Story of the Ashoka Tree

- November 10, 2022

The Ashoka tree plays an important role in the Ramayana. It is the tree under which Sita spends her days after being abducted by Ravana. It is also the tree under which she meets Hanuman, bringing her news of Rama’s rescue. Here is an interesting legend behind the Ashoka tree.

Sashoka was a feared cannibal. He would roam the jungles everyday and attack any travellers he found and eat them. One day, he spotted a hut near the edge of the forest. Outside it, there was a sage meditating. Surprised by how still the sage sat, Sashoka went up to him. He asked the sage how he was so calm and said that he wanted to give up his restless life and become like the sage. To this the sage replied that he himself had taken many lifetimes to attain such a state. He blessed Sashoka and said that in his next life he would be born as a tree in Ravana’s garden. When Ravana would abduct Sita and keep her captive there, Hanuman would visit her and her grief would disappear. Then Sashoka would be liberated from his grief and be known as Ashoka, the remover of sorrow.

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