Published on: 7:20 pm, April 15, 2016 Story By: mattersindia.com
Takpura (Ayodhya): Every morning, Asma clears the floor of a revered tree barely 25 meters from her home while her relative Qurban Ali watches over it. Thereafter, Hindus in the vicinity offer prayers to the tree over health issues.
Devotees believe that the divine tree can boost intelligence level, end financial woes and enable a worshipper to master his skills.
The tree, known as Ramrama, is the latest addition to the symbols of communal amity in Ayodhya, the land of Rama. “It was discovered about a decade ago and is called Ramrama because the name of Lord Rama is naturally engraved on it. Muslim families nearby take care of it, keep the premises clean and ensure that no one harms it as it is revered by Hindus,” said Rajendra Prasad Majhi, a devotee who visits the place every morning.
The tree was discovered by Pandit Arjun Prasad Bihari, who worked at a local publishing house, in 2005. “I had read about it in Vishnu Purana but never knew it existed. While reading a story in a special edition of Kalyan (a publication of Gita Press), I read that the tree was in a place called Ashokvan in Ayodhya which compelled me to search for it. References of Ashokvan took me to Takpura where I found it,” Bihari told Times of India.
The tree is being promoted by local organisations working to develop Ayodhya’s tourism potential. Sri Saryu Avadh Balak Sewa Samiti member Ashish Mishra said, “There is so much to Ayodhya than the dispute. There are over 7,000 temples and stories of faith every ten yards but the richness of the culture is yet to attract tourists. Ramaram is being promoted as the ‘tree of life’ by local tourist guides.
Mahant Girishpati Tripathi of Tewari Mandir is not surprised by the uniqueness of the tree. “All religious literature on Ayodhya says that Ram exists in every particle on this earth. The tree is a ‘pratyaksha’ (perceptible) specimen of the same,” he said, adding that the uniqueness intrigues visitors.
Hindus and Muslims in the area also organize fair and wrestling competitions around the tree before Shardiya Navaratra every year.
Though the botanical name of the tree is not known, seers claim that it finds mention in religious texts particularly in Vishnu Puran. According to Pandit Arjun Prasad Bihari, “Shlok number 28 on page number six of the sixth chapter in Vishnu Puran talks about the Ramaram tree. It says that Ramaram was the son of sage Kashyap and Ilaya (one of his 13 wives).” Different Hindu Puranas keep Kashyap at the centre of the story of creation. These stories say that humans, animals, fishes, birds and plants are his children.