Coconut is also known by many names such as Chopra, Nariyal, Shreepha, Shreephal and Tengai. It is considered as a most important offering to the Hindu deity especially during auspicious occasions such as festivals, marriage, purchase of a new vehicle, the inauguration of the bridge, house, office, etc.
There are several reasons for choosing Coconut has importance in Hinduism that are as follows:
1) Coconut- Sacred Fruit
Coconut is considered as sacred, pure, clean and satvik (naturally processed) fruit. It outer hard body protect the inner fruit and help it remain clean.
2) Coconut replaced Narbali
In Hinduism, during the ancient time, there was a practice of Narbali (offering the head of the human) to the Hindu deity. However, there was the sage Adi Shankaracharya, who condemned this ritual and advised to replace the human head with a coconut. He further said that breaking of coconut signifies that breaking away the ego and other negativities that are as hard as a hard shell and getting the peace and purity that is as white as from inside. It also signifies that you can seek the blessing of the Deity by breaking off the ego i.e. represented by its hard shell and get away from the desires (Vasanas) that are represented by inner water. Unfortunately, Nar Bali is still practiced at various places.
3) Coconut- selfless service
Every part of the coconut tree -the trunk, leaves, fruit, coir, etc. are used in countless ways like mats, thatches, oil, soap, tasty dishes, etc. It is used in the preparation of many ayurvedic medicines and other alternative medicinal systems. It takes in even groundwater from the earth and converts it into sweet, nutritious water that is especially beneficial to sick people. This signifies that you take the ill feelings (such as hatred, anger, and jealousy) of the others for you and in return you send your good feelings for them instead of ill feelings for them.
4) Mythological saga related to Shiva, GaneshaGanesha
The guardian deity of Hindus, also known as the Ganapati (The God of all groups) is the son of Lord Shiva ... and coconut
One day Lord Ganesha was playing and suddenly attracted by his father (Shiva’s) third eye. Ganesha wanted to touch it. ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... said that he would him a special ball to play and thus presented him coconut that also has three eyes. Therefore, coconut is special to Lord Ganesha, and thus it is offered to him.
5) Mythological saga related to the Trishanku, Vishwamitra and coconut
According to Hindu Mythology, there was a King Trishanku, who was a saintly man. He has a great desire to ascend bodily into heaven. He went to Sage Vishwamitra He was one of the ancient sages who is considered the author of Gayatri Mantra. He was also a valiant warriorto help him to fulfill his desire. Vishwamitra advised him that his desire was against the law of nature, but Trishanku insisted and thus sage had to agree to help him. He performed a yajna and Trishanku began to rise towards the heaven.
When Indra came to know that trishanku was trying to ascend towards the heavens in the bodily form, he became furious and then caught him and threw him down. Vishwamitra saw Trishanku was coming downwards that at that moment he said let Trishanku stay where he was then. Vishwamitra thought that Trishanku would eventually fall to earth unless he was held up by some support.
Vishwamitra gave the pole to Trishanku. Eventually, that pole turned into a coconut tree, and Trishanku’s head converted to coconut. The fibre around the coconut is Trishanku’s beard. When you take it off, you see his eyes. Thus, people offer coconut to the deity to tell the deity that they remember they should not interfere with the law of nature.
In nutshell, it can be said that coconut is really an incredible fruit that has the important role in Hinduism.