MAHASHIVRATRI 2022: Have you seen trifoliate leaves and wondered why it holds so much importance and significance during pujas? In the Hindu religion, Bel tree and Bel leaves are considered sacred and holy. It is believed that the leaves of this tree that are divided into three leaflets represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva. As per Hindu mythology, the leaf also represents Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. To add to all the symbolism of the revered Bel leaf, it is known to be Lord Shiva’s favourite. The Shiva Purana claims that this leaf is amongst the six divine articles used to worship Lord Shiva.
According to ancient Hindu scriptures, the Bel tree emerged from sweat drops of Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva’s wife. The Skanda Purana mentions that sweat droplets from the Goddess’ forehead fell on the Mandrachal mountain and a tree emerged. She named the tree Bilva and it is believed that she resides in all forms, in the tree.
Bel leaves uses
The Hindu scriptures have listed down several properties of the Bel leaf. The three shape leaf signifies three components named Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. While Sattva brings positive energy, Tamas is the negative force. The centre portion of the leaf is concentrated and said to balance the three.
Bel leaves are naturally antibiotic and antifungal, which is beneficial for health. The extract of Bel leaf can control cholesterol levels in the blood. The juice called Bel sherbet is also made from the tree’s fruit which holds high medicinal values.
How to select a good Bel leaf?
Selecting a good bel leaf to offer Lord Shiva is prominent. Make sure the Chakra and Bajra are not present on any leaf. Chakra is a white mark made by insects on the Bel leaf, while Bajra is a thick portion on the stalk. It is important that there should be three leaves, when offered to God, or else the leaf is of no use.