Banyan Tree, India

Banyan trees are the sacred trees in Hindu Mythological and Ayurveda, it is also referred to as “Bargad” or “Bargad ka ped” in Hindi. Its mention is present in many Royal Epics and Puranas of Hindu Mythology. The names of many of the important Gods also begin with Banyan word. Banyan tree is a form of Vishnu the most powerful god. The story behind it was, once upon a time there was a water scarcity in this world.

To make the whole world fertile, Lord Vishnu start growing banyan tree from his navel (on earth). When he grew fully on earth, she started growing roots on one side of the earth and later spread across the world. The four "rishi"s (Brahmins) were living in four corners of the earth – North East, South East, South West and North West respectively. So they were the witnesses of this miracle done by Lord Vishnu.

The present work is an effort to provide the readers with basic information of a Banyan tree with respect to its botanical, Ayurvedic, social, historical and environmental aspects. The scientific name of the Banyan tree is Ficus benghalensis. It is a medium sized evergreen tree which grows in tropical regions of the world. The health benefits of the banyan tree leaves are many and thus it is popularly known as “Vrikshagni” meaning “Tree of Life”.

East and South Asian tradition, deathly ill patients are brought to the banyan tree for treatment. The root of a banyan tree is considered a sacred seat for manifestation of gods and goddesses, any kind of religious activity may be performed in its vicinity.

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