The Amla tree (botanical name: Phyllanthus emblica / Emblica officinalis), Indian gooseberry (Aamla from Sanskrit term “Amalika”) has great significance in the Hindu tradition.
Amla Tree as per Vishnu Purana:
According to Vishnu Purana, the amla tree is said to have germinated from the tears of Lord Vishnu himself. When Vishnu saw that the whole world was immersed under water, he had tears in his eyes which fell into the earth. Hence Amla tree is considered very close to Lord Vishnu and worshipped by the Hindu community. It is similar to the Rudraksha tree which emerged out of Lord Shiva’s tears.
The Amla tree was the first tree to have manifested on the earth and therefore is known as Adiroha or the Pre eminent tree. The amla tree has many branches and amla fruits grow on these branches. It is said that the just by remembering this tree, many virtues are obtained. Hence people worship the amla tree religiously.
Medicinal Uses of Amla Tree:
Also apart from traditional reasons, amla tree is of great medicinal use and eating of the amla fruits is very nutritious for the body. Also many people take bath by mixing amla fruit juice with water to cure skin diseases.
Amla Tree in Hindu rituals:
It is advised that the pindadaan be performed under the amla tree gives salvation to the souls of dead ancestors. Also one can attain benefits worth of donating a cow by just eating amla fruits.
This is considered the form of Lord Vishnu and hence people perform the Tulsi vivah with amla tree on Ksheerabdi Dwadashi day.
Also during the Karthika masa on the ninth day of the bright fortnight, Amla Navami is celebrated in many parts of the country. In the year 2012, Amla Navami was on the 21st of November.