Bakul Tree

Bakul tree is another special emblem of Mahanam Sampraday temples and ashrams for Prabhu Jagadbandhu. In both Faridpur Sri-Angan and Raghunath Mahanam Angan, a bakul tree stands on the right side as one enters the temple premises. The Chalita trees are located on the left side of the premises as one enters the sites. The bakul tree is considered as of the male gender and its flowers (tiny but very fragrant) are called 'chirapushpa' (perpetual flowers), the sweet fragarance of which pervades the surroundings nearby. On the contrary, the chalita tree is considered as of female gender.

The bakul trees are considered sacred and they adorn many temple courtyards with their deep green leafy branches and boughs. When flowers grow on them they look not only spectacular but also spread out a kind of divine fragrance in the surrounding air. They look uniformly and densely leafy in all directions, centering the trunk and have a very long life.

The lila places of Krishna, Sri Chaitanya and Prabhu Jagadbandhu, namely Vrindaban, Nabadwip, Puri, and Faridpur Sri-Angan all have bakul trees to share and propagate some of the significance of these lilas. Many other religious or otherwise significant events have also taken place under or in the adjoining arenas of bakul trees, some of which have been gathered by searching the internet.

They are as follows:

"Siddha Bakul in Puri:
This is a small monastery near Gachha Kali. In the sixteenth century lived a disciple of Chaitanya, Yavan Haridas by name. The word yavan means a muslim which he actually was. It is believed that once Chaitanya went to him with a twig of bakul tree offered in a ritual to Jagannath. After reaching Haridas's place Chaitanya planted it and miraculously after a few days tender leaves sprouted on it and it started growing until it became a full grown bakul tree which can now be seen in this place."

"After nine months Naminath attained omniscience under a Bakul Tree in a garden near Mithila"

"Sitting under a bakul tree at the centre of a village, Tagore is said to have composed the dance-drama Chitrangada."

"The large tree grows wild in northern and northwestern India as well as in south India."

"Bakul, Mimusops elengi, is a large and handsome tree well-known for its fragrant flowers which are strung into garlands and worn by women."


A sample of bakul flowers*