Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Panchavati - "5 trees" culture-

-Om Vrikshanan Pataye Namaha -
-- Om Harikeshe Namah
The Sri Rudram, Shree VS & Shree LS is replete with Divinity manifested in Nature -
eg. Om Jagat Vyapine Namaha in Shiva Ashtottara-73rd namavalli. 
The Divine Physician in Lord Shiva, as in Shree Dakshinamurty stotra is always depicted seated  under  a Vata Vriksha (Banyan Tree), Shree Guru Datta Triya in Oudamber, Shree Vishnu in Ashwattha, Lord Shiva with Bilwa and Vanni. Shree Mahalakshmi under a Bilwa tree in namvalli: --Om Shree Bilwa Nilaya Namaha.   .

The Panchavati Tree culture, planted in sacred spots and where possible  in our society provides a comforting resting place for one and all and helps to restores our balance- peace of mind and health in the midst of turmoil of present day life-esp in crowded metros. In fact doing pranayama or just deep breathing under a tree is most rejuvenating.It clears our lungs and purifies us. 
They are grown and well cared for in many remote locations in simple South Indian  Temple areas.
The ambience here is so calm and quiet- and devotees who spend a little time in doing Pradakshinas can  feel this effect  in such a natural surrounding-and are Rejuvenated .
Namaskar----Om Vrikshe Namaha 

These five trees should be planted where ever possible .
The five trees are:
1 Bilwa (Aegle marmelose)
2 Shami (Vanni) (Acacia ferruginea)
3 Ashwattha (Arali) (Ficus religiosa)
4 Margosa (Nimba/ Neem) (Azadirachta indica)
5 Audumbara (country fig) (Ficus racemosa)
All above trees have been covered in the earlier Blog posts
Note:  Ashoka , Banyan, and Amla trees are taken in this group in some texts -and now being covered in this series. All trees are precious.
The Dance of Divinity (note inspired by a pravachan in CCMT).
The dancing and swaying of trees esp tall coconut trees in the wind is a beautiful sight.
Observe the trees and plants on a windy day or when a gentle breeze sets in. The long branches and leaves resemble the hair -locks of Lord Shiva in Sri Rudram.
The 5 Elements, the very Earth- sand, stone & clay and all in which the roots of a tree are grounded, the sun that keeps us all alive, all animals, birds, insects.We humans are a part of this eco system.This Cosmic vision is what our ancients saw in all of Nature –Prakruti; thus eco systems was not just revered, but also reverently Worshipped, as Manifestations of the Divine.
Om Shree Prakruti Namaha
From an Authority source on Tree Culture:
QUOTE" Though it is customary to call any place with a variety of flowering and evergreen trees a Panchvati, the term actually refers to a group of five trees which possess certain medicinal properties. These trees, besides providing the needed thick shade, exude a variety of "pheromonal secretions" which are capable of cleaning environmental pollutions and mental pollutions in  human beings, in addition to having high herbal and medicinal qualities. 
In most villages a large platform is built around any of these five species in particular around ashwatha, neem and audambara which form the nerve centre of many social, religious and community activities of the village.
It is believed that the minds of the decision makers squatting under the Panchavati trees are purified by the air they breathe while on these platforms.UNQUOTE
At Shree Marundeeshwar Temple, Chennai
At  Shree Rama Temple Mavungal Kanhangad
 At Shirdi - the Neem Tree "Nimba" place of of Shree Sai Baba   - (pic from a pilgrimage site)
Ashwattha trees at Gulwady Village (Karnataka) -near Shree Hanuman Temple  and our Family Nagakatte.
The Vanni Tree at  at Shree Marundeeshwar Temple Chennai
Panchavati in truth is an inexhaustible place for rejuvenation therapy on earth.
The Panchavati trees have been a source of inspiration for many of our saints and sages.
Om Vrikshe  Namha.
dt Thursday 20th January 2011


  1. ref 'exude a variety of "pheromonal secretions" --i referred and noted this study--

    Chemical Signals in the Ecosystem


    + Author Affiliations

    Department of Botany, Plant Sciences Laboratories, The University of Reading Whiteknights, P.O. Box 221, Reading RG6 2AS, UK


    Most chemical signals in nature are volatile, although there is increasing evidence that insects can respond to involatile plant chemicals. Volatile signals, when mixed with other chemicals, may become more active due to synergism and/or become more persistent. Volatile scents and odours are generally efficient, since only trace amounts are needed to produce an effect. They are often multifunctional: a defence odour may also mediate in interactions between competing herbivores. Chemical signals are most important in reinforcing species—species (e.g. Ophrys-Andrena) interactions, but there are many examples of ‘accidental’ responses to plant odours.

    Recent work on chemical signals will be reviewed, with respect to both beneficial and hostile plant-animal interactions.

  2. Sir,
    Fantastic compilation. Will visit often...