Why Bel Leaves And Fruit Plays A Main Role In Lord Shiva's Worship ?
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
Aegle marmelos commonly known as bael (bel patra), is a sacred tree and used in the ritual rites of Hindus. Bel trees can be usually seen near the Hindu temples and their home gardens. It is considered that bel patra plant takes away all negative vibes and fills the surroundings with positivity as it also confers good health and prosperity.
Bel trees are considered an incarnation of goddess Sati. It is believed that Hindu deity Lord Shiva is fond of bel trees and its leaves and fruit still play a main role in his worship, because the leaf's triple shape symbolises his trident. It is also said that the three-leaf bel patra symbolizes the Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh (Shiva). According to the scriptures, the three leaves of bel patra also represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva.
This rare species of tree is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. There are various names and pronunciations of bel patra depending on the region you belong. The plant has a cultural, social, and therapeutic value. The leaves, bark, roots, fruits, and seeds are used in traditional medicine to treat various illnesses. Its fruit is a rich source of vitamins and minerals that includes Vitamin C, Vitamin A, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, fiber, Vitamin B1, B6, and B12 - that is required for the overall growth and development of the body. According to Ayurveda, the consumption of bel patra helps in balancing all the three doshas - Vatta, Pitta and Kapha.
The fruits can be eaten either fresh from trees or after being dried. If fresh, the juice is strained and sweetened to make a drink similar to lemonade. It can be made into sharbat, also called as Bela pana, a beverage. Bel fruits are of dietary use and the fruit pulp is used to prepare delicacies like murabba, puddings and juices.
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