over the country. Lord Krishna had declared that `Among trees I am Aswatha’. Modern scientists too admit that the oxygen produced by this tree is very strong, heavy and concentrate below the branches. To circumambulate the tree early in the morning, before the Sun rays fall on the tree is considered very healthy. According to Indian tradition, it is a must near every temple. Since its roots spread to a very large area it should be planted sufficiently away from any structure. These sacred trees have very long life and there are trees which have survived for centuries and also they are prohibited from being cut.

Vata (Banyan) Tree- Though the Vata tree is associated with Siva and some goddesses such as Candi, Sasthi, it is also associated with Vishnu. The Varaha P; gives that Vishnu Himself says that he resides on the Vata tree. The Brahma P. says that the Vata tree is called here Purusesa (Lord of men i.e. Vishnu). When the whole earth gets submerged in the flood, at the time of deluge, Vishnu as an Jagannathapuri, a Vata tree is mentioned as being the form of Vishnu. The Agni says that if a person dies at the place, where the Aksaya Vata is situated at Prahaga, he is said to reach the Visnupuri. It is said by the Skansa P. that Vishnu is present in the Bodhi tree and then in all trees.

Amalaki- The worship of this tree is enjoined on the Vaikuntha Caturdasi, which is the fourteenth day of the bright half of Karttika when the idols of Radha and Krisna are said to be worshipped under this tree as well as in the grove of Tulsi. The Padma P. and Skanada P. point out that Vishnu is believed to stay at the root of the tree, the men at the top of it and many gods and sages at the branches and on the joints thereof.

Tamarind tree- said to be the resort of Vishnu. The Skanda P. says that the trees are said to be produced from the body-hair of Vishnu.

Turmeric powder and kumkum are known as Mangala Draivyas i.e. auspicious powders. They are used in all the religious functions and daily pujas and are daily applied to threshold, as it is believed that germs, worms and even evil spirits keep away from them. Turmeric power is extensively used in cooking because of its digestive power. It clears irritating throats too. It has not only many other medicinal values but also pleasing bright yellow colour and smell. A mix of coconut oil and turmeric powder applied over body before bath prevents many skin diseases.


Dr. Shanker Adawal

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