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Why Hindu Tie Thread Around Trees
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Cotton threads of various colors like red, yellow and white are tied around Peepal tree trunks especially in Northern and Western parts of India. This ritual is performed especially on the Vat Saavitree Poojaa day (May–June). During Vat Saavitree Puja, the Banayan or Peepal tree symbolically represents Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiv. The root of Vat Vriksh is Brahmaa, the trunk is Vishnu and the the upper part is Shiv.
The Vat or banyan tree plays an important role in the famous story of Satyavaan Saavitree. It is believed that Satyavaan spend his last moments under a Vat or Banyan tree on the Full Moon day in month of Jyeshth. Yam Raaj appeared here and took Satyavaan's soul. Saavitree pleaded with Yam Raaj to return Satyavaan's soul under the Banyan tree. Instead of giving Satyavaan's life, Yam Raaj gave many other boons to her, but with her intelligence she was able to get Satyavaan's life back in the end. In memory of this event, women keep fast and go round the Banyan tree and tie cotton thread 108 times around the trunk of the tree for the health and longevity of their husbands.
There are also other hidden symbolic meanings – one such meanings is narrated by Bhagwat Shah of Pushtimarg. The Peepal tree represents the tree of life and is sacred in Hindu Religion. It supports life of all sorts and is famous for its long life. The Peepal tree also has the property to purify air.
The cotton thread is just the opposite The cotton thread represents the fragile nature of life, love, trust, faith – and all things that go on to make up a relationship. A single thread may be weak, but, when it is wound 108 times around the trunk, it becomes strong. It is no longer so fragile and no longer easy to break. By walking around the tree 108 times, the wife contemplates on these matters. Love can only be strengthened by trust, faith and desire to make it work. With each step, the woman strengthens her relationship with her husband. She prays not just for her husband’s long life, but an enduring relationship that will last beyond this life and into the next.
Many other trees are also found in many other villages where people tie thread or cloth around its branches etc to fulfill their wish.
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Created by Sushma Gupta on 8/9/09
Updated on 04/09/12