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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sami, Zami, shami

śami (‘that which brings peace’)

The śami (Acacia suma) has been considered a holy tree since ages. The Taittiriya Āranyaka (6.9.2) contains a prayer addressed to the śamī tree for the removal of sins and enmities. The plant or even a branch is supposed to have the power to appease the terrible and angry aspects of the deities (Vide Taittiriya Brāhmana like Agni.

When a kṣattriya king intends to go on a victory expedition to subdue or destroy sinners and evil persons, he is expected to worship the śamī tree before starting.

This is performed as a ritual also on the Vijayadaśami day (Aśvayuja-śukla-daśamī, generally during October) by kṣattriya kings even today.

Its leaves are sent to friends and relatives as a sign of goodwill on the Vijayadaśamī day.

The upper araṇi (See ARANI.) is usually prepared out of śamī wood.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore