Interesting facts about mango trees
For centuries, mango trees are symbolized in South Asian countries as wish-granting trees. This is part 2 of the Mango – A wish-granting tree mini-series.
If you have missed the previous section, then you can read about part 1 here:
Let’s find out the mythical meaning of the mango trees in folklore and mythology in a deliciously tender way.
Already so much information is gathered about these majestic mango trees across the internet. That if we composed them then they tend to fill many volumes.
Even a single story about the mango tree manages to fill many papers. Will you agree with me if I say that a single fact about the mango tree requires comprehensive research and analysis? Yes? No?
I am not an obsessive person about trees in any way but I do think that there is always a need to know about what made them so attractive and beneficial in history along with their various meanings in ancient scripts. Therefore, I feel that the sole purpose of this mini-series is to outline the different aspects of mango trees.
In part 1, I have briefly appraised the origin and etymology of mango trees by narrating the marvelous journey of Aam-kay to mango.
Here in part 2, my sole motive is to highlight this topic in detail.
- The history of mango trees in Buddhism
The Buddha love for mango trees
I ended the last section by referring to an account that in ancient India there was a tradition of the ruling class to bestow titles to prominent people by using the names of mango varieties.
In some rare cases, it was noticed that there was also a custom of allotting an entire mango grove to respected people as a token for their love and devotion.
32. In the travelogue of renowned Buddhist pilgrims Fa-Hien and Sung-Yun, it is remembered that the Buddha was presented with a mango orchard as a sign of love and affection by Amradarika in 500 BC. This mango orchard was called Amravana and it is used as a place for meditation by Buddha.
33. The more fascinating thing is to know about the Amradarika herself. If you are aware of Urdu/Hindi languages then this word would look very familiar to you. Isn’t that? If you split the term Amradarika in two then it will reveal to you that Amra means mango and darika is a Sanskrit word that is used for the tree.
34. The more I came to know about her, the more I got marvel. The Amradarika as I came to know is a kind of a repentant prostitute. The term Buddhic Magdalen was used for her. In simplest words, she was the daughter of the mango tree. This is what I learned from some ancient scripts that she was very devoted to the Buddha and gave that garden as a charity to him.
35. As excerpted from this source,
“The lady Amra appears more natural. She is called the “Mango girl” in the Southern records…she was a courtesan, and otherwise called Ambapali.” Amba or ambha is a Punjabi word for mangoes.
Do you want to find out which legendry person used to meditate under the shade of a mango tree?
36. Though, the bodhi tree is where the Buddha finds enlightenment. But the legends also claim that Buddha himself is said to have meditated under a mango tree within a silent grove.
38. Here is a proof of how an impression of a mango tree is found in the friezes on the Stupa of Bharut which dates back about 100 BC.
His multiple images in front of a mango tree is indeed a popular theme of Buddhist art.
42. Here, I would like to mention that Buddhist monks are believed to have taken mango fruits with them when traveling from place to place especially for working or teaching in various places of the world for relatively short periods.
And therefore, introduced the fruit to Southern East Asia countries like Malaysia and China around the 4th and 5th century BC.
They have achieved this by planting seeds of mangoes beside the temples and nearby gardens. Usually, it took approximately 5 years for a mango tree to bear fruits from a seedling in the summer season.
The tale of present-day Srilanka conversion to Buddhism
43. Now, this was an interesting time in history when the entire nation was judge by the temperament of the ruler of that era.
According to the Great Chronicle of Ceylon, present-day Sri Lanka converted to Buddhism after an intense and symbolic conversation over mango trees between the Island’s King Tissa and Mahinda. The King was so touched and convinced of the Mahinda knowledge that he converted to Buddhism, and consequently, the rest of the island’s population.
The Mahavamsa recorded:
“What name does this tree bear, O king?”
“This tree is called a Mango.”
“Is there yet another Mango besides this?”
“There are many mango trees.”
“And are there yet other trees besides this mango and the other mangos?”
“There are many trees, sir; but those are trees that are not mangoes.”
“And are there, besides the other mangoes and those trees which are not mangoes, yet other trees?”
“There are yet more of those than of my kin.”
“Is there yet any one besides the kinsfolk and the others?”
“There is yet myself, sir.”
“Good. Thou hast a shrewd wit, O ruler of men.”
Somehow this answer satisfied the Mahinda who initially came here to preach to them about his religion. He was impressed by the king’s quick wit and intelligence, and consequently he started preaching to the entire court.
**(I have provided the Links where they are expected & required).
I am ending this section here. I hope you like this effort and thanks for finding time to read it. Please like, share, and follow my blog so that I keep on writing about trees & more.