FICUS RELIGIOSA or SACRED FIG is a species of fig native to the
Indian subcontinent , and
Indochina . It belongs to the
the fig or mulberry family. It is also known as the BODHI TREE,
PIPPALA TREE, PEEPUL TREE, PEEPAL TREE or ASHWATTHA TREE (in India
* 1 Description
* 2 In religion
* 3 Vernacular names
* 4 Cultivation
* 5 Uses
* 6 See also
* 7 Notes
* 8 References
* 9 External links
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.
Ficus religiosa tree is considered sacred by the followers of
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
Bodhi tree The
Bodhi Tree at the Mahabodhi Temple
. Propagated from the Sri Maha Bodhi, which in turn is propagated from
Bodhi Tree at this location.
Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment (bodhi) while meditating
Ficus religiosa. The site is in present-day
Bodh Gaya in
India . The original tree was destroyed, and has been replaced
several times. A branch of the original tree was rooted in
Sri Lanka in 288 BCE and is known as Jaya Sri Maha
Bodhi ; it is the oldest flowering plant (angiosperm) in the world.
Southeast Asia , the tree's massive trunk is
often the site of Buddhist or animist shrines. Not all
can be called a
Bodhi Tree. A
Bodhi Tree must be able to trace its
parent to another
Bodhi Tree and the line goes on until the first
Bodhi Tree under which
Gautama is said to have gained enlightenment.
Typical example of aerial roots
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
Bodhi Tree is said to represent
Pushya (Western star name
γ, δ and θ Cancri in the Cancer constellation).
Plaksa is a possible
Sanskrit term for
Ficus religiosa. However,
according to Macdonell and Keith (1912), it denotes the wavy-leaved
fig tree (
Ficus infectoria) instead. In
Hindu texts, the Plaksa tree
is associated with the source of the
Sarasvati River . The Skanda
Purana states that the Sarasvati originates from the water pot of
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
Example of fruits Typical shape of the leaf of the Ficus
Ficus religiosa tree is known by a wide range of vernacular
* in Indic languages:
Sanskrit — अश्वत्थः aśvatthaḥ vṛksha,
pippala vṛksha (vṛksha means "tree")
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
* Telugu — రావి చెట్టు raavi chettu
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
* Mahal — އަޝްވަތި ގަސް (aśvati gas)
* Odia — ଅଶ୍ୱତ୍ଥ (ashwatth)
Pali — assattha; rukkha
* Nepali (
नेपाली ) — पीपल (peepal or pipal)
* Sinhala — ඇසතු esathu
* Chinese — 菩提樹 (pútíshù, bodhi tree)
* Thai — โพธิ์ (pho)
* Burmese — ဗောဓိညောင်ပင် (
pin), ဗောဓိပင် (
* Vietnamese — bồ-đề
Urdu — peepal پیپل
Cuban Spanish - alamo
* Tagalog - ballete
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 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.
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.
* Sri Maha
* ^ The
Ficus religiosa L.
* ^ A B Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Peepul". Encyclopædia
Britannica . 21 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 45.
* ^ "
Ficus religiosa". Germplasm Resources Information Network
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.
* ^ "
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 of Manifestation".
* ^ "Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research, OLDLIST". Retrieved July 3,
* ^ 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, Latyayana Srauta; Macdonell and Keith 1912
* ^ Asvalayana Srauta Sutra, Sankhayana Srauta Sutra; Macdonell and
Keith 1912, II:55
* ^ Singh D, Singh B, Goel RK "Traditional uses, phytochemistry and
Ficus religiosa: a review." J Ethnopharmacol. February
* ^ Damanpreet Singh; Bikram Singh; Rajesh Kumar Goela (April 12,
Journal of Ethnopharmacology : Traditional uses,
phytochemistry and pharmacology of
Ficus religiosa: A review". Journal
of Ethnopharmacology . ScienceDirect. 134 (3): 565–583. PMID
21296646 . doi :10.1016/j.jep.2011.01.046 .
* Keith and Macdonell. 1912. Vedic Index of Names and Subjects.
* Plaksa description
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: FICUS RELIGIOSA (category)
Wikispecies has information related to: FICUS RELIGIOSA
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
article BO-TREE .
* Entry on BODHI TREE in the Buddhist Dictionary of
Encyclopedia Americana . 1920.