This is the mythological story, but it is a great “epic”, and I’m talking about the epic Ramayana Ramayana is an epic which is based on the fact that even if your life has to go, let it go but the promises made especially by the RAGHUVANSHIS’ has to be fulfilled. It is based on the following lines:-
“Raghukul Ki Reet Chali Aaye, Pran Jaye Par Vacchan Naa Jaye”
Ramayana is based on the principles and the flowing of Lord Rama and his actions, especially at the times when his wife was taken away by the King Of Demon Ravana. The manner that Lord Rama could behave and would exude the confidence in his warriors at the real crunch moment explains not only the greatness of the balance of the mind of Lord Rama but his show of valour which was filled with precise execution, a well-planned decision and above all the expedition.
Ramayana is an epic which completely reflects the magnanimous HEART that the eldest son Lord Rama possessed and the steps he took to fulfil all the necessities of everybody who had their expectations He ultimately was crowned the King of Ayodhya, but he had to sacrifice a lot of his own’s and their wishes to make them happy and contempt It also retells all the love that he had for the entire clan of his father King Dasaratha and his three brothers and a sister.
Being born in a family of the Kings and married to Devi Sitaji who was the daughter of the King Janak of Janakpur Sita Devi his wife had to give off the entire belongings of the Kingdom that could have been hers and had to sacrifice everything in terms of the benefits that a would be queen was to derive She had to go in for an exile to the jungle with her husband Lord ram was only 17 years of age when he had to desert his.
Kingdom and his wife were only 14 when she had to go with her husband to the jungles to accompany him and Laxman who was the brother of Lord Ram.
Obviously during those days the trio had to live at jungles which were full of demons, wild animals and they had nothing to eat except those jungle fruits which we can term it is the fruits that the jungle and its trees bore them They had either to stay under the trees with the leaves of the trees providing them with the shadows to ward off their tiredness and to eat the fruits if at all these tresses could serve them What were those trees and this is what is this article is all about.
The first of all such trees was the bamboo under which the trio took the shelter when they first crossed the boundary of Ayodhya and had to retire for rest during the night Thereafter the younger brother Laxman it was who would go to the jungle to collect and cut the bamboos and make a hut type of a shelter for them to stay over there for a few days before they would set their feet for their onward journey The roof of the huts that were built by Laxman every time would have the leaves of the trees of either the banana or the sal.
While moving forward the trio if at all they felt that the rest was necessary especially for Sita Devi to take a breather than they would choose the Sal tree and sit underneath them The Sal tree is famous for not only providing the best of the shadow underneath but the aroma it spreads at times completely kills the tiredness and infuses a kind of a life that one feels that there was no tiredness at all before we sat under the tree The Sal has its seed to offer which are of no use to human beings but the dry seed of the Sal produces the oil which are used in the factories where they prepare or manufacture the grease oils which again are used in the automobile That again the sal produces a kind of De-Oiled cakes which are good food for the animals especially those which yields the milk Thus these trees are very useful from the national point of view.
While the trio was moving from the portion of Uttar Pradesh than to the area of Madhya Pradesh especially in the region of Chattisgarh then, the trio as much as possible would sit under the Sougoaun tree to take the rest Obviously if they felt that they had to remain there for quite a few numbers of days then they would build their huts by the bamboos and would cover the roof by the broad leaves or the plantain leaves whatever was available but they mostly would sit under the Sougoaun trees to ward off their tiredness.
Incidentally Chattisgarh from a very long time had the distinction of possessing 36 forts during those days This trio did not know the name of the places when they were moving past that area However whenever they would come across any monks or the sadhus during that period of time they would say that they were passing through Chattisgarh This name Chattisgarh was given by Devi Sitaji who as said earlier was the wife of Lord Rama ” Chhatis ” means 36 in Hindi and ” Garh ” means the fort Chhattisgarh in that way means a land of 36 forts This was the name given to this land by Mataji Sita Devi Thus it acquired the name.
Having moved from the area of Chattisgarh, the trio had to cross the land of Kalinga then Kalinga now is known as Orissa Orissa is famous for Kendu leaves which now is known as Tendu and the Bargad which is again known as Banyan tree in English This tree has it’s own physical advantage This tree lives for about 1000 years and the kind of the structure that it possesses it is very hard to uproot the tree the roots are so strong and so deep that nothing can uproot them.
The hallmark of the tree is if in case you pluck the leaves the stem of the leaves will give a kind of a milk which is very useful It is said and believed that the milk of the Banyan tree is such that in case if you soak the spilling milk after plucking the leaves in the “Batasha” a sweet made out of the grinds of sugar and consume that the strength that one gain from that is simply unbelievable and unimaginable It is also believed that a lot of the warriors of the Rama Army like Bajrangbali, ie the Lord Hanuman, Angad, and the two brothers Bali and Sugriv took this as medicine during those days to add strength to their body They would collect the milk and dip the banana in it and eat the same The kind of strength that Bali had and Lord Hanumana had is nothing to describe It proves when one reads the Ramayana about them taking their opponent while they were on the prowl to kill their opponent.
At the place from where the trio had entered the Southern part of the country just crossing the Kalinga border for a few days the trio would sit under the Pipal tree to ward off their tiredness and then make a move forward It is said that both Lord Ram and his brother Laxman would get up very early in the morning at about 4.00Am, ie early morning which in Sanskrit then was referred as “PRATHA-BHOR” and collect a kind of the fruit that this tree would spill This would look like the “Mahua” as we call it.
The brothers would then wish that with water and boil it with milk before eating those fruits and thereafter drink the milk after their bath in the morning It is said that the Pipal tree spilling that kind of a fruit if taken the way these brothers took that not only produces extreme strength but it wards off the impotency.
Taking the leaf out of the book of Ramayana’s, the Indian rulers thereafter took to this ” medicine ” It was because these Indian rulers had to keep themselves in the company of many Queens in their palace To cite an example King man Singh whose sister Jodha Bai was married to Akbar had 35 wives to manage and control So was the case of King Manavendra Singh who has 16 wives, ie Queens to be taken care off.
Especially after Laxman was sent to the state of oblivion when he was trapped into the state of losing his life Lord Ram preferred to stay beside Laxman drawing him at the place where there was a lot of the Amla trees The Amla then proved to be the only food to the entire warriors that the Army of Lord Ram had with him to fight the demons of Ravana.
It is said and believed that when Lord Hanumana brought that ” Sanjeevini” root it was the juice of Amla that was mixed with the paste of the Sanjiveeni which served as a paste and when Lord Laxmana was given a dose of that the sourness of the Amla neutralized the bitterness of the poison that was in the body of Lord Laxman The Sanjiveeni thereafter infused the sense into the body of Lord Laxman and thereafter he killed Meghnad who was the son of Ravana.
This was again a fruit that the trio used at times and sat beneath that if they felt required
This was one fruit that the trio was depended upon It served them as everything in terms of their breakfast, lunch and dinner They lived on it This fruit ” bet ” has gained importance as this fruit is compulsory during the Maa Saraswati pooja and this is the fruit which has to be compulsorily offered to that puja else without it the puja is considered to be of no use.
In fact that Lady ” Shabari ” when she met Lord Rama for the first time and when the Lord said that he was hungry Shabari fed her with this fruit of BER It is believed that during the period of DWAPAR when the Pandava’s were on the exile, Lord Krishna had met Mahatma Vidhur whose wife treated Lord Krishna with the fruit ” ber ” During the conversation thereafter the Lord had convinced Bhishma Pitamah that Shabri of that era was the wife of Mahatma Vidhur, and she got this life because she fed Lord Rama with ” bet ” then and the Lord Ram was so impressed by the way Shanbri treated her showering so much of love and affection that for that great service that she had rendered to Lord Rama then, the rulers of heaven gave her this birth to be the wife of the greatest wise man then who was the Minister-in-Chief of the Court of the King Dhritarashtra and was a brother to Bhishma Pitamah This is the importance of the fruit and the history that is attached to it.
Banking on all those mythological beliefs the traditional womenfolk’s even now after the Saraswati puja distribute the ” ber ” as a ” Prasadam“, the i.e. offering of the Goddess to their husband hoping that their next life would be even better than this one.
Not to write and say anything more except this is a fruit which has 0.6 mg of natural GOLD in it If taken every day with milk it tones up the body in a manner that the veins and the nerves become as strong as a steel and it kills all the symptoms of illness within the body to keep it strong This was the recipe of Lord Hanuman who needs no write-ups when it comes to him being a strong man It balances the immunity of the body and tones the internal parts of the human body and that is the added advantage that this fruit serves.
This was another fruit that the trio was depended upon The milk that they would collect from the castle at the forest from the ashram where they would stay with the Sadhu’s, and these fruits were the ones who kept the trio alive for 14 years that they were in exile.
BLESSING OF MAA SITA DEVI:-
It is said and believed that when the trio was set to move up to their Kingdom Ayodhya after slaying Ravana, they again went to the jungle This time they are accompanied by Lord Hanumana and Sugreev as well as Vibhishana.
The trio went to each of the trees and offered their ” puja “ ie worshipped them for the GREAT help that these trees provided them not only as they say rest house to ward off their tiredness but also serving them with their fruit which was as good as their food For fourteen long years these were the trees and the fruits that came out of it, that served them in the way the ones who serve a human being.
At the time when they were finally to leave Lanka and set for Ayodhya it was Maa Sita Devi who blessed the Amla, the tamarind, the banana, the Pipal and above all the Banyan tree with the words that till the universe is there for the human beings to survive these trees will never be at the verge of or extinct and especially the banyan tree got a blessing that it would remain for at least a 1000 years if planted If by any mean if the Banyan tree is uprooted that land and the family of that one who uproots the tree will be finished by the mean of his family and its generation going to the bed of death which would belie the law of nature and natural death.
All the trees are very important from the national point of view as they not only provide the necessary fruits which are used for ayurvedic medicine but they help in producing incessant rainfall and keep the vegetations alive beside maintain the even temperature of the earth to produce rainfall beside maintaining the level of water underneath It was Maa Sita Devi who had then said that wherever these trees would be planted in abundance that area will never be affected by droughts and of it’s kind in any form and in any manner or matter.
These are the mythological IMPORTANCE of the trees mentioned here
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