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Sacred Plants Of India

Sacred Plants Of India

M Amirthalingam
,
Nanditha Krishna
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Overview

Plants personify the divine— The Rig Veda (X.97)
Trees and plants have long been held sacred to communities the world over. In India, we have a whole variety of flora that feature in our myths, our epics, our rituals, our worship and our daily life. There is the pipal, under which the Buddha meditated on the path to enlightenment; the banyan, in whose branches hide spirits; the ashoka, in a grove of which Sita sheltered when she was Ravana’s prisoner; the tulsi, without which no Hindu house is considered complete; the bilva, with whose leaves it is possible to inadvertently worship Shiva. Before temples were constructed, trees were open-air shrines sheltering the deity, and many were symbolic of the Buddha himself.
Sacred Plants of India systematically lays out the sociocultural roots of the various plants found in the Indian subcontinent, while also asserting their ecological importance to our survival. Informative, thought-provoking and meticulously researched, this book draws on mythology and botany and the ancient religious traditions of India to assemble a detailed and fascinating account of India’s flora.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: May/2014

ISBN: 9780143066262

Length : 312 Pages

Sacred Plants Of India

M Amirthalingam
,
Nanditha Krishna
Overview

Plants personify the divine— The Rig Veda (X.97)
Trees and plants have long been held sacred to communities the world over. In India, we have a whole variety of flora that feature in our myths, our epics, our rituals, our worship and our daily life. There is the pipal, under which the Buddha meditated on the path to enlightenment; the banyan, in whose branches hide spirits; the ashoka, in a grove of which Sita sheltered when she was Ravana’s prisoner; the tulsi, without which no Hindu house is considered complete; the bilva, with whose leaves it is possible to inadvertently worship Shiva. Before temples were constructed, trees were open-air shrines sheltering the deity, and many were symbolic of the Buddha himself.
Sacred Plants of India systematically lays out the sociocultural roots of the various plants found in the Indian subcontinent, while also asserting their ecological importance to our survival. Informative, thought-provoking and meticulously researched, this book draws on mythology and botany and the ancient religious traditions of India to assemble a detailed and fascinating account of India’s flora.

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M Amirthalingam

M. Amirthalingam is a botanist and environmental education officer at C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, Chennai. He has researched and published the books Sacred Groves of Tamil Nadu, Sacred Trees of Tamil Nadu, Temple Tanks of Chennai, and Flora and Fauna of Valmiki’s Ramayana, besides research papers and articles in various journals, magazines, and seminar proceedings. He is currently working on the All India Coordinated Research Project on Sacred Grove Ecosystem Service Assessment in the Inland Plains of Tamil Nadu sponsored by the ministry of environment and forests, Government of India.

Nanditha Krishna

A historian and environmentalist based in Chennai, Nanditha Krishna is the director of the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation and founder-director of its constituents-C.P. Art Centre, C.P.R. Institute of Indological Research, Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre for Children, C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre and the Kanchi Heritage House and Museum of Folk Art, besides three schools and a women's college. Her published works include The Art and Iconography of Vishnu-Narayana, The Arts and Crafts of Tamilnadu, Ganesha-The Auspicious . . . The Beginning, Balaji Venkateshwara-Lord of Tirumala-Tirupati, The Book of Vishnu, The Book of Demons, Madras-Chennai . . . Its History and Environment and Painted Manuscripts of the Saraswati Mahal Library, Tanjore, as well as numerous research papers and newspaper articles. She is a professor and a research guide for the PhD programme of the University of Madras and has received several prestigious national and international awards.

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