Prajakta or Prajakt is a name of a flower. The name of the tree that bears these flowers is called the Parijat Tree.
The botanical or scientific name of the Parijat tree is "Nyctanthes arbor-tristis" (sometimes incorrectly cited as Nyctanthes arbortristis or Nyctanthes arbor tristis) and is also commonly known as
• Night-flowering Jasmine
• Coral Jasmine • Parijat (also spelled Paarijat or Paarijaata)
• Pavazha malli in Tamil (Also spelled pavaza malli or pavala malli)
• Prajakta or Prajakt in Sanskrit
• Ganga Shiuli in Oriya
The tree is sometimes called the "tree of sorrow", because the flowers lose their brightness during daytime; the scientific name arbor-tristis also means "sad tree". The flower is the official flower of the state of West Bengal, India, and for Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand.
Parijat appears in several Hindu myths. In one myth, which appears in Srimad Bhagavatam, the Mahabharata and the Vishnu Purana, Parijat appeared as the result of the Samudra manthan (Churning of the Milky Ocean). In another myth, Parijat was brought to earth by Krishna from Indra's garden. In Hindu mythology, there is a story involving Lord Krishna about a parijat and Krishna's two wives, Satyabhama and Rukmini.
Satyabhama wanted this "Parijat" tree from the Heaven to be planted in her garden. Rukmini too, took a fancy to the flower. Krishna, wanting to keep both his wives happy, planted this tree so that the flowers fell in Rukmini’s garden while the tree remained in Satyabhama’s garden. The tree was planted in the garden of Indra, the Lord of Heavens. Even as Krishna stole a branch of the tree he was spotted by Indra. However, Indra desisted from placing a curse on Krishna since he was an incarnation of Vishnu. Still, Indra put forth a curse on the stolen branch that it will never bear fruit even though the flowers may bloom on the tree. Since the day the tree was planted at Barabanki (the wives' garden), it flowers but does not reproduce, because it has no seeds and the branch cannot take root.
Not only the tree has high medicinal values in Ayurveda and is divine to Hindus, but also has it's share of stories of it's romantic origin. According to Hindu mythology, Parijathaka a princess was in love with sun and failed to win his heart, even after trying a lot. So She committed suicide and from her ashes rose the tree parijatha. Unable to stand the sight of her love, she blooms only during night and sheds all the flowers (resembling tears) before the sun rises or with the touch of very first sun rays. The highly fragrant flowers bloom during night spreading there essence all to the surroundings. The courtyards filled with these flowers in the very morning is a bliss to eyes and their aroma arises your spirit. These are apparently only flowers that Hindus offer to GOD picked from the ground instead of plucking from the tree.
So, next time if you come across a Parijat tree, stand for a while and try to capture not only its beauty and goodness but also the romance that it holds within.
The Parijat or The Prajakta Flower