The Peepal Tree has its Mention Even in the Ancient Indus Valley CivilizationScientifically known as Ficus religious, the peepal tree has its mention even in the ancient Indus Valley civilization at Mohenjadaro. There are evidences which show that the peepal tree was worshipped then. In Sanskrit the peepal tree is also known as "Ashvattha".According to Hinduism when a woman is said to circumbulate a peepal tree she is sure to be blessed with progeny or to gain a desired wish. This more like a ritual is followed by the Hindu people in the Indian subcontinent. We can usually see the peepal tree in almost all the Shani and Hanuman temples. The peepal tree is especially worshipped on all Saturdays for it is believed that because Goddess Lakshmi sits under the tree on this day.
The Peepal Tree is also Worshipped to Escape from Contagious Diseases-Also when a person waters the peepal tree, he or she is sure to earn good will for their future generations and sorrows and grievances justified and the health is restored to its best. The peepal tree is also worshipped to escape from contagious diseases and enemies. But according to scientific analysis peepal tree is the only tree which is supposed to produce copious amount of oxygen both day and night which is very much required for life. Peepal tree is also called as a life sustainer for it produces life-sustaining oxygen. Also it is discovered that when the leaves of the peepal tree when interacts with the wind around, it is sure to kill the bacteria causing various infections. Ayurvedic studies states that the leaves, fruits and the bark of the peepal tree as a whole act as an enemy and for all diseases and therefore is used in various treatments.
The Significance of Worshipping the Peepal Tree
-The legend behind the significance of worshipping the peepal tree is that once all the Gods headed by Indra wanted to visit Lord Shiva. But Naradha informed them that it is not the right time to visit Lord Shiva for it is the time where Shiva and Goddess Parvathi will be in seclusion. But Indra paid no heed to the words of Naradha and proceeded with his group of people promising for their protection. But Goddess Parvathi who came to know about the arrogance of Indra through Narada was very much annoyed and she cursed that all Gods along with their wives, would turn into trees. When the gods asked for forgiveness, she promised that as trees, they would attain fame.
Gods are said to Hold their Councils Under this Tree-Thus Indra turned into a mango tree, Brahma became a palash tree and Vishnu turned into a peepal tree. Also once the fire God Agni took the form of ashwattha and resided on the peepal tree for a long period and hence from that times onwards the peepal tree is also known as the Ashwattha tree. The peepal tree is believed to house the great Trimurtis where the roots being Brahma, the trunk Vishnu and the leaves Shiva. The gods are said to hold their councils under this tree and so it is associated with spiritual understanding. Various Indian epics like Brahma Purana and Skanda Purana depict that the peepal tree is a symbol of Lord Vishnu. The former says that when the demons defeated the Gods, Vishnu hid in the peepal. Therefore spontaneous worship to Vishnu can be offered to a peepal without needing his image or temple.
Skanda Purana depicts that Lord Vishnu was Born Under a Peepal Tree
-The Skanda Purana depicts that Lord Vishnu was born under a peepal tree and hence he resides in the same. The difference between the body and the soul of a human being is compared to the fruit of the peepal tree where the body is like the fruit which, being outside, feels and enjoys things, while the soul is like the seed, which is inside and therefore witnesses things.
There is another legend attached to the peepal tree. There were two demons named Aswatha and Peepali who resided in the tree and killed all those who came near the tree. Finally they were killed by Shani Bhagavan and from then onwards it is believed that it is auspicious to touch the peepal tree on Saturdays. There are certain customs in Hinduism where widowhood is predicted in horoscope for a girl, then she is first married to a peepal tree chaitra Krishna or ashwin Krishna tritiya.