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FICUS RELIGIOSA or SACRED FIG is a species of fig native to the Indian subcontinent , and Indochina
Indochina
. It belongs to the Moraceae , the fig or mulberry family. It is also known as the BODHI TREE, PIPPALA TREE, PEEPUL TREE, PEEPAL TREE or ASHWATTHA TREE (in India and Nepal).

CONTENTS

* 1 Description

* 2 In religion

* 2.1 Buddhism
Buddhism
* 2.2 Hinduism

* 3 Vernacular names * 4 Cultivation * 5 Uses * 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 References * 9 External links

DESCRIPTION

Ficus
Ficus
religiosa is a large dry season -deciduous or semi-evergreen tree up to 30 metres (98 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 3 metres (9.8 ft). The leaves are cordate in shape with a distinctive extended drip tip ; they are 10–17 centimetres (3.9–6.7 in) long and 8–12 centimetres (3.1–4.7 in) broad, with a 6–10 centimetres (2.4–3.9 in) petiole . The fruits are small figs 1–1.5 centimetres (0.39–0.59 in) in diameter, green ripening to purple.

The leaves of this tree move continuously even when the air around is still and no perceptible wind is blowing. This phenomenon can be explained due to the long leaf stalk and the broad leaf structure. However, religious minded people in Hindu/Buddhist religion attribute this movement of the leaves to the fact that "devas" or "gods" reside on these leaves and make it move continuously.

IN RELIGION

The Ficus
Ficus
religiosa tree is considered sacred by the followers of Hinduism , Jainism
Jainism
and Buddhism
Buddhism
. In the Bhagavad Gita , Krishna says, "I am the Peepal tree among the trees, Narada among the sages, Chitraaratha among the Gandharvas , And sage Kapila among the Siddhas."

BUDDHISM

Main article: Bodhi tree
Bodhi tree
The Bodhi Tree
Bodhi Tree
at the Mahabodhi Temple . Propagated from the Sri Maha Bodhi, which in turn is propagated from the original Bodhi Tree
Bodhi Tree
at this location.

Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment (bodhi) while meditating underneath a Ficus
Ficus
religiosa. The site is in present-day Bodh Gaya in Bihar, India
India
. The original tree was destroyed, and has been replaced several times. A branch of the original tree was rooted in Anuradhapura , Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
in 288 BCE and is known as Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Bodhi
; it is the oldest flowering plant (angiosperm) in the world.

In Theravada Buddhist Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
, the tree's massive trunk is often the site of Buddhist or animist shrines. Not all Ficus
Ficus
religiosa can be called a Bodhi
Bodhi
Tree. A Bodhi Tree
Bodhi Tree
must be able to trace its parent to another Bodhi Tree
Bodhi Tree
and the line goes on until the first Bodhi Tree
Bodhi Tree
under which Gautama
Gautama
is said to have gained enlightenment.

HINDUISM

Typical example of aerial roots

Sadhus ( Hindu
Hindu
ascetics) still meditate beneath sacred fig trees, and Hindus do pradakshina (circumambulation, or meditative pacing) around the sacred fig tree as a mark of worship. Usually seven pradakshinas are done around the tree in the morning time chanting "vriksha rajaya namah", meaning "salutation to the king of trees." It claimed that the 27 stars (constellations) constituting 12 houses (rasis) and 9 planets are specifically represented precisely by 27 trees—one for each star. The Bodhi Tree
Bodhi Tree
is said to represent Pushya (Western star name γ, δ and θ Cancri in the Cancer constellation).

Plaksa is a possible Sanskrit
Sanskrit
term for Ficus
Ficus
religiosa. However, according to Macdonell and Keith (1912), it denotes the wavy-leaved fig tree ( Ficus
Ficus
infectoria) instead. In Hindu
Hindu
texts, the Plaksa tree is associated with the source of the Sarasvati River
Sarasvati River
. The Skanda Purana states that the Sarasvati originates from the water pot of Brahma
Brahma
flows from Plaksa on the Himalayas . According to Vamana Purana 32.1-4, the Sarasvati was rising from the Plaksa tree (Pipal tree). Plaksa Pra-sravana denotes the place where the Sarasvati appears. In the Rigveda Sutras, Plaksa Pra-sravana refers to the source of the Sarasvati.

VERNACULAR NAMES

Example of fruits Typical shape of the leaf of the Ficus religiosa

The Ficus
Ficus
religiosa tree is known by a wide range of vernacular names, including:

* in Indic languages:

* Sanskrit
Sanskrit
— अश्वत्थः aśvatthaḥ vṛksha, pippala vṛksha (vṛksha means "tree")

* Hindi
Hindi
- Peepal - पीपल * Bengali language — অশ্বথ, i.e. ashwath, পিপুল, i.e. pipul * Tamil — அரசு, அரச மரம் arasa maram (Literally "king" or "king's tree"; arasu or arasan is Tamil for "king") * Telugu — రావి చెట్టు raavi chettu * Kannada
Kannada
— araLi mara ಅರಳಿ ಮರ * Konkani — pimpalla rook/jhadd * Malayalam — അരയാല് arayaal * Gujarati — પિપળો (pipdo) * Punjabi — Pippal - ਪਿੱਪਲ/ پپل * Bhojpuri — pippar * Maithili (मैथिली ) — पीपर (peepar) * Marathi — पिंपळ pimpaL (where L is as in for example Nagold ) * Mahal — އަޝްވަތި ގަސް (aśvati gas) * Odia — ଅଶ୍ୱତ୍ଥ (ashwatth) * Pali
Pali
— assattha; rukkha * Nepali ( नेपाली ) — पीपल (peepal or pipal) * Sinhala — ඇසතු esathu * Chinese — 菩提樹 (pútíshù, bodhi tree) * Thai — โพธิ์ (pho) * Burmese — ဗောဓိညောင်ပင် ( Bodhi
Bodhi
nyaung pin), ဗောဓိပင် ( Bodhi
Bodhi
pin) * Vietnamese — bồ-đề * Urdu
Urdu
— peepal پیپل * Cuban Spanish - alamo * Tagalog - ballete

CULTIVATION

Ficus
Ficus
religiosa is grown by specialty tree plant nurseries for use as an ornamental tree , in gardens and parks in tropical and subtropical climates . Peepal trees are native to India
India
and thrive in hot, humid weather. They prefer full sunlight and can grow in most soil types, though loam is the best. When planting, use soil with a pH of 7 or below. While it is possible for the plant to grow indoors in a pot, it grows best outside. Young peepal needs proper nourishment. It requires full sunlight and proper watering.

USES

Ficus
Ficus
religiosa is used in traditional medicine for about 50 types of disorders including asthma, diabetes, diarrhea, epilepsy, gastric problems, inflammatory disorders, infectious and sexual disorders.

SEE ALSO

* Bodhi Tree
Bodhi Tree
* Shitala Devi * Sri Maha Bodhi
Bodhi

NOTES

* ^ The Plant
Plant
List, Ficus
Ficus
religiosa L. * ^ A B Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Peepul". Encyclopædia Britannica . 21 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 45. * ^ " Ficus
Ficus
religiosa". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service
Agricultural Research Service
(ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 29 January 2017. * ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1971, p. 1014 * ^ " Ficus
Ficus
religiosa — Peepal" . Flowers of India. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2011. * ^ "The Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 10 - The Yoga
Yoga
of Manifestation". santosha.com. * ^ "Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research, OLDLIST". Retrieved July 3, 2011. * ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bo-Tree". Encyclopædia Britannica . 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 305. * ^ D.S. Chauhan in Radhakrishna, B.P. and Merh, S.S. (editors): Vedic Sarasvati, 1999, p. 35–44 * ^ Pancavimsa Brahmana, Jaiminiya Upanisad Brahmana, Katyayana Srauta Sutra, Lat