(Last Updated on : 04/07/2013)
Peepul Tree is considered as the only matchless tree of the world as far as antiqueness and veneration are concerned. The scientific name of Peepul tree is Ficus Religiosa. This tree belongs to the family of 'Moraceae'. Peepul Tree is known by different names in different languages of the country. Like for instance, it is called as Pipal in Hindi language
. In Bengali language
, this tree is known as Asvattha. It is called Drasi Avasi in Tamil; Avasai or Arasu in Malayalam; Ravi or Ragi Rai in Telugu and Bo in Sinhalese. In English, it is also known as Bo Tree or the Sacred Ficus.
Peepul Tree bears some long-stalked and waving leaves. The leaves are shaped like hearts of human being and terminate in a long, narrowing point. They are near about 15 to 17.5 cm in length. The pendent leaves on their long trails flutter and dance even in the slightest breeze and the gentle rhythm of their tails against neighbouring leaves reproduce the rhythm of rain. The new leaves are dark red in colour and they create an extraordinarily delightful sight. The smooth and pale-grey bark of the tree frequently unwraps in pieces and the vertical trunk becomes grooved and irregular as the tree ages. The trunk is round in shape in the young trees. The tree's strong and structured trunk and the broadly spreading branches make it indeed a gorgeous sight. The fruit of the tree named as Figs, normally grow in pairs. They cover the flowers of the tree and they are purple-blade when they acquire maturity. At first, the host tree supports the impostor, but in the end it surrenders to the pressure of the pervasive root. They do not take any food from the host tree. They only rely upon air and rain until their roots reach the ground.
Uses of Peepul Tree
Peepul tree has very few medicinal or economic uses as it is being worshipped universally. The juice that is obtained from the bark is sometimes used into making a mouthwash that is capable of alleviating toothache and also strengthens the gums. People use the juice to make birdlime as well. The wood of this tree is used to make packing cases.
Peepul tree is very common from India to South East Asia and everywhere in most of the tropical countries. There are several hundred species of Ficus amongst which about eighty can be found in India.
Religious Significance of Peepul Tree
It is claimed by the scientists that Peepul Tree has the longest life. Interestingly, one Peepul Tree in Sri Lanka is said to have been planted in the year 288 B.C. and it is still living and flourishing. Several religious significances are associated with Peepul tree. According to legends, Peepul tree is considered as very sacred among the Buddhists. The Hindus also relate the tree with Lord Brahma
, Lord Vishnu
and Lord Shiva