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Why is Ficus Religiosa considered as a sacred tree by Hindus?

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Distribution and Morphology of Ficus (Fig) Tree – A Sacred Tree worshipped by Hindus

Ficus Religiosa is a large plant native to India, South west China, Indo China and East Vietnam.

Ficus is a semi deciduous tree that grows upto 30 meters.

The leaves of Ficus are typically broad and the tip ends with extended tip.

Sacredness of the Ficus Tree:

Image of Ficus religiosa, leaves and trunk of ...

Image of Ficus religiosa, leaves and trunk of “Bo tree” growing at Schofield Barracks in central Oahu, Hawaiian Islands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Hindus consider this Ficus plant very sacred and worship it. They also do circumambulation of the plant and offer their prayers.

Meditation is also practiced under the plant by sadhus.

Besides all these, the Ficus tree provide shade because if its thick foliage like a canopy and give shelter to several birds.

Besides Hindus the plant is also considered sacred by Jains and Buddhists.

It is also known that Gowtham Buddha achieved enlightenment underneath this tree.

Names of the Ficus Tree in different areas:

  • Latin Name: Ficus Religiosa, Family: Moracea
  • Tamil: Arani maram
  • Telugu:Ravi Chettu
  • Canarese: Aswatha
  • Malayalam: Arayal
  • Urdu: Peepal

Ficus Tree – A Sacred Tree for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists

Why is Ficus plant considered sacred by Jains, Hindus and Buddhists?

Knowingly or unknowingly we worship this plant. The reasons could be the following.

It is a well known fact that plants utilize carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and release oxygen during day time. But Ficus Religiosa can also do a modified form of photosynthesis called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM).

Though they may not release large amount of oxygen by this process but they are capable of doing photosynthesis during night.

Besides this research work conducted on several plants along with Ficus Religiosa, revealed that Ficus Religiosa releases large quantities of Isoprene, a volatile organic compound necessary for preventing depletion of ozone layer concluding that these trees play an important role in preserving ozone layer.

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