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By Swami Harshananda

palāśavṛksa (‘the tree Butea frondosa’)

The palāśa tree (Butea frondosa) is closely associated with several Hindu rites and ceremonies. A danda (a stick, like a walking stick) used by the brahmacāri after his upanayana has to be of this wood.

In certain death-rites, three twigs of this tree are firmly fixed in the ground

and a pot of sour milk, with several holes in it is placed over it, so that the liquid drizzles over an urn (containing the ashes and bones of the dead person cremated earlier).

Its broad leaves are used in several religious rituals.


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