Hindus have always had great reverence for trees and other plants because they are the foundation of life. In the Puranas and other religious texts, great importance has been accorded to trees and plants, equating them with gods. It is recommended that they should be treated as members of the family.With confirmation by scientists that plants are living beings, the credibility of religious texts has been strengthened. This has also strengthened belief in the effects of good and bad deeds on rebirth. The special status granted to some plants is now easier to understand.
According to religious texts, when people plant trees and care for them, those plants are reborn as their children. Whoever gives trees and plants in charity pleases the gods through flowers on the trees. In sunny and rainy weather trees serve as umbrellas to passer-by desiring refuge and rest. By offer droplets after the rain, they please forefathers. Those who offer flowers attain affluence and prosperity.In the Rig-Veda, 6/48/17, it is said:
Do not be like the devilish buzzard that troubles other birds by grabbing their necks and killing them. Do not trouble the trees. Do not uproot or cut them. They provide protection to animals, birds and other living beings.In the Manusmriti, it is said that trees bring with them the fruits of their deeds from the last birth. They are living beings and experience sorrow and happiness. God has created them for the welfare of living beings. They face the sun and the heat, but protect those who come under their shade. They provide refuge and residence to birds and insects. They bear flowers and fruits. One cannot estimate the number of saints and sages who offered prayers under the shade of trees. It is characteristic of the trees to give and keep giving.Since a traditional burial consumes nearly one tree, Hindus are bound to plant three trees, on special occasions, during their life span. Which actually makes sense, especially in today’s world where we need more and more trees to give us life when we live and for fire when we die.
Have you done your duty and paid your part to Mother Nature for your life and death?