By Swami Harshananda
Pārijāta literally means ‘that which was born on the other shore'.
The Kalpataru or the wish-yielding tree is said to have been born out of the ocean during samudramathana or the churning of the ocean for obtaining the amṛta or ambrosia. According to other versions found in the puraṇas, the Kalpataru is not one tree but a general name indicating five such trees. All these trees have the same powers of fulfilling the wishes of those that seek them. These trees situated in Indra’s garden in heaven are:
- Pārijāta or Pārijātaka
Once Aditi, the first wife of the great sage Kaśyapa, pleased him by her devoted service. When he asked her to seek a boon she wished to possess quite a few things, which was difficult. However, Kaśyapa created the Pārijāta tree which had the power to grant anything that its possessor would ask for.
Since Kaśyapa created it in a place on the opposite bank of the river Gaṅgā, it was called ‘Pārijāta’ or ‘born on the other shore’. Once, Srīkṛṣna, at the request of queen Satyabhāmā, is said to have uprooted it from Indra’s garden and planted it in his own royal garden in Dvārakā.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore