We Are Losing Those Trees Which Shri Ram Saw
- Dr (Ms) Sharad Singh
Writer, Author & Social Activist
Blogger - "Climate Diary Of Dr (Ms) Sharad Singh"
We remain eager to know more and more about Shri Ram and Ramayana period. We want to know that when Shri Ram along with Sita and Lakshman left Ayodhya for exile, through which routes did they reach Lanka? That is why a campaign to find the path to Shri Ram's forest was also launched. For this discovery, those geographical symbols which were there during the Ramayana period were made the medium. Those forests and trees which are mentioned in the epic “Ramayana” were also used. If we had protected the forests and saved the trees from being cut, then today we would not have faced any difficulty in finding the forest path of Shri Ram.
Similarly, there is another tree which is remembered by almost all the people who read “Ramayana”. This tree is Ashoka tree. When Ravana had kidnapped Sita by deceit, he kept Sita under the Ashoka tree in the garden of his palace. In the same context, an interesting incident is also mentioned regarding the size of the Ashoka tree. When the monkey prince Hanuman reached Lanka to find out the Sita, when he saw Sita sitting under the Ashoka tree, he climbed the tree and sat hiding in the leaves. When he was coming down from the tree to convey Shri Ram's message to Sita, hiding from the guards, he slipped due to which the branches on one side of the Ashoka tree broke. Legend has it that since that time the Ashoka tree has no branches on one side.
There is description of 182 types of trees and plants in Valmiki Ramayana. In Valmiki Ramayana, in cantos 24 to 27 of the first Balkand, there is mention of the “Tadka forest”, which is terrorized by a demon named Tadka, east of the confluence of the Ganga and Saryu rivers and is known by the same name. This mention is in present-day Bihar and The first clear mention of moist deciduous forests of the Gangetic plains in West Bengal. Where dense trees like Dhataki, Sal, Indrajau, Patla, Bilva, Gab, Kutaj, Arjun, Tendu used to grow in abundance.
Similarly, in the 1 to 11 cantos of Aranya Kand, in the mention of various ashrams and pilgrimages in the Dandakaranya area by Shri Ram, there is a description of the moist deciduous forest area with Jamun, Bakul, Champa trees along with tall Sal trees, which is found even today in Eastern Madhya Pradesh. , is the specialty of the forests of Chhattisgarh and adjacent Maharashtra, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
In the 15th canto of Aranyakanda, there is mention of Panchavati forests in the Sahyadri mountains on the banks of Godavari, in which there is mention of mixed deciduous forests in the grasslands along with the high peaks of the Western Ghats. Where on the banks of the river there are date palms, tala trees, in the plains there are kush, kash, bamboo, mango, kadamba, jackfruit, shami, plum and in the mountains there are forests laden with creepers of various flowers along with sal, patla, sandalwood, punnag, ashoka trees. Were present. Which is still the main geographical view of the lateral hill slopes of the Western Ghats of Maharashtra.
In Ramayana, in cantos 54 to 55 and cantos 95 to 95 of Ayodhya Kand, we get the route from Prayag to Chitrakoot forest and the description of Chitrakoot, in which there are forests of bamboo and reeds on the banks of river Yamuna, further away from the banks there are banyan, neem, mango, There is mention of a dry deciduous forest with a concentration of jackfruit trees and then a moist deciduous forest of Sal trees in the Chitrakoot hills. Along with this, there is also mention of abundance of different types of tuberous species of plants in these forests, which even today is the specialty of Vindhyachal forests of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh south of Yamuna river from Prayag.
In the 75th canto of Aranyakanda, the forest area of Rishyamukh mountain and Pampasarovar is also found which is in present day Karnataka and the tropical rain forests of the Western Ghats mountains along with the deciduous forests on the side. In which lotus present in the lake, Kumudani of different varieties, Tal trees on the banks along with Kush, Kash, Bamboo, Mango, Kadamba, Tilak, Banana, Jackfruit, Bakul, Champa in the plains and Sal, Patla, Chandan, Punnag in the mountains, Along with Ashoka trees, there were forests laden with creepers of various flowers, Juhi, Malti, Mogra.
On the way from Prayag to Chitrakoot there is a Banyan tree known as Shyam Vat which Sri Rama visited during his forest exile (Valmiki Ramayana - Ayodhya Kanda 55)
In Nashik there is a group of five Banyan trees known as Panchavati where Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Devi Sita stayed during their forest exile (Nashik Panchavati, Nashik district, Maharashtra).
There is another story in Ramayana itself in which Shri Ram took cover of the Sal tree. There was a kingdom of monkeys in Kishkindha state near the Pampa river. Bali and Sugriva were two brothers who were the sons of the king of Kishkindha. There was a dispute between the two regarding the state. Sugriva was not able to defeat Bali. During that time he met Shri Ram while going to the forest. By that time Ravana had kidnapped Sita and Shri Ram was searching for Sita. Then Sugriva promised to help Shri Ram on the condition that Ram helps him first. He prayed to Ram to kill Bali and give him the kingdom. Then Shri Ram saw that Bali was a tyrannical king, hence there would be no harm to the people if he was killed. That is why when Bali and Sugriva were fighting with each other, Shri Ram hid behind the Sal tree and shot an arrow at Bali and killed him. Although this action of Shri Ram is not considered appropriate, but in this story it is known that there is a dense forest of Sal trees.
If even today the forests were the same as they were in the era of Ram, then it would have been very easy to find the path to Ramvan.