SAL or Saul Tree

(Shorea robusta) A valued hardwood in India, taken in Bengal as the seat of the gods, and an emblem of Indra (Gupta). The mother of Buddha is represented as holding a branch of this tree in her hand, and it was under this tree that Buddha passed the last night of his life on earth (Pandey). In Indian villages, witches were discovered with the aid of this tree. The names of all the women in the village over twelve years of age were written on the bark of the branches. These branches were then steeped in water for a given length of time (four and a half hours, apparently). If after that time one of them withered, the woman whose name was written on it was deemed to be a witch (Porteous).

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