It is of divine origin and yet with the first ray of the sun it drops from the branches. Even then it holds the distinction of being the only one that can be picked from the earth and offered to Gods. Probably that is why apart from the romance, it is of great medicinal value.
Considered to be a divine tree, Parijat is not without its share of tales of its romantic origin. Close to the heart of the lovers that of a princess “Parijataka”, who was in love with the sun. She tried a lot to win the heart of Sun, but when he rejected her she committed suicide and a tree sprung from her ashes. Unable to stand the sight of the lover, the tree flowers only at night and sheds them like tear drops before the sun rises.
That is how they are, even today!
is also known as ‘Harsinghar’
in Hindi and ‘Shefali’
It bears the botanical name of Nycatanthes Arbortristis
. Nyctanthes which
means ‘night flowering’
means ‘The sad tree’
or ‘The tree of sorrow’
as in the early morning when it has dropped its flowers, the tree appears to look sad. Flower lovers wake up in the early morning to collect them and generally place them in a flat dish to make their rooms fresh and fragrant.
Parijat flower have four to eight petals arranged above a vibrant orange tube in a pinwheel pattern. These highly fragrant flowers open at night spreading their fragrance in the surrounding area with an intensely sweet floral aroma. Just as the dawn breaks, they drop one by one, forming a carpet of snow-white petals, an enchanting sight that can take anyone’s breath. These flowers blossom between August to December.
In India, Parijat
grows in the outer Himalayas at the height of about 1400 meters, and are found in tracts of Jammu & Kashmir, Nepal to East of Assam, Bengal, Tripura extended through the Central region up to Godavari in the South. Besides India, they are found in Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan.
There is no doubt that a garden looks empty without Parijat. It contributes to the distinctive beauty of a garden. Parijat also has medicinal properties. The juice of its leaves is bitter and saline in taste and provides effective relief in the treatment of several types of inflammation and fever including malaria, the intermittent fever, common cough and cold. It also provides an assured remedy for various body disorders ranging from common cough and cold to arthritis and sciatica. The juice of its leaves when mixed with little sugar is a good medicine for treatment of stomach ailments of children. Its flowers, though bitter in taste act as appetizer and soothe the stomach. In the treatment of skin diseases and constipation, the seeds of the Parijat tree are used.
is also used in making different ‘face pack’, as it procures a gaudy shine to the face and gives guaranteed remedy to a variety of skin ailments. The scent of the flower is so fresh that its aroma is captured for making ‘agarbati’
In Asia, the orange colour of the flower is often used to dye the silk and cotton clothing for Buddhist monks. In north east India especially in Assam these flowers are sold in the vegetable markets and people buy them for its medicinal values. They make a soup of these flowers and take it the morning for robust health.
Another story surrounding the trees origin is found in several ancient Indian scriptures. It was Lord Krishna
who brought this heavenly tree to earth. Both his wives Satyabhama
wanted the tree in their courtyard and a quarrel over it ensued between them. But Krishna
planted the tree in Satyabhama’s
courtyard in a way that when the tree flowered, the flowers fell in Rukmini’s
Although most of the flowers, viz., jasmine, lily, rose are offered to God plucked directly from the plants, yet Parijat is considered as the only flower that can be picked from the ground and offered to God. The Parijat tree is believed to be one of the products that surfaced as a result of the ‘Samudramanthan’.Parijat flowers mark the arrival of Goddess Durga. Rabindra Nath Tagore in his poems has mentioned about Parijat flowers and its importance in Durga Puja.
So, next time if you come across a Parijat
tree, stand for a while and try to capture not only its beauty and goodness but also the romance that it holds within.
Few lines from me
Roj ek naya pyaar kaa umang lekar khilta
Dhalti shaam ke rango me dhundhta
Apni khushboo ke geeto se pukarta
Rajni ke aangan me nishabd ban bikharta
Fulo ki kaayanaat me rang se naa alipt
Khushboo ki mehfil me naa hi ho parichit
Par rab ne pehchani uski ahemiyat
Apne sthaan se girkar bhi chadhta who uske sir par