Assets of Indian Tourism: The Trees of HOPE !


“Soch raha houn, ghar angan me, ek lagaoo Aam ka ped, Khatta Khatta, Mettha Mettha, yaani…. tere naam ka pedh”

(Have been thinking, that in the courtyard of my house, I plant a mango tree, that sweet and sour taste, would symbolize ‘you’)

I heard the lines above, some years back, and somehow it just registered in my mind. What is very interesting is that one is trying to correlate his human relationship, with a Tree! When I turn to the Indian philosophy, I find this relationship with Trees is even more intense and is very spiritual?

The Christmas tree is decorated with fruits, nuts, gifts, ornaments and lights around the world. I could not understand its symbolical value and have some questions. Why does the humanity find HOPE and JOY, in a tree? Is it a way to thank the nature for giving us so much, or is there some deeper meaning in this gesture?

I looked around in my courtyard and found some of the Indian HOPE trees, which are surely the assets of Indian Tourism!

a. The Buddhist tree:The first on the list is the Mahabodhi tree, at Bodhgaya.

 This is the tree where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Now, the Tree gets an all together a new supreme dimension. Lord Buddha had many births/ lives in his search of truth of life and amazingly, he could understand ‘enlightenment’ under this Tree. To understand Enlightenment, it’s important to know the Four Noble Truths, which are the foundation of Buddhism. The truths are:

  1. The truth of suffering
  2. The truth of the cause of suffering
  3. The truth of the end of suffering
  4. The truth of the path that frees us from suffering

I am in no capacity, able to address the truths above. But I intend to understand the correlation with the Tree. The very fact, that such a relationship may exist, between enlightenment and the Tree, makes it so important.  

b. The Sufi Tree: One more special tree, I came across is the tree at Matka Pir in New Delhi, near Pragati Maidan.  

Well, Matka pir was a Sufi saint and is today a very popular shrine in Delhi. This  is dedicated to a holy man who answered the prayers of a man and his wife. Now, what should be understand when we see these earthen pots (matkas), filled with dal and jaggery, hung to this Tree of hope? Are these matkas, anything else but Indian hopes and beliefs?

 c. The Hindu trees: Hinduism if I may say, does not tell its meaning directly. Instead, it would make a story around it first. We are expected to search for the moral of the story. There are many close associations with the tree and the Hindu religion. But I would like to choose one ritual of Vat- Savitri puja to understand the relationship. The Hindu women pray to the tree, for the well-being and a longer life of their husbands. One may tie threads or may put some bells, in HOPE, on these trees. This is amazing!

 

 d: The Sikh tree:  Another example of tree representing a larger moral, is the sacred tree in Gurudwara Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi . It is believed that appreciating the fruit bearing qualities of the tree, Guru Nanak planted the twig near the site of meditation which blossomed into a grand tree and bears fruit even today. It is believed that Guru Nanak Dev gave the message of unity of God, who is beyond the religious divides created by humankind.

What a range of Hope- from enlightenment, to have a baby, to the longer life of one’s husband? I think, these are the Trees of HOPE and BELIEF of Indian culture! Lets take care of them, as they are so symbolic and very very important.

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9 responses to “Assets of Indian Tourism: The Trees of HOPE !

  1. Hi Vikash — this is very thought provoking / enlightening in fact a very good start to a very wide subject.

    I would like you to cover Trees like “Peepal Tree” which also has a tremendous “MANYATA” amongst Hindu’s, Sikhs/Buddhists/ Sikhs etc. The IMLI tree is another — the religious importance of MANGO Tree – we use the Tree leaves in a traditional way during Puja, Havan etc.

    One cannot very easily segregate “Trees” from “Bushes / Plants “Tulsi” in another plant that comes to mind which has unquestioned faith of not only Hindus but also of many other religions,

    “Mehendi” Tree /Bush are another such plant which has tremendous traditional and religious acceptance amongst many religions (use for / during beauty treatment/ Hair care by one and all.

    You might consider it prudent to look in to how these uses / acceptances have come in to being and also if biological these uses can be proved to be beneficial?

    I have deliberately avoided the mention of many other spice plants which have world wide acceptance of being medically beneficial to mankind for specific purposes.
    But you deserve congratulations on this start /Blog

  2. very good effort. will wait for more on this blog. well done.

  3. AshokKumar Sharma

    आर्तिमान त्रिपाठी के विचारों से मैं सहमत हूँ। हमें यह बात दिल से स्वीकारनी होगी कि वन से जीवन है। वेदों-उपनिषदों में भी वृक्षारोपण का महत्व वर्णित है। पीपल का पेड़ अधिक मात्रा में ऑक्सीजन अव्मुक्त करता है । पीपल पल्लव बहुत तेज़ी से वायुमंडल की कार्बन डाई आक्साइड ग्रहण करते हैं। उसकी जड़ें जमीन में गहरे जाकर जल पहुँचाती है। पीपल के अलावा बरगद, नीम, आम, पाकड़, शीशम, बाँझ (ओक), मौलश्री, अर्जुन, गूलर, जामुन, महुआ, इमली, ढाक, साल, सागौन, कचनार, गुलमोहर और अमलतास भी पर्यावरण मित्र हैं। वस्तुतः हर वृक्ष ही अनेक प्रकार से उपयोगी है। सभी तरह के पेड़ों में कोई न कोई विशेषता होती है । खास तौर से पीपल, नीम, पाकड़ और देशी बबूल के पेड़ मिट्टी के क्षरण को रोक कर भूमि की उर्वरा शक्ति बढ़ाते हैं । इसी तरह तुलसी, अश्वगंधा, हरड़, घृतकुमारी की चिकित्सकीय महत्ता है । बबूल, गुलमोहर, अर्जुन, सिरस कदंब और अमलतास के पेड़ बंजर नम तथा कूड़े-करकट वाली जमीन को भी उपयोगी बनाते है । ध्वनि प्रदूषण रोकने वाले पेड़ों में अशोक, नीम, बरगद कचनार पीपल एवं सेमल सर्वोपरि है । गैसीय प्रदूषण को अवशोषित करने वाले पेड़ों में बेल, बोगनविलिया, शीशम, पीपल, महुआ इमली, तथा नीम का नाम है । ऊसर, क्षारीय, लवणीय तथा भारी धात्विक प्रदूषण से युक्त बंजर भूमि पर नींबू घास, पामरोज, वेटीवर, केमोमिल, कालमेघ, खस, सेट्रोनिला तथा जावा घास लगाने की संस्तुति विशेषज्ञ करते हैं ।

  4. srinivas banda

    good compile

  5. Culture: a sign of the time and believes………in color :)

  6. भारतीय संस्कृति में पेड़ों के महत्व के बारे में कोई नयी बात नहीं की जा सकती है . यह तो निर्विवाद है और हमारी रग-रग में रचा- बसा है. गर्भ धारण से लेकर मृत्यु तक पेड़ हमारे अस्तित्व के अविभाज्य अंग हैं. “एक वृक्ष सौ पुत्र सामान” का उद्घोष देने वाली भारतीय संस्कृति के इस मूल स्वर को हम भूल चुके हैं और इस जीवन श्रृंखला को ही नष्ट करने पर आमादा हैं – कभी मजबूरी में तो कभी जानबूझकर. मुझे याद है अपने एक परिचित पुलिस दारोगा जी की बात, जो काफी ईमानदार मने जाते थे- पढ़े लिखे थे . उनका कहना था की मैं अपने इलाके में किसी को सताता नहीं हूँ – लेकिन अपनी और विभाग की जरूरतों को पूरा करने के पैसा तो चाहिए ही. इसलिए एक गलत काम करता हूँ, जिससे आत्मा तो कचोटती है पर मजबूरी है. और वह यह की पेड़ों को काटने देता हूँ. मुझे लगता है की इस तरह के ब्लॉग हमें अपनी संस्कृति को पहचानने और उसे पुनर्परिभाषित करने में मदद देंगे . वाकई बहुत अच्छा लेख है. एक तथ्य और जोड़ना चाहता हूँ. शायद उपयोगी हो. उत्तराखंड में एक गुरुद्वारा है. वहां रीठे का एक पेड़ है. इसके फल मीठे होते हैं. कहते है की एक सिख गुरु की कृपा से इसका रीठा मीठा होता है और इसी लिए इस स्थान को रीठा साहेब कहते हैं. भारत वर्ष में इस तरह के किस्सों की भरमार है. बस, जरूरत है तो इस दिशा में काम करने की और इन्हें सामने लाने की.

  7. Separating the tree from Indian culture is simply impossible. People paying obeisance at Shirdi, never forget that Banyan. Or, think of people of Dhahra village of Bhagalpur, who plant mango trees when a girl child is born. The importance of tree in our socio-economic setup has been beautifully portrayed by Rahi Massom Raza in his work ‘Neem Ka Ped’. In every nook and corner of the country you will find a legendary tree, which does not belong to the forest, rather to the society.

  8. Nice Blog…. I Like It

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