Our rishis and munis study different types of plants, trees, and various other aspects of nature in depth. And during this very process, they have found interesting details about the coconut. The importance of coconut and coconut water is well-known in puja rituals. Before much adieu, let’s understand the try purpose of doing so in the following article.
The Unique Characteristic Of A Coconut
The rishis and munis found that the coconut was one of the most auspicious fruit. No other fruit has the potency to draw divine vibrations from the outer world as the coconut does. Yes, you heard that right! This is a major reason for the importance of coconut in puja rituals. (Source: Creation and Composition of the Universe, Vol. 12, via Dr Jayant Balaji).
The Divine Fruit
For this very reason, it is also known as Shriphal or the ‘divine fruit’. When one smashes the coconut on the ground, one can even hear a sound similar to that of the monosyllabic mantra. This mantra goes with the name ‘phut’, which can ward off the ill effects of an evil eye. Another reason for the importance of coconut as an offering in a temple. If you look at it this way, the shape of this fruit is akin to a human head with three eyes. When one has to offer it to a deity, one should offer it in such a way that the eye side faces the deity. And this is the most sensitive side of the fruit that can receive divine vibes from the idol.
The Creation Of Coconut
According to living legends, Rishi Vishwamitra was the individual or the personality to create the coconut. Yes, that’s true! (Source: Dharmick Va Samajik Krityon ka Adharbhoot Shastra, Vol. 1, Dr Jayant Balaji Athavale, November 2005, Sanatana Santha, Varanasi) He did this in order to protect the well-being of humanity. The primary goal or intention when one offers a coconut at the feet of a deity is it symbolically means offering one’s own head. It implies that they totally surrender to the Divine and at the same time, they leave no room for any sort of ego from the self.
The Sacredness and Importance of Coconut Water
Just like the Gangajal, people see the coconut water also as sacred. One sprinkles it to remove the negativity of an affected area and also with the motive to purify a place. Then one distributes the white kernel of a broken coconut later to devotees as prasad. Simultaneously, coconut is also a part of the offering while undertaking any new venture. For example one is inaugurating a new bridge, coconut is a part of it.
For instance, building a dam or even buying a new vehicle one needs the coconut for good luck. Even when entering a new house or during the occasion of weddings, celebrating any festivals, and so on. On concluding a havan, the purna ahuti or the final offering is made when one offers a ripe coconut into the sacrificial fire.
Bountiful Of Economic Significance
In the Hindu society as well, the coconut enjoys immense economic importance. Believe it or not, but each and every part of the tree is useful. The trunk, the leaves, the fruit and coir; all of them play a crucial role. One can use them in innumerable ways, either for making thatches, mats, tasty dishes, oil, soap, firewood and so on.
This may sound surprising to you when we say that its tree takes salty water from the earth and converts it into a sweet, nutritive drink. And this drink is especially beneficial for sick and ill people. Not only this, but its water is also a part of the preparation of many Ayurvedic medicines as also in other alternative medicinal systems.
Importance of Coconut During Abhisheka
You must have heard the traditional ritual of abhisheka which usually takes place in temples, have you? There are several items such as milk, curd, honey, sandalwood paste and holy ash that one pours. This generally one pours over the deity along with the water of tender coconut. Each item that one uses in the ritual bestows certain specific benefits on the devotees. Amongst this, one believes that the coconut water bestows spiritual strength on the faithful.