U'khand wants Centre to do what Hanuman couldn't: find Sanjeevani Booti
Uttarakhand government has sought the Centre's help in its pursuit to search for the Sanjeevani Booti. The mythical divine herb, which finds mention in the Ramayana, was used to bring Rama's brother Lakshman back to life. Till date, no herb has been discovered that has the qualities of the Sanjeevani Booti, as mentioned in the Ramayana. Wikipedia, perhaps, falsely claims that Selaginella bryopteris, is what is commonly referred to as Sanjeevani Booti.
Interestingly, according to the epic, Hanuman had failed to find the magic herb and lifted the entire 'Drona Parvat'. The herb, among its other qualities, also glows in the dark, according to the Ramayana. It quotes Lankan Royal Physician, Sushena, who told Hanuman that in the Himalayas there is a mountain (Drona Parvat) which is a treasure trove of life-giving herbs, including the Sanjeevani Booti.
Surendra Singh Negi, the Health, Ayush and Family Welfare Minister in the Harish Rawat government believes that the herb exists in the Dronagiri range in Chamoli district. Negi told Catch that it is one of the herbs which has gone extinct and that it is important to invest in research on it. Even during the recent forest fires in the state, some believe that most damage had been done to these herbs, including the Sanjeevani Booti.
Negi believes that an initial sum of Rs 25 crore is required to kickstart the project. The final project may need as much as Rs 150 crore from the Central government. "These costs will come into the picture once the project starts," Negi points out.
The minister says that the Uttarakhand Health Ministry has sent a initial proposal to the Central government regarding the project. The idea was discussed with Sripad Naik, the Union Minister who heads the newly formed Ayush Ministry, during a meeting. A detailed proposal will be sent soon, Negi says.
"We have formed a team to chalk out the details," Negi says.
The initial proposal to the Centre has asked for funds and other resources, including a scientist to augment the state government's capacity. He says that Uttarakhand government has also identified a piece of land in Rishikesh where he wants to build a research centre which would work only on medicinal herbs, including Sanjeevani.
The hill state is a treasure trove of medicinal herbs, according to the minister. "Many of them can't be found now or are on the verge of extinction," he says, citing the example of another herb called Chilmora, used in eye drops.
This is not the first time that efforts are being made to locate the mythical herb. Back in 2009, Bal Krishna, who now heads Patanjali Ayurved Ltd's FMCG business, claimed he found Sanjeevani on Dronagiri. His 'research trip' was reportedly part of a multi-crore project.
Interestingly, Patanjali's 'Sanjivani Vati' which costs Rs 80 for a 40 gram bottle does not claim to have any life-saving properties but is "advantageous in chronic fever, cough, cold, respiratory tract infections and other viral infections," its website says.
After Bal Krishna's claims, the then Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, reportedly asked a three-member team to locate the herb.