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Shamee Tree

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Shamee Tree
See also    Trees
All these legends are taken from  Shamee Tree

Shamee tree is a thorny tree like Babool tree. Its reference comes in Mahaabhaarat when Paandav were about to begin their A-Gyaatvaas (incognito) period at Viraat Nagar. They hid their weapons on a Shamee tree. it is mostly found in South and Gujaraat areas. In Gujaraat area one my find rags wrapped around its branches as offerings. A legend of a metamorphosis of a young girl is famous about it from the Chapter 33 of Kreedaa Kaand of Ganesh Puraan.

Legend of Aurav Muni

Once wandering around the three Lok, Naarad Jee came to Amaraavatee, in Indra Lok. Indra rose from his seat, welcomed Naarad Jee and asked him if he knew about Aurav Muni. Naarad Jee said to him - "Listen O Indra, Once, there lived a Braahman named Aurav in Maalavaa. He was very learned Braahman and proficient in Ved. His face used to shine like gold with knowledge and his learning was like that he could anything with his will - he could create, cherish and destroy.

He had a wife named Sameghan and from her he had a beautiful daughter named Shamee. Muni loved her very much and tried to fulfill her every wish. When she was 7 years old, he married her to Dhaumya's son Mandar who was still living with his Guru Shaunak Jee. So after the marriage the girl and the boy got separated until they reached their maturity age. After finishing his education, Mandar went to his Guru Shaunak's house, took his wife Shamee, and was coming to his Guru's house. As he was coming to his Guru's house, on the way they passed by the house of a mighty Rishi Bhrushundi's house. He was a great worshipper of Ganapati. He had got a boon from Ganapti by which he could grow a trunk from his forehead. When Mandar and Shamee saw a Rishi with the face of trunk, they burst into laughter. Bhrushundi filled with rage and he cursed them that they should turn into such trees that even animals should not come near them. So Mandar became the Mandar tree whose leaves are not eaten by any animal; and Shamee became the Shamee tree on whose thorns no birds may rest.

Some days passed. Shaunak Jee waited for his disciple for some time, but when he did not return, he set off in search of them. First he went to Aurav's house and there he came to know that they had left for Shaunak's house. But when Aurav heard that the children had not reached his house, both Aurav and Shaunak started searching for them. Searching for them they came to Bhrushundi Muni's Aashram and came to know about the curse of Bhrushundi Muni. Both Aurav and Shaunak Jee did Tap for Ganapati. Ganapati got pleased with their Tap and appeared before them. He was 10 cubits high and was riding on a lion. They begged him the boon that their children should be restored as their children again. But Ganapati feared that his devotee would be displeased if he did that, so he told them that these two trees would be honored throughout the three Lok and neither Shiv's, nor his own worship would be complete without them. Hearing this Shaunak Jee went his way, but Aurav left his mortal body and became the fire which lies within the trunk of the Shamee tree.

This was the story of Aurav Muni told by Naarad Muni to Indra.

Legend of Paandav

Its another legend is related to Paandav. When Paandav had lost ikn Dice Game second time, they had to go to forest for 13 years - 12 years living in forest and 1 year liing in A-Gyaatvaas (incognito). They successfully completed their 12 years of exile and now they got ready to spend their 1 year of A-Gyaatvaas period. They decided to spend it in Raajaa Viraat's court, so they came to Viraat Nagar and strted searching for a place to keep their weapons. Arjun looked around and found a Shamee tree and said - "It is well if we hang our weapons on it. For, see, because of the great thorns that spread round it on every side it is hard for any one to climb it. Secondly, there is no one here now to see what we are doing. The tree too is in a lonely spot wherein live snakes and wild beasts, and it is used as a burning ground too. There is but small fear, that is of men wandering hither. Therefore, let us place our weapons on this tree and then go to Viraat Nagar. And as we have already decided let us each complete our days of exile there."

Thus Arjun spoke to Yudhishthir and all the Paandav got ready to keep their weapons on that tree. First Arjun loosened his bow string of the mighty Gaandeev. Then Yudhishthir freed the gut of his bow by whose aid he had guarded the land of the Kurus. Next Bheem undid the fastenings of his bow. Next Nakul untied his bow, and in the last Sahadev unstrung his bow. They kept their bows, and their shiny swords and jewel-studded quivers with arrows. Yudhishthir then gathered them all and asked Nakul to climb the tree. Nakul climbed the tree  and kept all the weapons in the holes and crevices where the arms could lie in a safe way and where the rain would not make them wet. There he placed them and tied them with string cords. Then the Paandav tied a corpse to the tree thinking that its sight and smell would keep men away from wandering thither. Then they walked towards Viraat Nagar. On the road they said to the people whom they passed - "We have tied to that tree the corpse of our mother died at the age of. Thus those Paandav after guarding their weapons passed the 13th year of their exile in the court of Viraat.

Legend of Raghu

This legend says that one day a young sage called Kauts quarreled violently with his Guru Vartantu and wished to leave him. But Vartantu before he let him go asked him for 140,000,000  (140 million) Rupees as the price of his fees (Guru Dakshina). Kauts went to the court of king Raghu of Ayodhyaa to beg this money to pay his master's fee, but he came at an unhappy time. King Raghu had just held a mighty sacrifice and he had given everything he possessed to the Braahman who bad assembled there. So when Kauts came to the king Raghu's court the generous Prince had only earthen plates to eat food. Kautsa's heart sank within him when he saw King Raghu's poverty nevertheless he disclosed his aim to come there.

The King called his treasurer and asked him about this much money but in vain. The treasure's room was also complete empty. In despair King Raghu prepared to raid Indra's capital Amraavatee and rob him of the 140 million asked by Kauts. Just at this time Naarad Muni came to Ayodhyaa and after the customary salutations, asked the King about his worry and learnt that he wanted to rob Indra. He at once went to Amraavatee and told everything about this to Indra. Indra got alarmed at the decision of King Raghu, so he sent for the god Kuber, his treasurer and the Lord of all wealth and made him shower gold on Ayodhya for three and a half Ghatikaa (Ghadee) the same night. The gold fell in one place where a giant Shami tree stood. The next morning, on the Aashwin Shukla 10th, king Raghu saw masses of gold around that tree. he called Kauts and asked him to take as much as he wanted. Kauts said - "I need only 140 million just to give to his Guru Vartantu." So he took his money and went his way. Now the proud Kshatriya, King Raghu, refused to touch that money which was got for the need of a Braahman, so the rest of the gold lay down there only. Whoever wanted it could take it.

Now on that day, Aashwin Shukla 10 (the Dashaharaa day), when King Raghu wanted to go to Amaraavatee, Maraathaa villagers remember this day by worshipping the Shamee tree. They cut off its branches, mix them with earth, sesame flowers, Apta leaves and millet ears (Baajaree ears) and offer them to Ganesh, who turns them into gold (fancied). This heap is taken to the boundary of the village and it is looted by the men and boys there.

Legend of Raam

A stranger sequel to the legend of Raghu is that Raam also worshipped Shamee tree in honor of His grandfather for success, before invading Raavan. So Raajpoot kings also prayed it before going on war.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 04/12/13