The coconut is a light and a buoyant fruit and can survive extreme climatic variations. The flower of the coconut palm is “ polygamomonoecious ”, meaning that it has both male and female flowers in the same inflorescence. THE COCONUT and THE KALASH The origins of the coconut plant are somewhat controversial. However, most authorities claim it was native to South Asia and fossil records indicate that 15 million years ago coconut plants grew along the Ganges Delta , Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan , Maharashtra and Kerala . Kerala means "land of coconut palms".
<ul><li>About 8 million families in Asia make their living from growing </li></ul><ul><li>coconuts. Virtually every part of the coconut palm has some </li></ul><ul><li>Human use. They call the palm” Tree of Life” and the coconut </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Fruit of Life”. The palm and the coconut supplies them </li></ul><ul><li>with 100 different products including food, drink, fodder, and </li></ul><ul><li>fiber and building materials. </li></ul>The name for the coconut palm in Sanskrit is Kalpa Vriksha , which translates as "the tree that provides the necessities of life". In Malay , the coconut is known as Pokok Seribu Guna , "the tree of a thousand uses". In the Philippines , the coconut palm is given the title " Tree of Life ". The coconut itself ( Sanskrit : Narikela ) is an essential element of several Hindu rituals and ceremonies. It is decorated with flowers and colorful symbols associated with auspiciousness. It is used in all Pooja ceremonies. The coconut (Narikela) is usually placed over the opening of a brass pot called Kalash .
Kalash is believed to contain amrita , the elixir of life. It is viewed as a symbol of abundance, wisdom, and immortality. The Kalash also represents the cosmos or a womb . Hindus will often initiate the beginning of any new activity by breaking a coconut, Narikela , to ensure the blessings of a deity and successful completion of the activity. The multiple uses of the coconut with its unique polygamomonoecious property has given it a prominent position in Hindu rituals and ceremonies. Symbolically the coconut represents in form the sum of all that exists in the universe.
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