Sacred Symbols – The Sacred Mango Tree

Mango or Aam tree is one of the sacred tree symbols of Hinduism. Five leaves of this tree in a pot which are besmeared with sindoor or vermilion is a common site in any Hindu religious ceremony. Throughout India this tree is planted and worshipped by devouts. With the passage of time this tree acquired many names. In Sanskrit mango tree is called Amra and in Hindi and Bengali this is called Aam. In Gujarat this tree is called Amlo and Tamilians call it Mamaran. Telugu-speaking people describe it as Arnramu. In Kerala this is called Mram or Mavu.

Since the days of the Puranas the aam tree is personified with various Gods, Goddesses and spirits. According to the research scholars, in Aam Vriksha, Lakshmi, Govardhan, Gandharva and fertility God reside.

Aam leaf smeared with sindoor (vermilion) is called amer pallav and is kept in a pot called Lakshmi Ghata. This Ghata or pot personifies Lakshmi herself. Branches of mango tree are also used in Yagna or sacrifice. In every puja at house the mango branches, leaves and Lakshmi Ghata are a must and counted as auspicious. Moreover, mango leaves are widely used in marriage ceremonies as these leaves are termed as Kama or fertility God. In some parts of India these leaves are ded on a swinging thread hung on the front door ritualistically signifying that some auspicious ceremony is going on in the house.

Aam has medicinal value and its fruit, ripe or unripe, cures many diseases. Thus ritualistically and medicinally mango tree is a household name for every devout Hindu.

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