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Why Breaking Coconut Is An Important Ritual In Hinduism?

By June 15, 2024No Comments
Why Breaking Coconut Is An Important Ritual In Hinduism

Why do Hindus follow coconut-breaking rituals? You might be well aware of these rituals, but do you know the significance of breaking coconut in Hinduism? Coconut is one of the most auspicious and sacred fruits in Hinduism. It is also known as Nariyal, Shrifala, or God’s fruit. 

Hindu Dharma is based on the science of spirituality, so everything associated with it has deep meaning, history and significance. So, come with us to explore the importance of breaking coconut in Hinduism. 

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What does Coconut Signify in Hinduism? 

If you have noticed, you will always find a coconut in all the Hindu rituals. Do you know why? Along with all the other fruits, you will find a coconut used to keep above the kalash and another as a coconut breaking ritual. Since ancient times, Coconut has been known to be the satvic fruit, which is pure, clean, and sacred. This is because it’s covered with two layers; thus, it’s essential for Hindu religious ceremonies. 

Furthermore, tender coconuts are powerful symbols of fertility, abundance, and purity, reflecting each individual’s unique personality. Just as the coconut’s layers represent different aspects of a person, breaking a coconut in a temple is an auspicious act of surrendering to God and offering one’s entire being. So, this was just a brief significance of breaking coconut in Hinduism. 

Also Read: What are Various Important Threads in Hinduism?

Significance of Breaking Coconut in Hinduism

In India, coconut breaking vertically signifies auspiciousness and symbolises the purification of oneself, cleansing the heart and soul. Before starting any sacred rituals or Puja, the coconut is broken as a sign that you are breaking your ego, pride, and negative thoughts along with it. If you are starting a new venture, breaking a coconut is a sign of breaking all the obstacles that might hinder your success and growth. 

Moreover, as we know, Hinduism is an old practice that people have followed for ages. Therefore, in Sanatan dharma, the significance of coconut in Hinduism is also associated with three Gunas. The white kernel is associated with Sattva (goodness, calmness, harmonious), the brown shell with Rajas (passion, activity, movement), and the water with Tamas (ignorance, inertia, laziness).

Mythological Story Behind Coconut Breaking Ritual

Now that we have a little understanding of why people started breaking coconuts on auspicious occasions, we will take a look at the legends behind this. In earlier times, sacrificing humans and animals in front of Gods was seen as an act of thanksgiving. In Sanskrit terms, it is referred to as Narbali or simply Bali, which was done to appease the dieties. 

Later on, Adi Shankaracharya, a great vedic scholar from Kerela, wanted to stop this act and find a solution. He found a coconut resembling a human skull while looking for an alternative to this act. So, since then, he took the initiative to make a bloodless sacrifice by offering and breaking coconut as a part of his offering to Gods and Goddesses. 

Moreover, since then, the coconut has been considered one of the most auspicious and pure fruits to offer to lords. The outer husk looks like human hair, the coconut water represents blood, and the white kernel represents the mental space of the human brain. 

The Spiritual Meaning of Breaking Coconut

Coming to the spiritual significance of breaking coconut in Hinduism, there are a lot of factors that make this ritual important. So, read below to learn its spiritual meaning. 

  • The first and most important significance is that the three black spots in the coconut symbolise Lord Shiva’s eyes.
  • The three holes are believed to be the Trimurtis—Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. They represent individuals’ minds, bodies, and spirits. 
  • When you break a coconut in front of God, you are surrendering your ego to the Lord. 
  • Breaking the coconut and sprinkling the water is a form of purity. 
  • It signifies the purification of oneself and the cleansing of the heart and soul. 

Also Read: What is Kuldevta/Kuldevi in Hinduism?

Why Ladies Cannot Break Coconut? 

You might have seen that the men always break the coconut. Have you wondered why this is so? Why not women? Is there any proven fact about it? Yes, definitely. Come with us to know the reasons. 

  • Hindu women are seen wearing bangles during the rituals, so they might break their bangles, which can be a negative sign. 
  • Breaking a coconut can have negative effects on women’s reproductive organs, leading to difficulties with motherhood, impacting the pregnancy cycle, or may even result in abortion or miscarriage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. What is the significance of breaking coconut in Hinduism?

In Hinduism, breaking coconut in temple is an auspicious ritual, a sign of surrender to dieties. It is also a bloodless and sacred alternative to sacrificing animals.

2. What does a coconut resemble?

Coconut is one of the purest and cleanest fruits, and it’s also known as God’s fruit. In Hinduism, the coconut is the most essential for performing rituals, as it is kept above the kalash and distributed as prasad.

3. Does spoiled coconut signify a negative sign?

Breaking a spoiled coconut is believed to signify negative energy and is not considered suitable for use in religious rituals or offerings.

4. Who took the initiative of breaking coconut as a ritual?

Adi Shankaracharya, a famous scholar, took the initiative to stop the inhuman act of cutting animals or humans and surrendering them to please God. So, he replaced it with a coconut that resembled a human skull.

5. What are the special occasions when coconuts are broken?

Coconuts are often broken as an offering to a deity or as part of auspicious beginnings such as weddings, special Puja, housewarming ceremonies or before starting any new ventures.

6. What does coconut symbolise spiritually?

Spiritually, Coconuts are associated with purity and prosperity. The hard outer shell of the coconut is seen as a symbol of protection, while the nourishing water and white kernel inside represent abundance and nourishment.

Also Read: The Three Pillars Of Hinduism: Brahma, Vishnu And Mahesh

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Sonali Prasad

About Sonali Prasad

As a content writer, I am fueled by a passion and a sense of purpose to pen down my thoughts, experiences, and creative goals into compelling stories. I am in a mission to not only entertain but also educate and engage the readers.