In Hindu mythology, all the God and Goddesses are associated with some trees, shrubs and creepers. Similarly, all nine planets are believed to control the destiny of a person are associated with trees, bushes and grass. Navgrah Vatika is a garden of nine trees, bushes and grasses which represents planets. These trees are planted in a particular direction to get the benefits of nine planets or grahs hence it is called Navgrah Vatika.
Importance of Navgrah Vatika
In Navgrah Vatika each plant represents different celestial forces so, vatika is used to get the power of navgrah. It creates positive energy and purifies air. It removes vastu dosh. Navgrah vatika brings prosperity, good health and wealth.
Name of trees with direction
1. Achyranthes aspera It is a common weed of Amaranthaceae family. Its Common name is Chaff flower, in sanskrit its called apamarga, in hindi it’s called chirchra. It represents Mercury or Budha. It is planted in north direction.
2.Ficus racemosa It is commonly known as cluster fig or Gular. It represents the planet Venus or Shukra. It is planted in East direction. This tree is considered sacred among Hindus. Its wood is used in homa ceremony.
3.Butea monosperma it is commonly known as Palash : This represents Moon or Chandra. It is planted in southeast direction. Spoons/Ladles made of this tree are used in various Hindu rituals to pour Ghee (clarified butter) into the fire. The tri foliated formation of its leaves represent Holy Trinity Vishnu, Brahma and Mahesh.
A very interesting story is also related to Palash Tree. Once Parvati cursed Gods to be born as trees. Due to the curse Agni dev or God of Fire was converted into Palash tree, Vishnu into Peepal and Rudra into Vata tree.
4. Peepal Tree, Ficus religiosa or sacred fig
Peepal tree is considered sacred among hindus. Roots of the trees represents Brahma, Vishnu represents its trunk and Shiva represents its leaves. People often water the tree on saturday as it is believed that Vishnu along with Lakshmi resides on tree on Saturday. One who worship the tree is rewarded with wealth and name. It represents Jupiter or guru. It is planted in Northeast direction.
5. Calotropis procera It is also known as ark. It represents Sun or Surya. It is planted at the center or middle. Incidentally, this tree is found to be effective in treating skin and wound infections in traditional medicine.
6. Acacia catechu it is also known as khair. It represents Mars or mangal It is planted in South direction. Usually Sruva or sacrificial ladle is made from its wood.
7. Imperata cylindrica or thatch grass or Darbha. It represents Ketu. It is planted in north west direction. During Kurmavatara hairs grew from the tortoiseshell of Lord Vishnu. They washed ashore to become Darbha grass. Hindu considered it very sacred and it is used in all religious ceremonies. Darbha mats are considered best for meditation.
8. Prosopis cineraria also known as Shami. It represents Saturn or Shani. It is planted in west direction.It is believed that offering shami leaves to ganesha, Shiva and Hanuman one is blessed with longevity, honour and prosperity. It is also believed that Shami tree gives power and victory to those who pray to it.
9. Cynodon dactylon It is also known as Durva grass. It represents Rahu. It is planted in south west direction. No puja is considered completed without offering Durva grass to Lord Ganesha.
Once there was a demon named Analasura who emitted fire from his eyes and destroyed whatever came in his way. Ganesha had a fierce battle with him. Finally, Ganesha gulped him down and became restless due to the heat inside his body. Moon, Vishnu and Shiva all came for his help. Finally he was relieved when some sage placed some durva grass on his head. Then Ganesha declared whosoever worship him with durva grass will forever receive his blessing.