By Swami Harshananda
Samidh literally means ‘that which burns brightly’.
Trees Used for Obtaining Samidh
Offering fuel-sticks, generally called samidh, into a duly consecrated fire is a part and parcel of many rites. Some of the trees from which these sticks could be procured are:
- Aśvattha - Ficus religiosa
- Bilva - Aegle marmelos
- Candana - sandal-wood
- Devadāru - pine
- Khadira - Acacia catechu
- Nyagrodha - Indian fig-tree
- Palāśa - Butea frondosa
Fuel-sticks of certain trees like bibhī-taka, kapittha and nimba should not be used. The sticks should not be thicker than the thumb. It must have the bark on them and should not be worm-eaten. The size of the stick is prādeśa. There should be no branches.
- Bibhī-taka's scientific name is Terminalia bellerica.
- Kapittha means wood-apple tree.
- Nimba means neem-tree.
- Prādeśa means one span.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore