1. The history of Sanjeevani Booti
In the fierce battle that happened between Ravana’s son Meghnad and ram’s brother Lakshmana, a deadly arrow could have changed the course of the war. Lakshmana lost consciousness and Rama wailed in despair. In that desperate hour, Hanuman approached the Lankan Royal Physician Sushena for guidance. Sushena asked Hanuman to rush to Dronagiri Hills and fetch four divine herbs – Mrutha Sanjeevani (For life), Vishalyakarani (For arrows), Sandhanakarani (For skin) and Savarnyakarani (For skin colour).
2. Modern day research on Sanjeevani Booti
Several plants have been proposed as possible candidates for the sanjeevani plant, including: Selaginella bryopteris, Dendrobium plicatile (synonymDesmotrichum fimbriatum), Cressa cretica, and others. A search of ancient texts at CSIR laboratories did not reveal any plant that can be definitively confirmed as sanjeevani. In certain texts it is written that sanjeevani glows in the dark.
Selaginella bryopteris is a lithophytic plant that is native to India. It is used medicinally in India and is one of the plants that is considered as a candidate to be the mythical sanjeevani (also called “sanjeevini”or “sanjivini booti”) plant.
The popular name sanjeevani translates as “one that infuses life,” and derives from a plant that appears in the Ramayana. Other medicinal plants are also called sanjeevani. The botanical identity of the plant described in the Ramayana is unclear, although Selaginella bryopteris has been suggested as a candidate.
3. The mystery behind Sanjeevani Booti
In Hindu mythology, Sanjeevani is a magical herb which has the power to cure any problem. It was believed that medicines prepared from this herb could restore life in a dead person. While some references in scientific literature list Selaginella bryopteris as the Sanjeevani mentioned in Hindu mythology, a search of ancient texts has so far not revealed any plant that can be definitively confirmed as Sanjeevani. In certain texts it is written that Sanjeevani glows in the dark.
When Hanuman saluted in his feet, Lankan Royal Physician Sushena mentioned, “On the Himalayas, between Kailas and rishabh mountain there lies a mountain of life giving herbs. The herbs are of four categories: mritsanjivani, vishalyakarni, suvarnkarni, and sandhani. They always emit light. You have to come with those herbs at the earliest.”
Hanuman was called upon to fetch this herb from the mount Dunagiri (Mahodaya) in the Himalayas or Valley of Flowers.
4. What is Sanjeevani Booti?
All of us know that plants with medicinal properties exist in nature. From Holy Basil (Tulsi) to coriander, a lot of plants have amazing remedial effects. A quick search over the Internet will tell you that Sanjeevani Booti is commonly known as Selaginella bryopteris. Since ages, people have been talking about the magical effects of this plant. Truly, it is a plant of great importance to the society as a whole and it should be studied thoroughly.
5. Has Sanjeevani Booti been rediscovered in 21st Century?
Some people have claimed that they were able to locate two groups of plants in the Dronagiri Hills that could be the ancient miracle plant. This hill is in Joshimath, Garhwal and it reaches up to a height of 15,000 feet. The truth behind the discovery still needs to be verified. Agricultural scientists at Indian National Botanical Research Institute are working rigorously on Sanjeevani Booti to unearth more hidden facts about it.