Why is the Vilva Leaf Dear to Shiva?

In India, there is much legend surrounding vilva or bilva leaves and Shiva’s love for it. Why is the vilva considered sacred? Sadhguru speaks about its significance.

The famous Bilvashtakam extols the virtues of the vilva leaf and Shiva’s love for it. Why is the vilva so revered? By common knowledge, we know that the tree has been held sacred for many millennia and offerings made to Shiva are incomplete without vilva leaves. There are many symbolisms attributed to this leaf: the trifoliate leaves or tripatra are believed to represent various trinities – creation, preservation and destruction; or the three gunas or qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas; or the three syllables that make up AUM, the primordial sound that resonates Shiva’s essence. The three leaves are also considered to indicate Mahadeva’s three eyes, or the trishul, his emblematic weapon.

That is as far as legend goes. But as life, why is the vilva held so sacred? Sadhguru answers.

Sadhguru: Why is one leaf more sacred than another? Is it some kind of a prejudice? After all, everything comes from the soil. Both the neem fruit and the mango fruit come from the same soil but they taste very different, isn't it? How one particular life processes the same soil and how another life processes the same soil is different. What is the difference between a worm and an insect, and yourself and another human being? It is all the same stuff but still what we make out of it is different.

When people are on the spiritual path they are constantly looking for support in every possible way because it is unknown terrain. In Indian culture, every little thing that could support you was identified through observation and meditativeness. They did not leave out even flowers, fruits and leaves. Why is the vilva in particular considered sacred? It has always been said that the vilva is dear to Shiva. What does he care? It’s not that it is dear to Shiva. When we say it is dear to Shiva, we mean that in some way its reverberance is closest to what we refer to as Shiva.

When we say it's dear to Shiva, we mean that in some way its reverberance is closest to what we refer to as Shiva.

We identified many things like this and only those things are offered because they become your means to get in touch. When you offer the vilva to Shiva, you are not going to leave the leaf with him. You are supposed to take it with you after it is offered because this particular leaf has the highest capability to absorb that reverberance. If you place it on the linga and take it, it has the ability to retain the reverberation for a long period of time. It stays with you. You can try this: offer the vilva leaf, put it in your chest pocket and walk around, it will make a difference for you in terms of your health, wellbeing, mental state – everything.

There are many materials like this which are recognized sacred tools that people use. This is not about gods, this is about you and your ability to access something.

Editor's Note: Download Sadhguru's ebook, Shiva - Ultimate Outlaw, along with Vairagya, an album of sacred chants (also available as an Android App). They're free!

Download Now

Login / to join the conversation1
4 years 8 months ago

Is there any specific time the bilvapatra should not be plucked from the tree

7 years 1 month ago

Does the 'Bel' fruit also have some significance?

4 years 8 months ago

जो बोले ,सो निहार
कर दे सर सिया काल
वाहे गुरु जी का खालसा
वाहे गुरु जी की फ़ते

7 years 1 month ago

Unbelievable Dimension opened by Sadhguru. For any answer on anything on this planet or beyond, external or internal, Sadhguru simply opens it up. Salute to Master of Master.

3 years 1 month ago

Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword....wait there's even more Now what if i told you there was a simple Wordpress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That's right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. <a href="http://www.ABCGURU.XYZ&quot; rel="nofollow">Seo Plugin</a>

7 years 1 month ago

Namaskaram Sadguruji
Thank you very much for educating us about Bilva Leaves.Undoubtedly you came with a mission of increasing / creating Awareness among us. I Express my gratitudes for your tireless, work.

2 years 11 months ago

It is called Bilwa!

7 years 1 month ago

Amazing answers for even simple questions. Unquestionable embodiment of truth, knowledge and compassion.. What else can say? I am thankful to Sathguru for my fortune to receive inner engineering online. Thanks

7 years 1 month ago

Only now understood the true significance of Bilwa leaves, thanks to Sadhguru. Will now do Puja with it with heightened awareness.

7 years ago


7 years ago

From childhood we offer Vilva to Shiva, no one thought me what is the reason :-) Sadhguru always rocks :-)

7 years ago

Thanks sadhguru for your information on bilva leaves.
1.Sadhguru what is the difference between 3 leaves biva and 9 leaves(shown in this post).
2. Can we put this plant in home (3 and 9 leaves plant)
Thank u

5 years 9 months ago

Please let me know whether we can plant it at home or not??? and 3 leaves or 9 leaves one???? thanks to all...

5 years 6 months ago

Sadhguru...My mom swears the wood apple leaves are the vilva leaves..but those leaves are rounded and look nothing like the vilva leaves...How do you know that the leaves are vilva?? Please give me some ways to identify it.