Sacred Trees for Auspiciousness, Prosopis for the Poor
The problematic of invasive species in an alien environment has aroused the attention of scientists all over the world for quite some time. Originating in South America, Prosopis juliflora has been introduced in the hot and semi-arid zones of the world particularly to provide fuelwood, to stabilize sand dunes and to combat desertification. However, despite the numerous benefits the tree provides to rural people, in several regions, Prosopis has become a noxious weed with a negative impact on the environment and to the economy of farmers and landowners. In India, Prosopis was introduced in Andhra Pradesh in 1877. As another central theme, this study analysed the Hindu classification system for nature and for trees in particular. In India, several tree species are regarded as sacred. This study examined the position of the exotic Prosopis among sacred trees, such as the bodhi, banyan and neem trees.