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Food Mythology

Amla Lord Vishnu’s Rudraksha

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In winters people India relishes lush green Amla fruit or Indian Gooseberry. Amla is a very special fruit with innumerable benefits. Amla or Indian gooseberries not only enhances immunity but also helps in maintaining cholesterol levels. It also fights cold and is rich in vitamin C.  It is most commonly eaten in the form of ‘Murabbas’ which are sweet and spicy balls of Amla. Amla is eaten in the form of pickles, chutneys and in south India, it is also used to flavor rice.

According to Vishnu Puran when Lord Vishnu saw that the world immersed in water during the Varaha avatar or boar incarnation when demon Hiranyaksha submerged Earth in the cosmic ocean. he had tears in his eyes, the tears fell on the earth and became Amla tree, Amla is very close to Vishnu just as Rudraksha is close to Shiva. As per some variations, it is said that light from Lord Vishnu’s face fell on the earth and that light manifested to the tree. Another legend says that this tree originated from the Amrit or elixir of immortality that fell on the earth during Samudra Manthan.

It is also said that Amla tree was the first tree to manifest on the earth, therefore it is called Adiroha or primordial tree. The sacredness of the tree is such that mere remembrance of this fruit gives a lot of spiritual virtues. This fruit can cure all kinds of diseases and eliminate problems. If you eat this fruit, you get three times auspicious results than usual. The Pindaan if done under this sacred tree liberates the ancestors. Eating the fruit is also said to give benefits of Godaan, or donating a cow.

This tree is worshipped in the month of Kartik, during the Auspicious Amlaka Ekadasi day. Once Adi Shankaracharya came across a poor Brahamin woman. She had nothing but only a small amla fruit that she gave as alms to Shankaracharya, pleased by this donation Adi Shankara composed beautiful Kanakadhara stotram and asked Goddess Mahalakshmi to bless this woman.

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