The Bilva tree is associated with Lord Shiva. Its trifoliate leaf or tripatra, is believed to symbolise the three functions of the Lord – creation, preservation and destruction - as well as His three eyes. The offering of the leaves is a compulsory ritual while worshipping Lord Shiva all over India.
The tree is also sacred to the Jains. The 23rd Tirthankara, Bhagwan Parasnathji attained enlightenment under a Bilva tree.