In Search of the Peepal Tree

I was guided today by my yoga instructor to visit two local ‘Peepal’ Trees.  I was told that to hold the leaf of a Peepal tree was to hold wisdom in your hands.  To stand under a Peepal tree was an experience like no other, the sound of the wind rustling through it’s leaves sounding like rain.  And so I decided to see what it is about these trees that is so special, after all everyone can do with a little more wisdom right?

It turns out that the Peepal tree has the botanical name of Ficus religiosa and as it’s name suggests it is sacred to the Buddhist and Hindu faiths amongst others.

The leaves are very beautiful, waxy and tapered at the tip.  You can imagine torrents of monsoonal rains dripping off the ends.

From my reading it seems that Bodhi trees are Ficus religiosa, the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment.  Not all Ficus religiosa are Bodhi trees though.  To be a Bodhi tree, the tree must be a direct descendant of Buddha’s original one!

The tree also has many medicinal uses in Ayuveda and it is said that if you tie a red thread around it’s trunk your wishes will be granted!

Beautiful aren’t they?

These two are quite old and I am still trying to find information on them such as who planted them, how long ago and if there was a specific commemorative reason for doing so as most other exotic trees in this area of this age have a story to tell.

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