Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Oudamber Tree - at Anandashram

Contd from previous post featuring the Oudamber Tree -at Anandashram , Kanhangad :
These pics were taken at Anandashram.
The tree is also very old.--but it's Regenerative capacity and strength are admirable-
It was growng with a Bilwa and Ixxora Plant.
See pics.below:

 The Oudamber Tree -at Anandashram , Kanhangad

 This Oudamber is a very old tree; growing  with a Bilwa Tree bearing fruit and Ixxora plant with floweres.
Spiritually and symbolically these 3  Trees/ plants  represent Shri Dattatreya, Lord  Shiva and Shree Devi.
 Bilwa fruit on top seen

 Ixxora flowers
 Despite the trunk having being hollowed out (decay) damage, -the Tree has productive branches and at lower portion of the trunk a new small branch and fruits growing even.

 The Oudamber Tree -at Anandashram , Kanhangad
 The Oudamber Tree -at Anandashram , Kanhangad-is truly remarkable
 The strength and regenerative capacity of this Oudamber Tree is a Marvel
Pic above is of  Anandashram -the Main Prayer Hall

Any advice on the hollowing out of the tree trunk, cause, reason etc  by a Botanist or Tree Expert (Arborealist) will be most welcome.

I have never seen such a remarkable Tree growing despite damage on the trunk-
The Regenerative capacity of a Tree is  truly  Divine and so it does so much good.


The Oudamber Tree-sthala vriksha at Uma Maheshwar temple, Mangalore

Oudamber Trees- (Gulaar) Ficus .
I was at Shree UmaMaheshwar Temple, Mangalore 19th-22nd March and and  had the good fortune to  study and photograph  two outstanding Oudamber (Ficus) trees.This post  features the Sthala Vriksha at the temple adjacent to Shri Dattatreya Sannidhi;
It is a very old tree and maybe over 75 years old and was extremely well decorated in Alankar -see  pics.below.

Note- next post   is of the Oudamber Tree at Anandashram Kanhangad.

Sthala vriksha at Uma Maheshwar temple, Mangalore, nearShreeDattatreya Guru Sannidhi
In Alankar -with Shri Dattatreya Moorthy

Shri Dattatreya in Sannidhi
Shree UmaMaheshwar Temple, Mangalore, entrance.

Each was a wonder in many ways and as I studied them realised what a marvel of creation a Tree is -ranging from:
1)  Trees Give only and take nothing. 
2) Tolerates so much  from all esp actions of Man.
3. The strange symbiotic relationship with Wasps in pollination.
The Regenerative capacity of a Tree is  truly  Divine and so it does so much good.
However I noticed some leaves had what is called "galls -on leaves"-possibly arising from insects (Wasps possibly) 
I am not a Botanist and so referred to all sources and this was confirmed.
For Tree Care /Eco Protection  here, I think a simple remedy (non harmful)  would be the Neem Guard liquid that is used as a Herbicide -sold in Garden stores. 
However reliable sources seem to state these Galls are  not a  harmful. -
See References in comments section below-
Readers Advice / Comments welcome.  
Galls are small lumps on the Leaves-

On Magnification pic

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Panchavati Trees-

Panchavati Trees- 
Hindu Samskars & legends on traditional worship of  Trees with local practices has been researched a lot and recorded in recent times.
PANCHAVATI refers to a group of 5 trees grown in selected spot that gives a powerful aura.This has been tested and experinced by many reliable authorities . 
They are: 'ShamI' (vanni, Acacia ferruginea), 'Ashvattha' (peepal, Ficus religiosa), 'Nimba' (margosa/neem, Azadirachta indica) and 'Audumbara' (country fig, Ficus racemosa). 
These are  known as the 'panchavati' trees.
In another version, the 'panchavati' trees refer to 'banyan, fig, gooseberry (amla/nelli), bilva and ashoka' trees.
The Peepal Tree ,Ashwattha in Gita and Banyan -Vata Vriksha of Shree Dakshinamurty 
or Nyagrodha in Shree VS) are in our  stotras.The Bilwa of Shree Mahalakshmi Devi, Shammi of Shiva & Shani & Oudamber of Dattatreya is in our Puranas
Indian villages used to have a large, round, raised platform built around the 'panchavati' trees where religious and other village meetings were held. These trees purified the air around and also had a powerful aura; people who sat under them breathed this and were calm and collected -have expressed this. 
Pranic Healing also mentions breathing under Trees for rejuvenation.
I have tried this and sincerely recommend it.
Pranayama or simple deep breathing under Trees. 
Maintain the system i.e.-Namaskar to the Vriksha, ask- seek permission and  do the breathing exercise. Even sitting quietly in such spots helps immensly-
 The 'panchavati' trees have been a source of inspiration for our sages.
WE can emulate this and encourage growing this in parks and our own residential colonies. 
Vriskhsa Naam Pataye Naam 

Neem Tree- is a wonder tree.

dt 8th March 2011.
The Neem Tree- is a  wonder tree.
In Sanskrit the Neem is called Arishtha- meaning the reliever of the sickness and is Natures Gift to us all in India esp.Called as "Azadirachta indica" in botany- commonly referred to as Margosa, Vembu /Vepa in Tamil Also popularly called Nimba.
WE have this Neem tree on the southern side of our house-

In lower pic it is the Frangipani tree with white flowers  "Temple Flowers" in SW corner & Neem on south.

The NIMBA at Shirdi---Of Shree Sai Baba
"Om Sai Ram"
source (site)

WE have this wonderful  tall Neem tree grown on the south side (by sheer chance)- now about 29 years old. When my dear Uncle Sri Katre Dinkar Maam visited me years ago, he saw it and  explained how to make a neem liquid for garden use.--quote" Just drop all the fallen neem leaves in a tub and add water and allow to soak for some days. If urgently needed, a small quantity of neem leaves can be boiled in water and cooled -diluted and sprayed on plants and trees affected by pests or any fungus or disease. It cleans it up all well. Spray periodically as required -or use in a Watering can . Dilute for small plants"-
The effect is just remarkable and no side effects. It even deters ants which often cause havoc in gardens with small anthills making garden work difficult. Try Neem leaves and liquid spray instead of using DDT which has many side ill effects.

We have the Shree Seethala Devi Temple at Mahim, Mumbai ; Similarly in in every locality in South, the Shree Devi Karumari Amman Temples. Neem leaves are used to treat Chickenpox.  In the tradition in South India, it is believed that the Goddess protects from chickenpox--and Seethala Devi lives in the Neem tree.

Neem is extremely bitter and a mixture of leaves with sugar is taken on Yugadi to teach us to accept the sweet and bitter in life with equanimity. Neem tea is usually taken to reduce the headache and fever. Its flowers are used to cure intestinal problems. Neem bark acts as an analgesic and can cure high fever as of malaria-
Summing up-
It is the only green plant that no insect will attack and so the best herbicide /pesticide to use.
Many companies market it in small cans with a spray kit-easy to use eg Neem Plus,Health Safe Guard for plants . Neem uses  includes: Medicinal, Pesticidal. Cosmetic esp Soap for skin trouble relief.The neem stick has been a simple rural tooth brush & paste since time immemorial.
The worldwide Neem Foundation has promoted Neen awareness but in India -very few in Metros few read this information-Every part of the  neem (like the Coconut tree) is used.
In Ayurveda it has been used and recorded since  4000 years back..
It has a multitude of uses ranging and the list is endless; but for a start Soap, Toothpaste, Pesticides & Cleaning Agents is seen all across
Namskar Neem Vriksha

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ShreeMahashivratri 2nd March 2011- Bilwa &White Jasmine offered.

The Bilwa tree, fruit and leaf in pics. taken at Chennai at Adyar recently.
In earlier years, Bilwas were not seen frequently in Chennai temple shops selling flowers.It was mostly grown in homes and distributed in select temples and to Devotees. Even these used to be often found with insect or fungus affected leaves and it was a sad sight- 
Now with many Tree Planting Campaigns and care, fresh Bilwa Leaves and malaas which are so nicely  strung with white flowers too are available in many South Chennai Temples.
Earlier the Jasmine white scented flowers alone was seen.
The Bilwa &White Jasmine go together in Shiva Pooja with Milk & Abhisheka :. 
Om Namaha Shivayah
Eka Bilwa Shiva Arpanam 
Bilwa fruit on trees in Feb 2011-

Bilwa fruit on trees in Feb 2011-
Bilwa fruit on trees in Feb 2011-
 At Shree Mangesh Sannidhi at Srimath Anantheshwar Temple, Vithal.
Nenduvattai -
Powala Malli -
The Triad of   3 is  seen in the Bilwa "Trifoliate" leaf – 
Refer Samvit Sadhana and all aspects of Tridalam--- Triguna, Trijanma  (threefold aspect) with Bilwa Ashtottara)
 Above & below photo taken in 1986, in  our home "Mahalakshmi"-in pooja room.

Om  Shree Gurubyo Namaha -- 
The 4 main aspects of shivaratri poojan and aradhana as taught at earlier MahaShivratris by our Respected Pujya Sadyojat Shankarashram Swamiji of our S.C.Math in Hubli devasthana:
1) Mouna Vrata 2) Upavaas, 3) Jagran  4) Ratri Aradhana  in 4 parts with Abhisheka & Bilva Patra & Pushpa Pooja. 

The Sthakla Vrikshas in temples are all being also well cared for and have been covered in earlier blog posts.
Will add in shortly the Punnai (Punnaga) Tree at Shree Kapaleeshwar Temple.
The Vanni (Banni /Shammi) Tree in the  premises of Shree Marundeeshwar Temple already posted.
Kind Regards all 
Devotion does not mean Love to the Lord alone. It is to embrace all creation for all are his forms only. A true devotee expands his love to identify with all and feels his essential oneness with the totality. He continuously remains in the condition of just “BE”.
Love is essentially something, very much of a subjective experience, that it refuses to be fully and efficiently handled by language.
Worship is an act wherein the organs of perception and action, and the mind are brought together to play at the altar of His glory. The seeker gets his inspiration from the contemplation of His beauty, Love and Grace.
Swami Chinmayananda