The sturdy mulberry tree still stands a tall, as its branches sway gently with the early morning breeze. The whistling sounds of the leaves as the air brushes across them seems to speak to their visitors, trying to recite the divine stories it holds within.
About Adi Shankaracharya
Adi Jagatguru Shankaracharya, was born by the blessings of Lord Shiva in a Brahman family in Kerala. His father’s name was Shri Shivaguru and mother’s name was Smt. Aryamba. Embraced to celibacy at the age of eight, he traveled across India and spread the message of Dharma and established the Jyotish Peeth near Badrinath in the North, Shringeri Peeth near Rameshwaram in the South, Govardhan Peeth near Jagannath Puri in the East and Shrada Peeth near Dwarka Puri in the West of India.
The Hindu scriptures indicate that Adi Shankaracharya used to offer his prayers under the Kalpavriksha or the sacred Mulberry Tree, which is more than 2500 years old. The name Joshimath has been derived from Jyotimath, which was the earlier name of the town. The Shivalinga installed by Adi Shankaracharya lies beneath the present day Jyoteshwar Mahadeo Temple.
The tree which fulfills your wishes, as it is so called, has a great significance in the Hindu culture. Essentially, a Kalpavriksha can also be called as a tree of which every part can be completely utilized. For eg, a neem tree. the leaves of the neem tree serve as medicinal herbs for skin as well as a substitute in many Ayurvedic medicines. The thin branches are used as Datun, the ancient Indian methodology for oral care. Neem is also used alongside a person suffering form Chicken Pox because it alleviates the pain caused by the Chicken pox blisters. The roots of Neem tree are used in some Ayurvedic medicines. It is also said to release oxygen in the atmosphere more than any other tree during its photosynthesis process and thus, there is an immediate rise in the energy levels of a person sitting under a neem tree.
Another example is the banana tree. The leaves of banana form the most important part of any Hindu prayer ceremonies. The fruit is an essential part of the offerings or Prasad, the branches and the shoots are used for decorative purposes during the ceremonies. The banana tree is also used extensively during the Hindu marriage ceremonies. The banana leaves are used as natural plate to serve food to the visitors. In South India especially, the food is usually served on the banana leaf where in a large sized leaf is decoratively cut in the shape of a plate and used to serve food to the people.
Hence, no part of the tree goes wasted, the tree gives itself completely for the service of the mankind and thus becomes the Kalpataru, the wish-fulfilling tree, blessing mankind with health, happiness and prosperity.
The Kalpavriksha of Jyotirmath is an evergreen tree and does not lose any of its leaves by itself. It served as the place for the meditation of Adi Shankaracharya where he meditated to Lord Shiva. The 2500 year old mulberry tree withstands the harsh conditions of the mountains and still continues to provide its fruits, shade and prosperity to the locals. A temple has been surrounded over it now and the Shivalinga installed inside for worship.
How is mulberry tree a Kalpavriksha? Here’s the answer:
It prevents certain cancers, is a great source of Vitamins C,E,K, reduces risks of blood clots and strokes, cleanses blood, cleanses liver and kidney, improves immunity to cough and cold, speeds up body recovery, controls blood sugar and cholesterol, improves skin and hair follicles, enhances appetite and improves eyesight.
As a result, every part of it is utilised for the service of the mankind. It gives itself for the well-being of mankind.
A simple yet the most difficult choice for mankind to make...to shun the Me and accept the We..
When a human chooses this path, he becomes like a Kalpavriksha, which never keeps anything for itself, but gives away everything for the service of the nature and mankind, without asking for anything in return. That then becomes the secret of his immortality, the body withers away, yet the aura remains, in all those people who live and share the goodwill.
That keeps the Kalpavriksha a tall for so many years, and it continues to help the mankind undeterred, never differentiating, generalizing, criticizing or judging anyone, treating all elements alike…it continues to be one with the nature and the nature remains one with it.
The transit town for entry into the heritages of the region. It has three axes along which the various heritage locations can be explored. Axis-1 leads to Badrinath and the Hemkund Sahab, Axis-2 leads to Auli where one can enjoy scenic beauty, ice-skating in winters and of course, Asia’s highest cableway. Axis-3 leads to Tapovan and Bhavishya Badri. The pivot serves as a vital town for all the resources for travelers. The Sikhs have a Gurudwara and their inhouse hostel facility for the travelers proceeding to Hemkund Sahab, however, there are no boundries for other travelers and are open to stay with a welcome heart.
The Joshimath town is famous for its woolens and it would be a great idea to purchase one of those from there. For the health freaks, Joshimath is a hub of Ayurvedic and Himalayan Medicines. You will be able to find shops here for one of those so grab one of those before you go home.