Human has 5 senses. Animal also have 5 I guess. But how many and what senses trees has, as per Hinduism texts?

1 Answer 1


Plants also have five senses: Touch, Hearing, Vision, Smell, and Taste. Bhrigu stated an observable fact and then an inference based on that observable fact about the senses of plants.

It is mentioned in the following passage from Mahabharata.

"Bhrigu said, 'Without doubt, though possessed of density, trees have space within them. The putting forth of flowers and fruits is always taking place in them. They have heat within them in consequence of which leaf, bark, fruit, and flower, are seen to droop.

They sicken and dry up. That shows they have perception of touch.

Through sound of wind and fire and thunder, their fruits and flowers drop down. Sound is perceived through the ear. Trees have, therefore, ears and do hear.

A creeper winds round a tree and goes about all its sides. A blind thing cannot find its way. For this reason it is evident that trees have vision.

Then again trees recover vigour and put forth flowers in consequence of odours, good and bad, of the sacred perfume of diverse kinds of dhupas. It is plain that trees have scent.

They drink water by their roots. They catch diseases of diverse kinds. Those diseases again are cured by different operations. From this it is evident that trees have perceptions of taste.

As one can suck up water through a bent lotus-stalk, trees also, with the aid of the wind, drink through their roots. They are susceptible of pleasure and pain, and grow when cut or lopped off. From these circumstances I see that trees have life. They are not inanimate.

[Section 184, Mokshadharma Parva, Santi Parva, The Mahabharata]

  • But all these are in reduced state. Of the Pancha Pranas, I think plants don't have the one that causes pain throughout the body (think it's called Vyana).
    – ram
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 4:22
  • 4
    @mar yes one of them, that’s why when you kill them it doesn’t hurt and hence sattvic bhojan.
    – Adiyarkku
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 4:52

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