Peepal tree is also known as Ashwattha. The tree is considered as a most sacred tree in Hinduism. In Tamil, it is Arasa Maram – the king of trees. The other names of the peepal tree are Vasudeva, Chaitanya and world tree.
As per the Hindu Mythology, Lord Brahma resides in the roots of the peepal tree, Lord Vishnu resides in the trunk of peepal tree and Lord Shiva resides in the leaves of the peepal tree. Lord Gautam Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment underneath it.
In Ayurveda, it is referred to as an elixir (Amrit) because its different parts are used in more than 72 physical ailments.
We have read many articles on many people who are there for tree protection, environmental protection etc but in reality, very few people have the courage to enforce such notion in real sense.
For me, it was sheer joy when I met Kesharwani family in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. Mr Yogesh Kesharwani’s father didn’t care about shape and façade of the building to save 150 years old PEEPAL tree in his plot. Here is the story why he saved tree and how he saved tree.
When the Kesharwanis decided to branch out and expand their family home, they came up with a novel way of dealing with an ancient giant fig tree in their garden — they built the house around it.
Now the thick trunk of the 150-year-old tree is the central feature of their residence, growing through the middle of the building in the city of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
“We are nature lovers and my father insisted that we keep the tree,” said Yogesh Kesharwani, whose parent built the house in 1994 with the help of an engineer friend.
“The tree is some 150 years old. We knew it was easy to cut the tree but difficult to grow one like it,” he told LOL.
The big tree, known as peepal in Hindi, is considered sacred by many in India and cutting one down is considered inauspicious.
“We believe that 350 million gods and goddesses reside in one peepal tree. The tree is also mentioned in the Geeta,” a Hindu religious text, said Kesharwani. His wife can pray without having to leave home, sitting before the tree in the mornings.
The family also wanted to send the message that people can put down roots in the middle of nature without destroying anything.
The four-storey building is a local landmark because of its unique facade. Leafy branches jut out from the windows, dwarfing the building and prompting curious looks from passersby.
“When the house was first built, engineering students used to come here to try and understand the unique design,” Kesharwani said.
The tree has never caused any practical problems to the family, insisted Kesharwani. “We don’t even realise that the tree exists because it doesn’t come in our way. It just stands there silently.”