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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Plants used in Lord Shiva Rituals and Worships in Uttarakhand

Plant Myths, Religious Importance, and Traditions in Uttarakhand (Himalaya) - 31
By: Bhishma Kukreti, M.Sc. (Botany) (Mythology, Culture Research Scholar)
  Mahabharata and Lord Shiva influenced the most Uttarakhand in terms of religious rituals, culture and society.
   There are following important plants for worshipping or performing Lord Shiva Rituals.-
                     Bel or Wood Apple
Botanical name –Aegle marmelos correa
Local name – Bel
Hindi Name –Bel, Bael
Sanskrit Name –Vilva, Bilva
Economic benefits –Fruits are used for pickle and medical uses.

                   Myths, Religious Importance and Traditions
  Bel or Wood apple is a sacred tree. The three leaves together of Wood Apple or Vilva or Bel look like trident (Trishul ) the emblem of Lord Shiva.  It is belief that these three leaves represent Shiva for s ‘Creation’, Preservation’ and ‘Destruction’.  The three leaves of Bel or wood apple as Sin removers too. People pay tribute to Lord Shiva in his temple by offering Vilva/bel leaves as bilpatri/belpatri on Shiv Linga
 Shiva devotees worship bel tree in moths as Marshirsha and  Falgun. .
  In Banhadadharma Puran, the sacred tree came in existence from the cut breast of Lakshmi while she was worshiping Shiva.That is why bel fruit is called fruit of destiny.
 As Banhi Puran, Lakshmi was cow in a birth and from her dung, Bel tree was born.
 There are stories about bel related to Lord Rama too.
In Skand Puran, the tree merged from sweat from  Parvati forehaed.
        Likewise, there are many other region wise folk stories and stories of  legends connected with Bel tree in Shiv Puran, Garur Purans,.
  Ritual Performers use Bel wood for Homa or havan.
 There are more than 108 mantras for offering belpatra on Shiva Linga.

Myths, Religious Uses and Traditions about Plant Ak , Milk Weed  for Lord Shiva rituals

Botanical name –Calotropis procera
Local Name – Ank, Ak
Hindi Name –Ak
Sanskrit Name – Madar
                                           ---Economic benefits –--
Medical uses- used in stomach ulcer, diarrhea, constipation, toothache, cramps, joint pains etc.
Furniture, Agriculture Instruments, wood etc.- Fibers from stem and was sued in making ropes, bags and paper. The plant is useful for soil fertility too.
                                            Ak for Rituals
  Ak has white flowers with blueish color touch, Therefore, the Ak is connected with the blue throat of Lord Shiva by gulping and stopping poison at the time of Samudra Manthan or ocean Churning.  
Myths, Religious Uses and Traditions about Rudraksha, Utrasum Bead Plant for Lord Shiva Rituals
      Rudrakasha beads are called tears of l Lord Shiva and people perceive Rudrakasha beads as auspeciou  beads and use in Shiva worshipping
Botanical name – Elaeocarpus granitus
Local Name – Rudraksha
Hindi Name –Rudraksha
Sanskrit Name – Rudrakasha
                                           ---Economic benefits –--
Medical uses- As Electromagnetic and inductive uses
         Myths, Religious Uses and Traditions about Datura Plant for Lord Shiva rituals
  Datura plants are symbolic to Lord Shiva for
Botanical name – Datura metel
Local Name – Dhatura
Hindi Name – Dhattura
Sanskrit Name –Dhattura
                                           ---Economic benefits –--
Medical uses- Ayurveda medicines used in curing asthma, impotency, glaucoma, urine troubles and anesthetic uses.
Myths, Religious Uses  and Traditions  about Peeli Kaner, Lucky Nut Plant for Lord Shiva rituals
   Lord Shiva liked Peeli Kaner and people offer Peele Kaner flowers to Lord Shiva
Botanical name –Thevitia peruviana
Local Name – Peeli Kaner
Hindi Name – Peeli Kaner
Sanskrit Name – Haripriya
                                           ---Economic benefits –--
Medical uses- A poison plant but its parts are used in Ayurveda medicines
Antifungal uses for painting trees base

Myths, Religious Uses and Traditions about Chandan, Sandal Plant for Lord Shiva rituals
             Apart from Chandan wood being used in funeral, homa /yagya, in various social functions, making agarbattis; Hindus  paste Chandan paste to Shiva Linga in three lines, People also use Chandan paste on putting on forehead. It is believed that Lord Shiva is always in highly inflammable state and it is essential to paste Chandan paste on Shiv Linga for calming down Lord Shiva.    
Botanical name – Santalum album
Local Name –Chandan
Hindi Name – Chandan
Sanskrit Name – Anindita
                                           ---Economic benefits –--
Medical uses- Sandal oil is used in treating skin disorder, acne, dysentery , gonorrhea and other disorder   
Myths, Religious Uses  and Traditions  about  Hemp , Cannabis Plant for Lord Shiva rituals
  People believe that Lord Shiva uses Bhang for anti-cold purpose. People also believe that Lord take hemp for lowering down his anger and for long meditation.
  On Shiv Ratri day, people take hemp juice (crushed seeds with milk and other spices).  People also take Bhang leaves Pakaude on that auspicious day.
Botanical name – Canabis sativa
Local Name –Bhang
Hindi Name –Bhang
Sanskrit Name – Bahuvadini
                                           ---Economic benefits –--
Medical uses- used in various Ayurveda medicines.
Furniture, Agriculture Instruments, wood etc. wood, fibers for various uses. In past hemp fiber clothing was very common In Uttarakhand
Food Uses – Important and a must spices of Uttarakhand.
Decoration -
Myths, Religious Uses and Traditions  about Ber, Jujube  Plant for Lord Shiva rituals
   People offer Jujube fruits to Lord Shiva, especially is compulsory on Shiva Ratri. People offer ber /Jujube as jujube fruit is symbolic for longevity and gratification of desire.
Botanical name –Zizyphus mauritiana
Local Name – Ber
Hindi Name –Ber
Sanskrit Name – Badari
                                           ---Economic benefits –--
Medical uses- Fruits are used as sedative in cuts and injuries. Ber parts are  used in various medicines
Furniture, Agriculture Instruments, wood etc.--hard wood for various wood uses .
Food Uses – Fruits as fruits and for making beverages and making pickles too.
Copyright@ Bhishma KukretiMumbai 2017
Plant Myths  , Religious Plants, Religious Importance, Traditions , Garhwal, Uttarakhand ; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Kumaon, Uttarakhand ;Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, Himalaya; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, North India; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, South Asia, Religious Plants Garhwal, Religious Plants Kumaon, Religious Plants Dehradun , Religious Plant Haridwar .वनस्पति ज्योतिष वनस्पति तंत्रवनस्पति मंत्र

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