Plant Myths and Legends – Part 2
1. Mango (Mangifera indica):
This king of fruits has an exciting history. The daughter of the sun was the most pretty girl on Earth. She was married to a mighty king and was living happily. A wicked enchantress hated watching them be felicitous and vowed to ruin her life. She chased the girl and terrified her with horrible screeches.
To escape the evil woman, the daughter of the sun jumped into a deep pool and disguised as a lotus flower. The king was taken by the flower’s loveliness. Looking at this, the enchantress was furious and set the waterbody on fire. From the ash of burnt lotus, mangoes grew. Though the king was sorry for the loss, he loved the mango flowers too.
When the fruits grew the king longed to taste them. As he went to pick the first mango, it fell at his feet, and the daughter of the sun emerged from its flesh. When the king saw his wife, he rejoiced and took her back to the palace.
Another romantic tale states that Kamadeva or Cupid carry five arrows with which he pierces the people who are meant to fall in love. A young girl, looking for the love of her life, gathered a mango flower, and gave it to Cupid. She instructed him to place it on the tip of one of his arrows. He was so pleased with the results, that the mango flower dart became the arrow of love.
Commonly called as the Pippala, the tree is known as the Sacred Tree of Knowledge, or Bo Tree by the Buddhists. It is believed that beneath a shady tree, Prince Gautama sat and meditated for seven years. As Gautama meditated and withdrew from the materialistic world, his mother worried about him. Wanting for her son to return to normalcy, she demanded destruction of the Bo Tree.
This drove Gautama into extreme depression, and he fainted at the sight of his favorite tree. He was revived and poured a libation of 100 jars of milk over the tree’s shattered stem. He vowed that he would die if the tree did not rejuvenate, at this, the tree grew vigorously and retained its original size. This is why the Bodhidharma (Bo Tree) is held sacred in the Buddhist and Hindu world even today.
3. Banyan Tree:
Just like Peepal tree, the Banyan Tree holds a sacred position in Indian mythology. It is said that there is a Banyan tree in heaven, under which Lord Vishnu was born. It is also believed that Vishnu plays at the foot of a great Banyan outside of Mount Govardhana, illuminating his surrounding. The Banyan tree is the Tree of Knowledge, the tree of seers and holy people.
The Banyan tree on the banks of river Nerbudda, near Surat, is reputed to be the oldest Banyan Tree in India. It is 3000 years old and has never been touched with a metal or trimmed.
Chinese Buddhists believe that Buddha sits beneath a Banyan tree and faces East, where he is venerated by Lord Brahma.
An Italian legend states that a queen was out walking in her garden, crying over her infertility. She stopped before a Rosemary bush and wished that she too might be as fruitful. In some time, she gave birth to a small rosemary plant, which she nurtured. Her nephew, the king of Spain, stole the plant and watered it with goat’s milk. Once playing a lovely tune on the flute in the garden, a gorgeous girl emerged from the plant. He fell in love with mesmerizing beauty. Soon he was called to war.
Wishing to keep the plant safe he ordered the gardener to take care of it and restrain from anyone to play music near the plant. The gardener, forgot the king’s order and played a tune on the flute. The princess appeared again. The king’s sisters abused and shamed her, to which she disappeared.
At this, the plant withered away. The gardener was scared and took refuge in a forest. In the woods, he came across a dragon. The dragon revealed that the plant could be revived with his blood. The gardener killed the dragon and took its blood to the plant, which revived. The king on his arrival praised the gardener and married the girl. He named her Rosa Marina. Buy rosemary herb seeds online.
One of the most nutritious fruits, the banana is beckoned by different stories in different cultures.
According to the Burmese legend, when the man was created, he searched for nutritious food for his family. He encountered a beautiful tree with many fruits, which were being eaten by birds. As the birds were eating, he knew that the fruits were not poisonous. Thus, he shooed away the creatures and took the bananas for his family. Since then the Burmese call banana “the birds told.”
The Hawaiians, call banana as mai`a. They say that Goddess Pele’s brother brought the banana to Hawaii from Tahiti. They also believe mai`a is the body of Healing God – Kanaloa. Buy fruit seeds online.
Do you know any other myths and legends associated with plants? Let us know in the comments section below. Sharing is caring!