Why do we offer Coconut? Brief description about Offering coconuts during poojas, yagnas, occasions to god - THE HINDU PORTAL - Spiritual heritage Rituals and Practices

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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Why do we offer Coconut? Brief description about Offering coconuts during poojas, yagnas, occasions to god

DEVOTEES OFFERING COCONUT
We offer coconuts during poojas, yagnas, homas and other special occasions to god. But we are unaware why should we offer coconut to god.

Fact behind coconut breaking is:
The outer shell around the coconut resembles our ego. when we break coconut in front of the god, it shows that we are leaving our ego. As of white coconut inside the shell, we flattening our pure heart in front of him and asking his blessing to keep our life’s pure like coconut water

In another context, coconut means our body. Skin above the green coconut is our skin. Fiber resembles our flesh, shell as our spine, coconut water is our soul. Three eyes resemble our three nadis


In India one of the most common offerings in a temple is a coconut, it is also offered on occasions like weddings, festivals, the use of a new vehicle, bridge, house etc. a pot (kalash) full of water adorned with mango leaves and a coconut on top is worshiped on important occasions and used to receive revered guests.
It is offered in the sacrificial fire while performing hom. The coconut is broken and placed before the Lord. It is later distributed as prasad. It is offered to please the Lord or to fulfill our desires.

There was a time when animal sacrifice (bali) was practiced, symbolizing the offering of our animalistic tendencies to the Lord. Slowly this practice faded and the coconut was offered instead. The fibre covering of the fried coconut is removed except for the tuft on the top. The marks on the coconut make it look like the head of a human being. The coconut is broken, symbolizing the breaking of the ego. The juice within representing the inner tendencies (vaasanas) if offered along with the white kernel - the mind, to the Lord. A mind thus purified by the touch of the Lord is used as prasad (a holy offering).

In the traditional, abhishekh ritual done in all temples and many homes, several materials are poured over the deity like milk, curd, honey, tender coconut water, sandal paste, holy ash etc. Each material has a specific significance of bestowing certain benefits on worshippers. Tender coconut water is used since it is believed to bestow spiritual growth on the seeker.

The coconut also symbolizes selfless service. Every part of the coconut tree - the truck, leaves, fruit, coir etc. is used in innumerable ways like thatches, mats, tasty dishes, oil etc. It takes in salty water and converts it into sweet nutritive water that is especially beneficial to the sick people. It is also used in the preparation of many ayurvedic medicines and applications.

The marks on the coconut are even thought to represent the three-eyed Lord Shiva and therefore it is considered to be a means to fulfill our desires.


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