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The Story Behind Maneka Gandhi’s Rare & Sacred Gift to PM Modi

Women & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi gifts PM Modi a Ficus Krishnae sapling. What does this signify?

Updated
India
2 min read
Maneka Gandhi with PM Modi and Haryana CM Manohar Khattar at the launch of the ‘Beti Bachao’ campaign (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 65th birthday was difficult to miss, given the amount of buzz it generated on media and social media. Undoubtedly, the PM would have received millions of wishes and a great many gifts.

Among them was a rare gift from Women & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. Shortly after his special day, she gifted him the sapling of a rare and sacred tree, the Ficus Krishnae, imported from Dehradun.

The Fascinating Story of the Ficus Krishnae

The Ficus Krishnae or Krishna Fig Tree is named after Lord Krishna and colloquially referred to as ‘Makhan Katori’ for his love for butter.

Like every mythological reference however, this too has a story behind it.

(Photo: <a href="http://www.hindu-blog.com/2010/10/how-ficus-krishnae-tree-or-krishna-fig.html">Hindu Blog</a>)
(Photo: Hindu Blog)

The stories of Lord Krishna’s love for butter are told in India’s most ancient texts.

In the most famous of these stories, Krishna steals butter as a little boy from houses in Vrindavan.

In yet another telling of the tale, Krishna, in order to save himself from the wrath of his mother, hides the stolen butter in a Ficus Krishnae leaf by folding it into a cup. It is believed that this is why the leaves of the tree are shaped like cups.

When Yashoda gives him an earful, the butter in the cupped leaf begins to melt and flow to the ground.

That is why, it is said that when one plucks a leaf from the tree, latex flows out of the base.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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