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Bamboo Plant In Hindu Religion – Bamboo Stories And Importance

Bamboo plant is a regarded a symbol of large family and progeny in Hindu religion. The green bamboo is held sacred. The dried one does not have any sanctity. As per stories in Hinduism, bamboo is sacred to Shiva, Subrahmanya and avatars of Bhagavan Vishnu especially Krishna. Bhagavan Krishna is Venugopala, the one who holds flute made of bamboo.

As per a temple legend in Tamil Nadu (Tiruvetkalam Pasupatheeswarar Temple), the famous bows Pashupata, Sharanga and Gandiva were crafted out of a bamboo plant that appeared here. The bamboo had appeared from a termite mound which covered Sage Kanava who was performing intense meditation.

The epic Ramayana (6.12.56; 2.55.8; 2.55.14; 3.1.21; 3.15.21 – 23) mentions about the uses of bamboo in ancient times. It was used to build the raft used by Rama to cross rivers. It was also used in making huts.

Mahabharata (1.63) mentions about a festival dedicated to Indra, the king of Devas. A bamboo pole decorated with golden cloth, garlands, ornaments and other auspicious items was erected by people to honor Indra.

It is said that two hillocks (including the hillock of Palani in Tamil Nadu) was balanced across the shoulders on a bamboo pole by Idumban on the directions of Sage Agastya. The two hillocks were entrusted to Sage Agastya by Shiva. Idumban had to put the hillocks down in Palani and it later became the abode of Subramania, son of Shiva.

Subrahmanya had given the blessing to Idumban that anyone who carried a Kavadi – a bamboo pole suspended with things resembling hillocks – would be blessed with desire fulfillment.

Kurma Purana (2.19, 29; 15.3; 29.9) says that the stick and vessels of Sannyasis are made from bamboo.

A bamboo plant is worshipped as part of the aghori puja by tantrics.

Some communities believe that evil female spirit resides in bamboo groves.

Bamboo is a part of wedding ceremonies, sacred-thread ceremony and after marriage rituals.

Indra during his wandering on earth is believed to have taken the form of bamboo tree and worshipped Shiva at Sirkali in Tamil Nadu.

Venuvananatha temple (Pasupatheeswarar Temple) dedicated to Shiva is located at Tiruvetkalam in Tamil Nadu. Here Shiva is worshipped in the form bamboo tree.