In Search Of Sanjeevani

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Pawan Putra carrying Sanjeevani

Lord Rama is one highly revered figure in India. Even more legendary is the Ramayana which speaks of the life of Rama. One of the elements of the Ramayana that still remains an element of curiosity is the story of the Sanjeevani Booti, which cured Lakshmana and how Hanuman gets it just in time to save nine.

There seems to be renewed interest in the mythical herb. Adding to the excitement is a 25cr worth hunt for the herb soon to be launched by the Uttarakhand government of Harish Rawat.

The hunt if successful an entire new chapter can be written on medicines. Given the extraordinary powers of the Sanjeevani Booti.

Many communities across the length and breadth of the country have claimed that their land was where Sanjeevani Booti was found.

One among those places happens to be Dronagiri hill in Chamoli.

Myths apart, a section of the state government also now believes that Chamoli could very well be the place.

Surendra Singh Negi, the minister for medical and health as well as Ayush and Ayush education recently met Shripad Naik, minister of state for health and family welfare in Narendra Modi’s government. The two discussed Sanjeevani. While the Centre some sources say has refused to fund the project, the state government is believed to bear all expenses on its own.

This search for the herb is not new in Uttarakhand. The previous Uttarakhand government, under Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, had similar plans. The then committee had sought Rs 5-6 lakh in 2009 to look for Sanjeevani.

The funds never landed and the interest fizzled out.

Back in 2009 it was Baba Ramdev’s trusted Lieutenant Acharya Balkrishna who had claimed to have traced Sanjeevani in Dronagari.

Now, though, the group is silent on the find.

At the base of the Dronagiri peak lies Dronagiri village which houses about 400 people. The people of the village return every summer after spending the winter at Methana, Pursari and Saikot villages. In May, Dronagiri becomes a hub of vibrant activities until October.

Interestingly this is a place where nobody worships Hanuman. The local are hurt he took a part of their hill.

The mission could face difficulties as the much talked about herb has eluded sages and scientists since ancient times.

Hanuman unable to decipher the real Sanjeevani had then during the holy war uprooted Dronagiri mountain and carried it to Ravan’s Lanka.

Ayurveda, classifies Sanjeevani Booti into four categories — the most potent being the Mrit Sanjeevani, the one that gives life.

Uttarakhand is believed to be a repository of herbs and the forest department has records of more than 100 plants having medicinal values in the Himalayas.

India’s 5,000-year-old medicine system Ayurveda uses herbs to cure ailments and has seen a revival under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

Wikipedia claims that Selaginella bryopteris, is what is commonly referred to as Sanjeevani Booti.

The herb, among its other qualities, also glows in the dark, according to the Ramayana.

The final project may need as much as Rs 150 crore from the Central government.

Even as the hunt for the herb continues, those in the know of Ayurveda are excited about the prospect of cracking one of the most enduring mysteries of this genre of medicine.

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