Why do Hindus consider the Peepal tree holy?

Peepal is the most worshipped tree among all trees as per Hindu customs. The Taittriya Samhita  confirms the significance of the Peepal tree. The importance of this tree has been described in the Brahmvaivartpuran.

In the Padampuran, it has been written that Peepal tree is another form of Lord Vishnu. So, it holds  special importance in religious rituals. As it is believed, Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi reside in the tree on the day of  Somapati Amavasya (the dark night of the month that falls on a Monday), it gains divinity and turn to an object to be worshipped. It is offered prayers for various auspicious occasions year around. Often described as a divine tree, it is an object of prayer.

In the Skandpuran, Nagar, 247/41-44, it is said:

Vishnu resides in the root of the Peepal tree. Keshav (another name for Krishna) resides in the trunk, Narayan in the branches, Lord Hari in the leaves and all the gods reside in the fruits. This tree is like the idol of Vishnu. All good people serve the virtues of this tree. This tree is full of all kinds of virtues and has the ability to fulfill desires and absolve the sins of people.

 In the Bhagavad Gita, 10/26, Lord Krishna says:

Amongst trees I am the Peepal tree.

The Padampuran suggests offering prayers and circumambulating the Peepal tree blesses with a long life. Offering water to the tree makes you sin free and grants you a place in the heaven. Our forefathers are supposed to rest in the Peepal tree and its shades is also considered as a pilgrimage.

Hindu women pray Peepal by putting oil lamps near the roots, to be blessed with sons as they believe good souls reside in the tree to fulfill their desires. Threads are also tied on the trunks of Peepal to get desires fulfilled. Shani’s shadow is believed to reside in the tree, so people pray the tree to get rid of Shani’s wrath.

Being unaffected by diseases and pests, the barks, leaves and fruits of Peepal are used for medicinal purposes. The leaves are also used for performing puja in various occasions by preparing buntings out of it. Lakshmi is believed to stay in the tree only after sun rise, so worshipping the tree is denied before sun rise. Cutting down a Peepal tree is no less crime than killing a Brahmin. The shades of the Peepal tree are found more cold than that of other trees and it has also high converting capacity of carbon dioxide to oxygen.

Think it over…

“Within the body resides the Unknowable One;

But those who are foolish and proud know not the truth, And search for Him without.”

-Guru Nanak


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