Chauhan S., Chauhan S. V. S. Worship and Trees in India
How to cite: Chauhan S., Chauhan S. V. S. Worship and trees in India // Sibirskij Lesnoj Zurnal (Sib. J. For. Sci.). 2019. N. 4. P. 36–48 (in English with Russian abstract).
© Chauhan S., Chauhan S. V. S., 2019
Trees are significant in many of the world's mythologies and religions and have been given deep and sacred meanings throughout the ages. In India, large numbers of herbs, shrubs and trees are traditionally worshiped and most of them are known for their uses in worship of several lords. India is a country showing diversity in religion and it is believed that there are more than 33 million Gods and Goddesses worshiped in various traditional ways throughout the year. The trees and their products are part of Indian rituals and ceremonies and various Gods and Goddesses are associated with different trees. In Indian culture trees are believed to have consciousness similar to humans so they can feel pain as well as happiness like us. Human beings, observing the growth and death of trees and the annual death and revival of their foliage, have often imagined them as powerful symbols of growth, death and rebirth. The people in India believe that life cannot exist without trees. Trees are the main natural sources of solar energy vital for our existence that bring flowers, fruits, wood and medicines. Therefore, tree worship is one of the most widespread forms of popular religion in India. Indians worship offering roots, stem, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds to God since time immemorial and this is done as a symbol of gratitude because they believe that life cannot exist without trees. Present communication provides botanical names and families of more than 60 angiosperm trees used in worship of various Gods and Goddesses. The trees have been listed and their significance has been considered. Gymnosperms used in worship have also been discussed. Selection of plantation site and day, time, month of worship, list of flowers and plants prohibited in worship and interesting description of trees worshiped as per the zodiac signs have also been given.