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Dr. Bharti Raizada
Trees give us shade, fruits, wood, oxygen, shelter, fragrance, medicines, sap, flowers, leaves, etc. They also prevent erosion near water bodies. But trees can also be sacred, according to religious beliefs.
Some trees are considered sacred in Hinduism. Many of these are big, have a long life, and provide many things to humans and have folklore associated with them.
It is also known by the name of Haripriya or Vishnupriya or Shripriya.
It is usually planted and grown in front or center of a Hindu house and the structure around it is called Tulsi Vrindavan. Tulsi plant is considered very auspicious. Tulsi Vivah is celebrated between Prabodhini Ekadasi and Kartik Purnima.
Its leaves are used in puja and offered to Vishnu Bhagwan. It is used in making tea, tulsi water, and jap mala or tulsi mala.
This plant is useful in the treatment of cough, cold, muscle aches, gout, rheumatic arthritis, and insect bites.
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Just to clarify, banyan tree is not banana tree. In Hindi it is called argad. It is also known by the name of Strangler Fig or Nyagrodha. One indestructible Banyan tree is in Prayag and is called Akshya Vat. Another is in Gaya, Bihar, and one is in Varanasi. It is the national tree of India. This tree’s roots and branches grow over a very large area and it has a very long life. The roots and branches can grow in fissures of stones, concrete, walls of building, etc. The roots even grow upwards and connect to branches to give them support. This tree usually grows on or around a host e.g. other tree, and eventually destroys that host tree, building, stone, etc. Nothing grows under its shade. Initially they need a lot of water, but when fully grown they can live without water for a long time.
The Great Banyan tree in the Indian Botanic Garden is the largest Banyan tree. It has many aerial roots and looks like a forest. Bargad tree provides a lot of shade to temples, homes, shops, and pedestrians. People sit down under its shade and hold meetings, discussions, etc. Rishis and sadhus sit down under this tree and meditate. Women offer prayers to this tree and ask for a long married life on Vat Savitri Purnima. This tree is used to treat skin diseases, female infertility, to stop bleeding, diarrhea, joint pain, tooth ache, etc. Milk sap is used to polish brass utensils. Sap is also used as an adhesive and polish.
Also called fig, Bodhi, and ashvat. It is considered to be the king of trees. Mahavir Buddh got enlightenment under a Peepal tree and Bhagwan Krishn left his human body under a peepal tree. It keeps growing as it ages, its branches hang down, its roots grow very deep inside the earth, and it has a very long life. Rishis and sadhus meditate under its shade. In the morning people do seven pradakshinas around this tree.
Its medicinal use is in treatment of asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, gastrointestinal upset, and wounds.
‘Shok’ means sorrow or grief. Ashok means no sorrow or grief. This tree has a zillion names. Some are- sita-ashoka, anganpriya, ashopalav, asupala, apashaka, hemapushp, kankeli, madhupushp, pindapushp, pindipushp, vanjula, vishoka, and vichitra. It is found in rain forest and its flowers are red and yellow. Its fruit contain multiple seeds. Lots of folklore is associated with this tree. Ravan kept Sitaji in Ashok Vatika. It is used to treat depression and infertility.
There is one other tree which resembles the Ashok tree. It is called false Ashok tree. Its flowers are green in color, its fruit has only one seed, and it is taller than the Ashok tree.
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It is in Kintoor, near Barabanki in U.P. It is also known as kalpvriksh. It is believed that Krishn brought this tree to earth from Indralok and it is more than a thousand years old. There are many stories associated with this tree. It grows flowers, but not fruit or seeds, so more parijaat trees cannot grow.
Sandalwood or Chandan
It has a very nice and unique fragrance and its powder or paste form is used for tilak.
It is also used to make agarbatti, soap, and in aroma therapy. Its wood is used in temple construction. The wood retains its fragrance for many years. Oil is also extracted from wood. Jains, Buddhs, Sufis, Zoroastrians, Chinese, and Japanese also use sandalwood. It is grown in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Australia.
It is used to treat cold, bronchitis, skin, liver, gallbladder, urinary tract and heart diseases, general weakness, fever.
Also called kalptaru, kalpdrup, kalpadapa, surtaru, devtaru, and kalplata. It is the wish fulfilling tree. It appeared during samundra manthan. Indra Devta took it to Devlok and planted it in Surkanan Van. There are five Kalpvriksh in Devlok — Banyan, Parijat, Mandana, Santana, and Harichandan.
On Earth, banyan tree, coconut tree, ashvatta or sacred fig tree, mahua, shami, chyur or indian butter tree, and kalplatha are considered kalpvriksh.
Jains believe that there are 10 kalpvriksha and Buddists believe that there is one kalpvriksh.
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Also known as shivadruma or shriphal. Its branches are straight. Its leaves grow in a group of three, have a very sweet fragrance, and are called belpatra. The leaves have anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties and are used for protecting stomach and controlling cholesterol. Bael leaves are offered to Shivji. Its fruit is called Bilva, and is like wood from outside, and therefore this tree is also called wood apple tree. It grows in dry climate and is usually grown in temple gardens. It is used as a laxative, tonic, and in treatment of diabetes and hemorrhoids. It has antibiotic and antiemetic properties.
It is also called healing tree, and is drought resistant. Its leaves are offered to Shivji. Dried leaves are used to protect clothes from insects. Neem tree has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It is used for skin diseases and to treat diabetes. Its twigs are used to clean teeth. Smoke made by burning neem leaves makes bees, insects, etc. fly away. Its fruit is called nimboli. Neem is eaten on the occasions of Ugadi and Gudi Padva.
Coconuts are offered during arti and prayers and are broken on auspicious occasions. Copra or dried water is used to make oil, husk or coir is used to make ropes, the white part is eaten, and the brown shell is used as wood to make boats. Its flowers give sugar.
Mango leaves are used for auspiciousness and offered to Saraswati Devi. They are also used in hawan.
Banana leaves are offered to Laxmi Devi and Vishnu Bhagwan and also used as plates. Fruit is offered as Prasad.
Bamboo is used to make Bansuri.
The leaves are offered to Ram Bhagwan and are used to treat leprosy and intestinal diseases and have anti-inflammatory properties. Its roots are used in diarrhea and dysentery. Flowers are used to prevent miscarriage and pods to treat urological diseases.
Sami tree can grow in adverse climate and its roots go very deep into the soil. Its leaves remain green even in drought.
Jackfruit tree or Kathal
It has a unique aroma. Its pulp gives a mixed smell of pineapple and banana. It is the largest fruit in the world and has multiple seeds in one fruit. Wood is used to make musical instruments e.g. veena, mridangam, thimila and kanjira. It is also used to make furniture, doors, windows, and roofs.
The sacred Jackfruit tree site is on Kaina Hill of Bhashmukh parvat in Manipur. Seven Krishna images were carved from this tree and then placed in different temples.
Trees are not considered sacred and prayers are not offered to them in Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, but they are mentioned for their benefits in Bible and Quran. Jews have some rules and guidelines to follow before cutting trees, particularly fruit bearing trees.
There is a Gurudwara known by the name Shree Ber Sahib. Sikhs believe that Guru Nanak Dev sat down and meditated for more than 14 years under a Ber tree near this gurudwara.There are three Ber trees in Golden Temple, Amritsar—Dukhbhanjan Beri, Ber Baba Budha Sahib, and Lachi Ber.
Some trees mentioned in Quran are the date, palm, fig, olive, pomegranate, and tamarisk. Tuba is like Kalpvriksh.
Trees mentioned in the Bible are almond, apple, date (khajoor), palm (devdar in Hindi), fig (anjir in Hindi), oak (baloot), pine, tamarisk (jhaoo or farash or jhambook) , pomegranate, walnut, acasia (babul).
Druits and Celts—alder, apple, ash, birch, blackthorn, cedar, elder, elm, fir, hazel, holly, juniper, mistletoe, oak, pine, rovan, willow, yew.
Nine sacred trees to build a bonfire in Wiccan tradition are birch, rowen, ash, adler, willow, hawthorn, oak, holly, and hazel.
General Sherman is the largest tree in the world, by volume. It is located in Sequoia National Park, California, U.S.A.
Malgudi, a small fictional town in South India has been part of the childhood of most Indians. It is an old, shabby, and peaceful town that is unruffled by politics. The stories set in this small town ring the sense of belongingness in the hearts of its readers. The familiar feeling that feels like home resonates with their soul. And teaches important life lessons to the readers through simple tales. Malgudi Days is one of the books that every Indian child should read. The book is a compilation of 32 short stories that paint a beautiful picture of small-town in India around the '60s and '70s
R. K. Narayan, one of the most well-known and popular writers within India and outside India is the creator of this town and the occurrences of this town. The stories follow the characters Swami and his friends through their everyday lives. Be it the story of fake astrologers who scam and loot the people by his cleverness, or the story of a blind beggar and his dog where the money blinded the man with greed; each story has a lesson to learn, morals and values hidden in it. As the stories are simple, easy to understand yet heart-touching it makes it easy for the kids to connect with each character and imagine the story as if the reader themselves were the protagonist of the story. In simple words, we can say that R.K. Narayan simply told stories of ordinary people trying to live their simple lives in a changing world.
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As written during the Indian Independence movements and finally published in 1943. The stories in the Malgudi days beautifully encapsulated the transitioning milieu of the British era to post-Independence India. Each of the stories portrays a facet of life in Malgudi and simultaneously a life in an Indian town. R.K. Narayan was one of the first writers who pioneered Indian writings in the English language and the book was later republished outside India in 1982 by Penguin Classics. Thus, the book enjoyed a worldwide audience. The New York Times even described the virtue of the book as "everyone in the book seems to have a capacity for responding to the quality of his particular hour. It's an art we need to study and revive."
The beautiful storytelling of the book was assisted by beautiful illustrations allowing the children to let their imagination teleport them to the world of Malgudi. All the illustrations in the book were illustrated by the world-renowned cartoonist, R.K. Laxman who is also R.K. Narayan's younger brother. The illustrations complimented the scenes from the stories and excited the children, keeping them engaged in reading the book for hours.
The illustrations complimented the scenes from the stories.Pixabay
The short stories from Malgudi Days were later adapted into a television adaptation in 1986. This show was directed by actor and director Shankar Nag. It was filmed both in Hindi and English, containing 54 episodes and the first 13 episodes respectively. Later the series was revived for additional 15 episodes. The show featured several popular celebrities from the Kannada film industry of those days – Girish Karnad, Vishnuvardhan, Ananth Nag, Arundhati Nag and Vaishali Kasaravalli, to name a few. The series was premiered on the Doordarshan channel and became the window into the town Malgudi for many. The show did not only excel in its storyline the TV adaptation elevated the storytelling as the show was technically very sound and stood out in its fantastic detailing in terms of locations and sets. With the cinematography being creative The Malgudi days- TV series once again warmed the hearts of both young ones and adults.
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Malgudi- our childhood home
Malgudi days hold a special place in the hearts of whoever has read the book as a child. With the detailed descriptions of the town and stories one almost gets a feeling that they've visited the place themselves. The characters, Swami and his friends feel like they were all readers' childhood friends. The surreal feeling of being home in the world of Malgudi. The world of Malgudi is intimate, warm, lifelike, and engaging. The setting is modern, and the life portrayed in these stories is contemporary. Still, there is an old-time air about It. R K Narayan once described Malgudi as "Malgudi is where we all belong, and where we wish we lived."
Keywords: Malgudi days, Malgudi, R K Narayan, R K Laxman, storytelling, our childhood home Malgudi
Well, if you'll notice then the moon takes twenty-nine days to complete its lunar cycle, whereas women's menstrual cycle is generally 28 days! Coincidence? I think, not.
It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies. In fact, in ancient times it was said that the natural rhythm of women was to menstruate under a new moon and ovulate under a full moon.
At the same time, it is also believed that the cycle and its stages are connected to different seasons, namely, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Let us see how the lunar cycle is related to a woman's menstrual cycle!
It must be noted that the menstruation period is during the new moon period and also during the winter season. It is said that this is a reflective phase; a phase of silence, introspection, and solitude. During this phase, a woman's body is more sensitive, and so they're able to connect with it and hear the messages it gives. Interestingly, this is also the time when a woman naturally recycles energy as she menstruates, and hence, it's also the for their rest and recovery.
The Crescent moon represents the pre-ovulation period. This is also the season of spring, and so the time corresponds to an increase in physical energy. During this period, a woman's mental strength is at its peak and their thoughts are much clearer. At the same time, emotions are more stable during this period, and because of which women tend to be more social and outgoing.
This phase of the moon represents ovulation, and the season associated with this phase is summer. It must be noted that this period is full of energy and vitality. At the same time, this period plays a significant role in the lives of women because it's actually a fertile phase in all aspects of their life, be it personal or professional. During this period, the self-confidence and self-esteem in women tend to rise, and along with this, an increase in their sex drive can be seen very well.
This phase of the moon represents pre-menstruation, which is also associated with the autumn season. During this period, a woman's physical energy starts to decline. Metaphorically, just like a tree sheds its leaves, a woman, too, feels the need to let go of anything that is not benefiting her. At the same time, memory and the ability to concentrate decrease in this period.
I hope, now you will not think of the moon just as a celestial body, but as a companion in the lives of women!
Keywords: Women pre-Menstruation, Feminine, women Health Fitness, the moon represents the pre-ovulation period, period and moon cycle.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed Pak TV channels to stop airing what it calls indecency and intimacy in dramas, Samaa TV reported.
A notification issued by the authority states that it has been receiving numerous complaints from viewers who believe that the content being depicted in dramas does not represent the "true picture of Pakistani society".
"PEMRA finally got something right: Intimacy and affection between married couples isn't 'true depiction of Pakistani society and must not be 'glamourized'. Our 'culture' is control, abuse, and violence, which we must jealously guard against the imposition of such alien values," said Reema Omer, Legal Advisor, South Asia, International Commission of Jurists.
"Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourized in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated, as per the report.
The authority added that it has directed channels time and again to review content with "indecent dressing, controversial and objectionable plots, bed scenes and unnecessary detailing of events".
Most complaints received by the PEMRA Call Centre during September concern drama serial "Juda Huay Kuch is Tarah", which created quite a storm on social media for showing an unwitting married couple as foster siblings in a teaser for an upcoming episode. However, it only turned out to be a family scheme after the full episode aired, but by that time criticism had mounted on HUM TV for using the themes of incest to drive the plot, the report said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Pakistan, Islam, Serials, Dramas, Culture, Teachings.