Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ashta Bilvas

Having seen about  the flowers/ leaves enumerated by Azwar in his verses, now let's see what kind of leaves, have been mentioned in Bilvashtakam or the 8 verses about Bilva. Bilva tree has been glorified both in Vead ans this sloka. These days, Bilva leaves are offered to Lord Shiva, primarily. But in a place in Krishna Yajur Veda, called Sri Suktham or the praise of Godess Lakshmi,this tree has been glorified. This Sukta describes Bilva tree as the one belonging to Sri laksmi (Vasapathi: Thava Vruksho tha Bilva:). Going further , this Sukta also has a prayer to Maha Lakshmi to remove the illusion, in-Auspisciousness etc.. by it fruits. (Thasya Phalani Thapasa Nuthanthu Maayanta Raayascha Paashya Alakshmi:"). Such is the greatness of this tree.

Bilvashtakam, a verse glorifying the results of offering Bilva leaves to Lord Shiva, mentions 7 other leaves, which are equivalent to Bilva. Thse are called together as asta bilvas.

As per the below sloka, 8 different kinds of leaves are revered as Vilvas or glorified as Vilva(s):

Thulasi Bilva Nirgundee Apaamarga Kapihtagou
Shamee Cha Aamalakam Dhoorva Asta Bilva Prakeerthitha:

 Thulasi (Tulasi, Thuzai) - Ocimum Sanctum

Bilva (Vilvam) - Cynodon Dactylon

Nirgundi  (Nochi) - Vitex negundo

ApaaMaarga (Nayuruvi) - Achyranthes aspera

Kabitha (Vilam) - Limonia acidissima

Shamee (Vanni)-Prosopis Spicigera

Aamalakam - (Malai Nelli) - Phyllanthus Emblica

Doorva - (Aruham pul) - Cynodon Dactylon

Needless to say, each of these leaves have unique medicinal qualities and also some of them have falvors. Some of them like Thulasi are consumed directly, while others are powdered and used in various Ayurvedic perparations. Thus offering these medicnal leaves to God, in in our glorious tradition, which also makes them readily reachable when in need of them for certain disease curitng etc..

Bilva,Thulasi & Nochi hav good fragrance. Thulasi and Noci are usedin the cure of cold, fever etc.. Our siptures, thus give us, unvaluable treasures, in the form of slokas, etc.. Let's enjoy our lives with those.

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