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Bael leaves are considered to be one of the most important things offered to Lord Shiva. The trifoliate leaf holds a great significance for devotees of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva is extremely fond of the bael leaves. No matter what day it is, devotees are often seen offering bael leaves to Lord Shiva. But have you ever wondered what makes the bael leaves so special and important? If you are unaware of the reason behind the importance of Bael leaves, then we are here to help you know the same. Scroll down the article to know more about this ritual.
The Devotion Of Goddess Lakshmi
As per the Shiv Purana, bael leaves are considered to be the manifestation of Lord Shiva. The trifoliate of the leaf represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva. The roots of the tree represent all the sacred pilgrimage locations. It is said that worshipping Lord Shiva while sitting under this tree relieves a person from all kinds of sins. According to some mythological stories, once Goddess Lakshmi sat to worship Lord Shiva. She had brought 1000 flowers to worship the deity but when She started the Puja, She noticed that two flowers were missing.
As the Goddess was unable to get up and fetch two more flowers, She got worried. With no one around to help Her, Goddess Lakshmi thought of cutting Her breasts and offering those to Lord Shiva. This is because once Lord Vishnu said that the breasts of Goddess Lakshmi are as pious as a lotus flower. Hence Goddess Lakshmi, cut off Her breasts and offered them to Lord Shiva. Pleased by the devotion of Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Shiva blessed Her. Soon a bael tree originated from the offered breasts. Lord Shiva said that the breasts of Goddess Lakshmi shall stay on the bael tree in the form of bael fruits. He also said that those who worship Him by offering bael leaves will attain salvation.
Though it is said that the bael leaves represent the eyes of Lord Shiva, in some scriptures it is written that the trifoliate represent the Holy Trinity, i.e., Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the nurturer) and Mahesh (the destroyer). Devotees of Lord Shiva believe that worshipping the deity without these leaves makes the puja fruitless.
Since the bael leaves and fruit have cooling properties and Lord Shiva is the one having ferocious and destructive nature, offering bael leaves keeps Him calm and peaceful. Perhaps this is the reason, devotees offer Him bael leaves smeared with sandalwood paste.