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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Shami : The Sacred Plant

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A Shami Plant

Some years back, my wife brought a small plant and asked me to transplant the same in an earthen pot. She told me that the plant was known as Shami (Prosopis spicigera Linn.). Many things were already known to me about Shami, but it was that day only that I could see the same in its physical form.

“Shami, oh the same sacred plant about which I have already heard and studied … the beloved tree of Lord Rama, the protector of the arms of Pandavas during their one year long incognito, the protector of human beings from the bad forces of Shani, and the symbol of victory in all walks of life … Shami samyate papam …”, I exclaimed and acted like a child.

One thing I want to tell you here and that THING is mentioned ahead. A plant can grow smart on a cemented floor where there are no soil, water and manure. It can grow on the margin of a road facing the danger of being crushed all the time. It can also grow well on a wall with least possibility of proper projection to receive sun light. But it is very difficult for a man like me, to transplant a plant and see it growing properly.

Once I dug out a very small plant of Peepal with maximum care of saving its roots completely, and transplanted the same into earth, not into a pot filled with soil. Still it did not grow and died after some days. In fact, my wife used to water Peepal Tree on a certain day of the week, but there was not a single Peepal tree in the neighborhood. So, she had to walk up to a long distance with the sacred water, in a pot of copper, to pour it into the Peepal tree though this practice could not seem difficult to her, and she used to walk up to the great sacred tree with full devotion. I see ladies walking up to long distances with sacred materials of Worship to some temple. But, here the case was not of a temple, and temple too lacks importance when located close to one’s house. Thus, it was just my strategy to restrict her from going up to a distant place for pouring water at the roots of the sacred tree.

You can find trees of Peepal, Neem, Banyan etc. in your neighborhood, but it is often very difficult to find a Shami tree at a short distance from your house. She had seen plants of Shami grown by people in pots and secondly, since the position of Shami plant near the gate of a house has its own unique significance, the plant was sure to be grown in a big, strong and durable pot made of either soil or cement. I planted Shami in a big pot of cement filled with good soil and watered it. From that day, I used to visit the plant every morning soon after I woke up. The plant was watered regularly, but it remained in the same shape and size for about three months. I was sad to observe the condition and researched a number of ways so as to know something to make the plant grow fast. But, I failed.

One day my wife told about a secret, and now I am going to disclose it for you. The secret was – since our family is not in a sound condition these days …” Okay, okay. We have planted hon’ble Shami Dev to improve the condition of our family, and not to lament over it” - I said.

“Don’t speak like that”. My wife said.

“A number of agarbattis Mom plants in the soil of the pot during her daily prayers, emit tonnes of smoke on the plant. I don’t know how many harmful gases are there in the smoke besides carbon dioxide. How can Shami grow? He is fed up of our worship. She keeps an open lamp near the stem of the plant and the heat produced by the lamp placed close to it is harming the plant, I think. She leaves a number of flowers there whenever she worships the plant. Those flowers get dry and decompose in the soil of the pot, and the bacteria that decompose those flowers utilize the energy of the same soil due to which its power of raising a plant has already gone …”, my son explained.

One day I put the Shami plant out of the pot carefully, cleaned the pot, dried it in the sun for the whole day, powdered the soil of the plant and dried it, mixed some properly decomposed cow dung, filled the pot and planted the same into it. When watering the plant, I declared –

“Now on, no agarbattis will be planted around the stem of the plant; no flower will ever be left there to dry and decompose, and burning of lamp should be done out of the pot. Shami Maharaj has to sense the fragrance of agarbattis and he can also sense it when agarbattis are placed at a certain distance. We don’t put an agarbatti into our nostril to sense its fragrance, and the same science can be applied for the plant also. Lamp is lighted to honour the god or to spread light and not to warm him. Take all the care or I will not be responsible for any unpleasant event”.

My wife who usually does not tolerate preaching of any one of the family, listened through out the session. All the wrong practices of worshiping Shami were improved and one year passed since convention at my residence.

This monsoon brought a number of good news to us and the latest news that my wife reported me in the morning today was – “See, a number of colourful flowers are hanging down the branches of Shami.”

I rushed to the plant, visited its flowers closely, came back to my table where my mobile phone with 3.2 megapixels camera facility was placed, took the same, came out to the plant, and clicked, and clicked, and clicked … .

Other posts on Shami Plant/ Shami Tree:
1. Agricultural and Medicinal Services of Shami Plant
2. Worshipping the Shami

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