The coconut tree is a member of the family Arecaceae and the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. One of the mythological stories about its origin is as follows:
One day as a child when lord Ganesha was playing he was attracted by his father’s third eye and he went to touch it. Lord Shiv stopped him and said I am going to give you a special ball to play and thus coconut came into existence on earth which has 3 eyes. So coconut is very special to Lord Ganesha and coconut is offered to him.
Next, the breaking of coconut symbolizes the breaking of the ‘ego’. The coconut when broken before the Lord it is shattered means breaking the ‘aham’ or ego and symbolically total surrendering and merging with the Brahman – supreme soul.
The 3 eyes of coconut represent Lord Shiva. The black shell represents Lord Karthikeya; white kernel represents Ma Gauri and inside water represents Ma Ganga.
The miracle of coconut is whenever it falls on ground it never falls on any ones head even if a person is standing just under the coconut tree. Very rarely if it falls on any ones head, it is said that he is going to live long life more than 100 years.
There are over 150 species of coconuts found in 80 different countries throughout the world.
Coconut water is rich in nutrients. Unlike any other beverage on the market, coconut water contains five essential electrolytes that are present in the human body. These include: calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium including antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C Sap extracted from the closed flower is used to prepare alcoholic beverage called “Coconut vodka”
Compiled by S.K. Sheel
Associate Prof. DIBNS, Dehradun