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Importance of Amla or Gooseberry in Hinduism – Story of Hunter, Amla and Hindu God Vishnu

Amla, or gooseberry, is of great significance in Hinduism. Amla fruit is very dear to Hindu God Vishnu and its use on the auspicious day of Ekadashi brings unmatched virtue. It is said that a person who regularly eats Amla enjoys a long life. There is an interesting story in the Padma Purana that narrates the importance of Gooseberry.

Once upon a time a man was hunting in the forest. On that day he got very much interested in hunting and ventured into deep forest. He was so merged in hunting that he did not realize that he had lost his food packet.

On that day he killed a couple of animals and birds and decided to take them to the market. After walking for sometime he felt hungry and then he realized that he had lost his food packet.

He then saw an Amla tree with a small murti of Lord Vishnu below. He climbed up the tree and plucked some amla leaves and fruits and showered it on the Vishnu Murti below.

He then ate amla fruits and slept atop the tree for a while. In his sleep, he fell down from the tree and died immediately. Soon the attendants of Yamraj, the Hindu god of death, arrived there.

When the attendants of Yamraj tried to take his soul they could not go near him. Even after repeated attempts they could not go near him.

Soon a group of saints passed by and the attendants told them about the problem. The saints said that the man had eaten Amla just before his death and he might have offered it to Lord Vishnu so he is blessed by Sri Hari Vishnu. This is the reason why they are not able to go near the man.

Realizing that they could not take the soul of man blessed by Lord Vishnu the attendants left the scene. Soon the man woke up as from a sleep and went his way.