Thursday, March 15, 2012

Peepal(Pipal) Tree and pregnancy

The Sacred Peepal Tree

I have heard many elderly women in my native(Sivakasi) relating pregnancy and the holy Peepal tree. The peepal tree leaves are believes to improve the fertility in women. The tender leaves are chosen, dried and then powdered. This powder needs to be mixed with milk and has to be taken every night. From my friend, I have also heard that the leaves can be blended into a paste and taken every morning in empty stomach.

The old story that prevails around this is - In olden days, the goats that ate peepal trees' leaves were more fertile than the other goats which didn't.

I googled around for the authenticity of the information and was able to find the story of the holy peepal tree that helped an old childless couple to concieve.

Sriguru Narasinha Saraswati was at Ganagapur. There a virtuous Brahmin couple Somanath and Gangabai also lived. Both became old but they had no children. Gangabai had crossed the age of sixty years. She was very religious and as daily observance, she would go to the Muth[1] for the blessings of Sriguru. There she would light an oil lamp and wave it around Sriguru. Many days passed and one day she came under the merciful view of Sriguru. He asked Ganga “As an observance you come here regularly and wave the lighted wick lamp around me. What do you want from me? ”. Then Ganga spoke very humbly “Maharaj, I am a childless woman. A childless lady has no prestige in the society. Everybody considers her a sign of ill omen. I have already crossed the age of sixty years. Now in this life, where is the chance of giving birth to a child? Hence please give me blessings that at least in my next life I will become a woman and give birth to a son”.
Sriguru smilingly said, “Who has seen next life? In this life itself, you will give birth to a daughter and later on to a son”. By this blessing Gangabai’s happiness knew no bounds. Nevertheless, she had a doubt as to how would she conceive and give birth, since her menses had already stopped? But after Sriguru’s blessing, she said “I had been worshiping the Holy Peepal[2] tree regularly. But there was no benefit from that worship. Hence I started worshipping you regularly after giving up the worship of the Holy Peepal tree. But how would I get the offspring’s in this life? ”. Sriguru said, “Do not slander the Holy Peepal tree. The worship and the circumambulation of the Holy Peepal tree will not go waste. You can find the existence of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Maheshwar in the root, the trunk and the top of the Holy Peepal tree respectively. In addition, on the branches of the Holy Peepal tree, all the Hindu Gods are present. There is one Holy Peepal tree at the confluence of the rivers Bhima and Amarja. Go there and worship the Holy Peepal tree daily”.
With full faith in Sriguru’s words Gangabai stayed at the ‘Sangam’ and started worshipping the Holy Peepal tree. On the third day, a Brahmin came in her dream and said, “Your wish will be fulfilled. Go to Ganagapur and take the blessings of Sriguru Narasinha Saraswati, the incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. Then complete the circumambulation of Sriguru and offer your obeisance to him. Whatever prasad[3] he gives, take that as blessings”.
Gangabai woke up from the dream. As per the orders of the Brahmin in the dream, she took bath in the ‘Sangam’, worshipped the Holy Peepal tree, and then went to Ganagapur. There she completed the circumambulation of Sriguru and offered her obeisance to him. Then Sriguru gave her a fruit and asked her to eat it. Then Gangabai returned home and narrated everything to her husband. Then she concluded her religious vow. A bit later she gave charity to the Brahmins and with great devotion ate the fruit given by Sriguru. After eating the fruit, a miracle took place. That old lady became young and regained her period of menses. In due course Ganga became pregnant. People were amazed to see this miracle. At proper time Ganga gave birth to a daughter. The couple Somanath and Ganga were overjoyed seeing their newborn. They took their child to Sriguru and placed her at the lotus feet of Sriguru for blessings. Sriguru said, “Name this child as Saraswati. Your daughter will live up to one hundred years and continue to live happily with her children and grandchildren. Her husband will be a highly learned man with great knowledge. Further, you will give birth to a son. Tell me now, what type of son do you desire? Do you wish to have a wise son with a life span of thirty years and who will become a father of five children in future, or a foolish son with life span of one hundred years? ”. Then Gangabai told Sriguru “Bless me with a son with a life span of thirty years”. Then Sriguru said, “Be it so!” Later Gangabai gave birth to a son, which brought full happiness in her home.

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