Do you know the 4 sacred trees of Nepal? In a country of ancient spirituality and rich greenery, it’s no surprise that the two have combined. Here in the land of the Himalayas you’ll find the most sacred trees in Hinduism, and in the world.
Sacred trees of Nepal
Being a Himalayan region, Nepal has always been a land for yogis to practice and train in the science of liberation. Our ancestors were yogis who depended on plants and herbs in their everyday life, to stay healthy and also to aid them in their spiritual quest.
Yogis typically start their day with the chanting of “Vanaspate!”, an ode to the plants and trees –
“Please grant us life, strength, success, support, wealth and the divine knowledge to know and understand Brahma or self-realization”
Trees are sacred in Hinduism and the yogic tradition, and although all trees have important roles, some have more significance in worship because of their healing and transcendent qualities.
Our life depends on “prana” or oxygen which is produced by trees. There is no life without trees. The sacred trees of Hinduism and Nepal are special for scientific reasons as well as spiritual ones.
So, here are the 4 sacred trees in Hinduism that play an important role in healing and creating a healthy environment for us to live and expand.
1) Banyan Tree (bargad tree)
The Banyan tree is one of the most recognisable sacred trees in Hinduism. It is a majestic tree known as the manifestation of lord Shiva, seen in its long dreadlock like roots that descend from its vast branches.
There is a strong ritual of worshipping this tree in order to protect and maintain the connection between us, nature and divine.
Women, in particular, offer water and circle the banyan tree which has the effect of improving the hormonal cycle.
The shade of the huge canopy of a Banyan tree calms the mind which is why you see people gathering, meeting, learning or meditating under this tree.
2) Peepal Tree (sacred fig)
A Peepal tree keeps the surrounding environment clean by killing harmful bacteria and is a great source of oxygen. For this reason, this impressive tree has importance in both Buddhism and Hinduism and many yogis have chosen this tree to meditate beneath.
While the Banyan is known as Lord Shiva, the Peepal is known as Lord Vishnu. Hindus perform astrological rituals with the Peepal tree to heal their Saturn problems and it is said that the gods become happy and bless devotees with intelligence since this tree is meant to be home for all the gods.
3) Neem Tree
In Ayurveda, Neem is considered as Sarvo Roga Nivarini, the one which heals all diseases. It is known for its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities and is used in many medicines, skincare, health and beauty products as well as insect repellants.
The spiritual reflection of this is that the Neem Tree is connected with Maa Durga who protects us all. On Tuesdays, people worship the Neem tree as Maa Durga in the hope that she will cure their ailments and protect them and their families.
Neem trees are usually found where people live, in villages and cities, rather than forest regions, perhaps this is because they are very good at absorbing pollution, making the area clean and free of harmful chemicals. Nature always seems to provide us with her remedies!
4) Beal Tree (wood apple)
In Sanskrit, the Beal Tree is known as Bilva. It is a tree of great significance in Hinduism and scriptures say that just seeing and touching the tree starts the flow of positive energy in our system.
The Beal Tree is considered very dear to Lord Shiva and the leaves are used as offering to him as a symbol of surrender of our ego to divine.
The roots, leaves and fruits of the Beal Tree are used in treating various diseases especially stomach related problems. In summer the fruit juice is very helpful for digestion.
For the spiritual practitioner, this tree is meant to be a great aid on the spiritual path and helps in meditation, even from just being around the tree.
Which is your favourite sacred tree in Hinduism? Have you seen any of these in Nepal?
Join us on one of our next pilgrimages and we’ll show you some of the most impressive sacred trees in Nepal. Message us below or join our email list to find out when the next one will be.