A Symbolic Marriage of Trees
It is customary for Hindus to conduct marriage ceremonies between trees to appease the mythological deities in Hinduism and gain blessings for fertility in childbirth.
Ahmed Humayun Kabir Topu
It is customary for Hindus to conduct marriage ceremonies between trees to appease the mythological deities in Hinduism and gain blessings for fertility in childbirth. They do this once a year. The union symbolises the coming together of the mythological god Mohadeb and goddess Mohamaya, who - according to legend - descend from the heavens during autumn and occupy the Peepul and Banyan trees respectively.
The Banyan tree decorated for a symbolic marriage
The Hindu beliefs also talk of the other deities to be in a state of hibernation during this time. This is a very auspicious time for followers of the religion as performing a marriage between the two trees, supposedly, brings great satisfaction to the goddess Mohamaya. Those who take part in the celebration and worship of this symbolic marriage are then bestowed with blessings from the duo with maternal fertility for rendering such a service.
A two day long ceremony of marriage between the trees was observed at Mirzapur village under Chatmohar Upazila in Pabna starting early on 15 October this year. The date corresponds to the last day in the month of Ashshin, the month in the Bengali calendar that marks the start of autumn.
Kanchan Kumar Pal, adviser of the Chatmohar Upazila Puja Udjapan Parishad said, “According to the ancient mythology, this form of worship is offered by hundreds of couples ready to conceive children. The ceremony is supposed to please the deities, and in return the couples are blessed with boons of fertility.”
More than three thousand Hindu devotees from different areas of the Upazila had gathered at the Mirzapur Bazaar, where the religious festivities were conducted for two days. Gopal Chandra Chakrabarti conducted the symbolic marriage between the Banyan and Peepul trees following religious customs. The Peepul tree was decorated to symbolise the groom, while the Banyan tree was adorned as the bride.
Devotees circled around each tree seven times and the bonding was complete after garlands were exchanged between guardians of each tree. Kanchan Kumar Pal played guardian to the Peepul tree while Ashok Kumar Shaha, treasurer of Chatmohar upazila unit Puja Udjapan Parishad, represented the Banyan tree. The devotees fell into worship after the ceremony came to an end.
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