This tree is a source of herbs and blessings for maintaining physical health
The social forestry department of Vadodara grows 10 to 15 thousand billy saplings in its nurseries every year and gives them to the people for plantation. Maha Shivaratri is a great festival to get the blessings of Lord Shiva.
On this occasion, on Mondays and in the month of Shravan, the leaves of the Bilva tree i.e. Billipatra are of utmost importance in the worship of Devadhideva Mahadev. So on the holy day of Maha Shivaratri, it is like knowing the glory and interesting stories of Shiva’s beloved Bilva.
This tree is also a source of blessings for maintaining the well-being of the human body. Therefore, along with religious, the fruit, leaves, flowers and root medicine of this tree have medicinal values and have multiple uses.
Kartik Maharaja, Deputy Forest Conservator, Social Forestry Department, Vadodara, said that the Bilva trees, which have longevity and strength to withstand adverse conditions, purify the air.
Informing that Billy seedlings are grown from seed in the nursery, he said that 10 to 15 thousand Bilva seedlings are grown every year in the nurseries of Vadodara Social Forestry Department. Thus, in a decade their department has provided 1 to 1.5 lakh seedlings for planting and rearing.
The three-leafed leaf of the Bilva tree gives us the impression of a green crown of lord Shiva. The scientific name of this plant is aegle marmelos. It is called Belvriksha in Hindi and Bilva fruit in Sanskrit.
Bilva tree does not provide timber so it is counted among other trees in the forest department. In India and Gujarat, this tree is found everywhere in farms, hills, forests, Shiva temples, ashrams and people’s houses, ravines. Along with its leaves, fruits are also important in worship of lord Shiva.
Its fruits range from round in size size of small lemons to large coconuts. The tribesmen make dishes and pickles from its raw fruit. The embryo extracted by drying the raw fruit is used in medicine. The delicious syrup of ripe bila refreshes the body in summer. It is used in making Ayurvedic medicines and thus this tree is similar to the kalpa tree of health.
On the holy night of Maha Shivaratri, a hunter sitting on a Bilva tree unknowingly worship lord Shiva and attained Moksha.
We too can contribute to the protection of the environment by making life simpler and more meaningful by growing this multi-faceted tree, Shiva tree in our yard.
Through trees and plants, Indian culture interacts with the supreme divine element which is its distinctive feature. That is why every tree, vegetation and forest is to be preserved.