Parijat is a beautiful small flower, with snow-white petals and a red stalk. This flower blooms only at night and sheds flowers before sunrise. They flowers have its medicinal values, but we will focus on some of the interesting myths associated with the flower.
The first myth is a sad romantic myth. According to this myth, Princess Parijataka was in love with Sun, but her love was never reciprocated. Having lost in love, she committed suicide and from her ashes rose the Parijat tree. Since she is unable to bear the sight of her love during the day, she blooms only at night, and sheds the flowers as tears, before the sun rises. Some myths go on to say, that the tree sheds its tears on the touch of the first rays of the sun! The fragrant flowers spread their fragrance in the entire area, during the day, as a sign of undying love for her lover, the Sun.
Another myth too has a romantic link, but more as a bone of contention. According to this myth, the Parijat tree was planted in Indralok (the abode of Lord Indra) which was one of the gifts received from the samudra manthana, and thus was a celestial plant, not available on earth. To sow seeds of discord, Narada, brought some flowers from Indralok and gave them to Lord Krishna, and waited to see as to which wife he gave the flowers to.
Krishna gave the flowers to Rukmini. On seeing this, Narada went to Satyabhama; Krishna’s other wife and told her about it. When Satyabhama’s jealousy was aroused well enough, Narada went on to give a solution to her. He suggested that she should insist on Krishna getting the plant itself from Indralok and plant it at her home, instead of a few flowers! Satyabhama decided to do that and when Krishna came to her quarters, she showed her anger and disappointment on the whole incident and insisted that he get the plant from Indralok.
True to his nature, Narada, in the meanwhile went and warned Indra that some earthlings were out to steal the celestial plant from his Indralok! When
Krishna and Satyabhama were about to leave after taking a branch of the celestial Parijata tree, they were accosted by Indra and a battle took place, leading to Indra losing the battle. But Indra would not let it go so easily, and cursed that the plant would never bear fruits, though it might bear flowers, and thus since then the Parijat tree does not bear any fruit.
Having brought the tree to Dwarka, Rukmini too took fancy to the tree, because of its flowers. So
Krishna planted the tree in such a manner, that though the tree was planted at Satyabhama’s house, when it bore flowers, they would fall in Rukmini’s home! Satyabhama had asked for the tree and she got it, and Rukmini wanted the flowers, and she had it too!
Another example of