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Ashoka Tree In Hinduism

Ashoka tree is sacred to Hindus and in Hinduism the tree is associated with Kamdev, god of love and Mahadev Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The tree is believed to be a wish fulfilling tree. The Sanskrit word ‘a-shoka’ means without sorrow or that which gives no grief. It is said that one who lives under the tree will never be sad and people who look at the tree when in full bloom will forget their worries and become happy and contented.

The shrishti kanda of Padma Purana states that planting and taking care of Ashoka tree helps in mitigating sorrows. Goddess Parvati states in the Matsya Purana that an ashoka tree is equal to having ten sons. It is believed that Goddess Parvati planted and took care of the plant and thus it is said that a house with an Ashoka tree is very auspicious. Bhavishya Purana and Brahmavaivarta Purana extol the glory of the tree.

It is said that once Goddess Parvati asked Shiva about the greatness of the tree. Shiva told Goddess Parvati that Ashoka fulfils wishes. Goddess Parvati tested the statement by asking the tree for a daughter and the wish was fulfilled immediately. Goddess Parvati named her Ashoka-sundari.

The tree is a symbol of love and protector of the chastity of females. Mata Sita in the Ramayana was forcibly detained against her will at Ashoka vatika, the garden full of Ashoka tree in Lanka of Ravana.

Ashoka tree is mentioned in numerous places in the Ramayana. It is a decorative tree in the palace of queen Kaikeyi in Ayodhya. It is found in Panchavati. Hanuman first met Mata Sita under an Ashoka tree.

There was an Ashoka vatika in the palace of Rama in Ayodhya. It would help people resting in it release their grief through its sheer beauty (3.60.17; 3.62.3).

As per Ramayana (5.15.10, 11), Ravana’s Ashoka vatika was filled with various different types of the plant – ones with flowers like golden vessels, ones glowing in red and some with a steady blue glow.

In the Mahabharata, Damayanti searches for Nala in a forest of ashoka trees.

There are also some strange beliefs associated with Ashoka tree. There is a belief that the tree starts flowering after a married woman touches it with her foot. The tree bears fruit after a pregnant woman waters it.