For the Students of Hindu Vedic Astrology by Dr. A. Shanker

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Encyclopedia of Vedic Astrology: Remedies: Vastushastra and Feng Shui, Chapter XIII, Part – 11

Dr. Shanker Adawal

Vastu and Sacred Vegetation

Part 3

Neem- This tree has great medicinal value and also acts as pesticide. Neem oil is used in physiotherapy. Its leaves are very bitter in taste and seed in powered form purifies water. Bunch of leaves are tied to the entrance door during festivals and holy-days as it is considered propitious. A mixture of neem leaves and jiggery is offered on Ugaadi day as a symbolic representation of taking oath to share joys and sorrows of life with equanimity.

Mango- Most of the parts of mango tree has medicinal value. Its leaves act as pesticide and are also popularly used for brushing teeth. Mango fruits are very delicious and good for health, but they are only seasonal. Varieties of pickles can be prepared out of mangoes. Its seeds are used for curing many diseases. Bunch of leaves are used for decoration of entrance doors during festivals and holy-days and mango leaves adore the sacred `Kalasha’ during Kalasha puja. Wooden planks from its tree trunk are used for RCC centring and other works. It is also considered auspicious to cremate dead bodies with its fire-wood. Mango tree too have long life and there are trees surviving for more that 500 to 600 years and still yielding fruits.

Jack- Like mango tree this too has its own utility and importance in many ways and it has along life. Apart from its big fruit, which is also seasonal, the beautiful yellow coloured wood from it is used for making furniture’s, doors and windows etc. Its leaves are considered auspicious and they adore `Kalasha’ as an alternative along mango leaves.

Banana- These plants are used in decoration of entrance door of houses, pandals etc, during functions as a symbol of prosperity and wealth. Its leaves are widely used for eating food since it is considered as very hygienic. Plantains are used as vegetable when raw and also as fruit when ripe. In many of the temples flowers tied with cotton thread are prohibited and those tied with the yarn of these plants only are accepted. Since it is available throughout the year, it occupies the place of pride in the offerings to God.

Coconut- This tree is known also as Kalpavriksha and is considered as a sacred tree like Aswatha. It has a long life of about 100 to 150 years and is prohibited from being cut. Every part of the tree has its use for human beings. Since it is available throughout the year it occupies the centre place in the offering to God, and also in `Kalasha’. Tender coconut water is one of the main items used for abhisheka (bathing) of the deity. It is a healthy drink too. Oil can be extracted from the fruit and its shell can be used as a high grade fire wood. There are other by-products of its various parts-like broom, coir mat, carpet, etc.

Betel Leaf- Betel leaves along with nuts (areca-nut) are as much important as coconut, banana, flowers and agarbathi in the offerings to God, and is available throughout the year. It has a very good digestive power and therefore is recommended for daily consumption after a good meal.

Betal Nut (Arecant)- Set of betel nuts and leaves is one of the important daily offering to God. The tender flowers of the tree, before they bloom and become nuts, are considered very auspicious in all religious ceremonies and is considered as an important item in the worship of Naaga.

Bilva Tree- Tulasi leaves are used in the worship of Vishnu and Bilva leaves in the worship of Shiva. In worshipping Ganesha neither of these is used but only one selected kind of grass known as Kasike or Garike. Branches of bilva tree are used in various religious functions. Aayurveda reveals that a mixture of leaves of Tulasi, bilva and neem in a specific proportion can practically cure most of the diseases of mankind.

Sandal Wood- Without fragment sandal paste there can be no puja or any religious ceremony. It is also used in various handicrafts. Its oil has a great commercial value apart from being used in the manufacture of agarbathis.

The trees and plants from vegetation-word are so greatly associated with Lord Vishnu that in the cult of Jagannatha, the very tree-cult is seen assimilated in the Vishnu-Krishna-cult.
Kalasha is the sanctified water used for purification of a place or person.

Dr. Shanker Adawal

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