Bael leaf or Bel Patra is a holy leaf-like Tulsi and offered to God and Goddess. Hindus believe that the bael tree is the form of Lord Shiva. As per Hindu Puranas (Skandapurana), the bael tree was born from the sweat-drops of Goddess Parvati. That’s why Mahadev is very fond of bael leaf or bilva leaf. According to Vedas (Hindu sacred scriptures), it has strong spiritual significance and bael leaf health benefits.
We know that no devotion is complete without bael leaf, especially the devotion of Lord Shiva.
The bel patra must have three leaves in it – ‘trifoliate’. That signifies Lord Bramha, Vishnu, and Trinity Maheswar (Shiva). The trifoliate also symbolize the third eye of Lord Shiva, so that it is necessary to worship Mahadev with bael leaf.
Hindus believe, if you worship the Shivaling with bael leaf, Shiva will fulfill your desires. Moreover, some devotees take the offered bael leaf with them and eat them with prasad (prayer gift).
The belief is, when it is offered to the Shivaling, it absorbs the positive energy of Shiva. So, when you consume it, you can feel Shiva.
Therefore, the benefits of bael leaves are many. Even the bael fruit benefits a lot as well. Bael fruit juice has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that cure digestive problems and stomach ulcers.
Feature Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bael_fruit_flower.jpg
Hasala Abhilasha / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)