The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes the rite (vidhi) of planting of trees (padapa) which is chapter 28 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the twenty-eighth chapter of the Srishti-khanda (section on creation) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 28 - The rite (vidhi) of planting of trees (pādapa)

Bhīṣma said:

1-2a. O brahman, tell me in detail about the rite (which is performed) with reference to (the planting of) trees (pādapa). Also tell me about the worlds that are said (to exist).

Pulastya said:

2b-3. O King, I shall describe to you the rite with reference to the (planting) of trees in gardens and other places. O lord of the worlds, having accomplished everything as in the case of the rite with reference to the lakes, he should worship the priests, parts of the pavilion and also the preceptor like that (i. e. in the same way).

4-5. He should similarly honour brāhmaṇas with gold, garments and anointment. He should cover the trees with garments after having sprinkled them with water containing all herbs and with curds, and (after having) decorated them with curds and sacred grains. Their ears should be pierced[1] with a golden needle.

6-8. He should also give (i.e. apply) collyrium to them with a small golden stick. He should also get fashioned seven or eight silver fruits; and should put each one of them on the altar (in the form) of the trees. Here the incense of guggulu is the best. O king, having filled pitchers with seven kinds of grains, having covered them with cloth, (having applied) sandal and anointment to them and having placed them in copper-vessels, he should put them on the trees.

9-10a. After worshipping them in the evening, and after properly making offerings to the regents of the quarters (and gods) like Indra, the brāhmaṇas should thus consecrate the tree.

10b-11. Then from the midst of the trees, he should give a cow covered with white cloth, with her girdle made of gold, her udders decorated with bell-metal and looking charming with golden horns and with her face turned towards the north.

12-15. Then the best brāhmaṇas should bathe with (the water in) those very pitchers to the accompaniment of religious texts (used at the time) of holy bathing, and also of musical instruments and auspicious songs and also to the accompaniment of sacred texts from the Ṛgveda, Yajurveda and Sāmaveda and texts sacred to Varuṇa. The host, having bathed and put on a white garment, should worship with grandeur, all the well-composed priests with (i.e. by giving them) cows, golden strings with bracelets, rings and sacred threads, as well as garments, beds, pieces of furniture and wooden sandals. For four days he should bathe with milk.

16. He should perform a sacrifice with ghee, barley or even with black sesamum. The sacrificial sticks of Palāśa are recommended. Similarly a festival (should be celebrated) on the fourth day.

17-18a. He also should give presents (to brāhmaṇas) according to his capacity. He should, without being jealous, do whatever is most desirable. He should give double (the presents given to brāhmaṇas) to the preceptor; and having saluted him, he should seek his pardon.

18b-19a. A wise man, who celebrates the tree-festival according to this rite, obtains (i.e. fulfils) all his desires, and an endless position.

19b-20. O lord of kings, he, who, thus installs (i.e. plants) a tree, would also live in heaven as long as three myriads of Indras (rule there); and would save (from falling into hell), past and future men (i.e. his relatives) equal to the number of hair on the body (i.e. a large number).

21-22. He attains great prosperity (making) rebirth difficult. Even that man, who listens to this, or makes others to listen to it (i.e. reads it to others), is honoured by gods and in the world of Brahman. The trees alone make a sonless person have a son.

23-24. They offer libations etc. to plants at sacred places. O lord of kings, plant an aśvattha tree even with great effort. It alone will give you a thousand sons. And by (planting) an aśvattha a man becomes wealthy; the aśoka (tree) destroys grief.

25. The plakṣa tree is said to give (the fruit of) a sacrifice; the kṣīra tree is said to cause (long) life. Jambukī gives daughters; dāḍimī gives a wife.

26. Aśvattha leads to the destruction of diseases; palāśa gives (i.e. takes one to) Brahman. A man who plants a vibhītaka (tree) becomes a ghost.

27. (The planting of) Aṅkola tree leads to the expansion of the family. Health is (caused) by (the planting of) the khadira (tree). The sun is ever pleased with the nimba shoots.

28. God Śiva (is pleased) when śrī (tree is planted); and Pārvatī (is pleased) with the red lodhra (being planted). The celestial nymphs (are pleased) with (the planting of) śiṃśapā, and the best Gandharvas with the kunda tree.

29. (One would get) groups of servants (if one plants) tintiḍīka tree; similarly (the planting of) vañjula (leads to the rise of) robbers. Candana, and panasa also give religious merit and wealth.

30. (Planting of) campaka gives good fortune, and that of karīra makes one an adulterer. (Planting of) tāla destroys one’s progeny; while (planting of) vakula (i.e. bakula) expands the family.[2]

31. The planting of coconut tree brings many wives, while planting of the grape-creeper (makes one have) an all-beautiful (wife). Similarly (planting of) kolī causes sexual enjoyment; (planting of) ketakī destroys one’s enemies.

32. These trees and others which are not mentioned (here) are givers (of various objects). Those who have planted trees will go (i.e. attain) high position.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Karṇavedhana—ear-boring; a religious ceremony sometimes performed as a saṃskāra.

[2]:

Tala: Planting of this tree is said to destroy children and that of bakula to increase the family.

[3]:

Ahaṃkāra, Pradhāna and Puruṣa are principles accepted by the Sāṃkhya school of philosophy. For a detailed description of these, see Chapter 2 above.

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