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Jan
20

Myths and Religious Importance of Bel, Wood Apple in Uttarakhand

Myths and Religious Importance of Bel, Wood Apple in Uttarakhand
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Plant Myths, Religious Importance, and Traditions in Uttarakhand (Himalaya) -18
By: Bhishma Kukreti, M.Sc. (Botany) (Mythology Research Scholar)
Botanical name –Aegle marmelos correa
Local name – Bel
Hindi Name –Bel, Bael
Sanskrit Name –Vilva, Bilva
Economic benefits –Fruits are used for pickle and medical uses.

Myths, Religious Importance and Traditions
Bel or Wood apple is a sacred tree. The three leaves together of Wood Apple or Vilva or Bel look like trident (Trishul ) the emblem of Lord Shiva. It is belief that these three leaves represent Shiva for s ‘Creation’, Preservation’ and ‘Destruction’. The three leaves of Bel or wood apple as Sin removers too. People pay tribute to Lord Shiva in his temple by offering Vilva/bel leaves as bilpatri/belpatri on Shiv Linga
Shiva devotees worship bel tree in moths as Marshirsha and Falgun. .
In Banhadadharma Puran, the sacred tree came in existence from the cut breast of Lakshmi while she was worshiping Shiva.That is why bel fruit is called fruit of destiny.
As Banhi Puran, Lakshmi was cow in a birth and from her dung, Bel tree was born.
There are stories about bel related to Lord Rama too.
In Skand Puran, the tree merged from sweat from Parvati forehaed.
Likewise, there are many other region wise folk stories and stories of legends connected with Bel tree in Shiv Puran, Garur Purans,.
Ritual Performers use Bel wood for Homa or havan.
There are more than 108 mantras for offering belpatra on Shiva Linga.
Bel Leaves and Fruits in Tantric and Mantric Rituals
On a n Ashwini nakshtra day, Mantric or Tantrik purifies Bel patra and cow milk together and offers that purified milk mixed with bel leaves to childless woman for getting pregnant.
Mantric suggests for worshipping Surya Graha or Sun on Saturday by worshipping Bel tree.
Satya Narayn Shastri Khanduri (1996) detailed about uses of Bel for performing Uddamarehwar tantra in the book Uddamarehwar tantra .
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Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai 2017
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Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Garhwal, Uttarakhand ; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Kumaon, Uttarakhand ;Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, Himalaya; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, North India; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, South Asia

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