Some Trees Are Not Cut Because They Are Sacred Trees

Looking at the alarming rate of deforestation, I feel our forefathers should have made all the trees and plants sacred.

“One needs to take permission from the tree before cutting it. Also the permission of the birds that have made their nest on the tree.” This is no joke but our forefathers did pujas before cutting a tree. There are also several stories related to the ‘tree spirit.’

The whole life of these trees are spent in service. With their leaves, fruits, flowers, branches, roots, fragrance, sap, bark, wood, and finally even their ashes as coal, they exist purely for others. (Srimad Bhagavatam)

Kamala Vasudevan writes in Deccan Herald:

The sacred dimension of the tree is often represented by the tree growing on the top of the holy mountain, placed at the centre of the universe. Holy waters flow from the mountains nourishing the earth and all living beings, both physically and spiritually.

Within the European tradition just as in the Indian, the trees, especially some species, have been regarded as sacred. Many pre-Christian rituals contemplated their worship. The Christian tradition also absorbed the concept of the Tree of Life in its most sacred symbol - the Cross of Christ.

The forest near Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh is saved because it is associated with Ramayana. Peepal tree escapes the axe because it is associated with Buddha and Vishnu. Banyan tree is associated with Arjuna and is also worshipped in South India - the Bannimantap in Mysore. Khejri is venerated by the Vishnoi community and Neem by the Gujjars. The medicinal properties of trees and plants in the forest are also well known.

D.B.N. Murthy writes in The Hindu:

Devivana and Devarakadu are other places, under the control of the temples or forest department that contain sacred plants some of which have medicinal properties too. Navagrahahavana contains plants associated with each planet that is considered sacred. Such vanas help in biodiversity conservation as these are protected as sacred. A few tribal communities worship trees as manifestation of god.

The survival of human beings depends on the survival of the forests.