Religion and mythology
• In hinduism, the banyan tree is considered sacred and is called "Ashwath Vriksha." God Shiva as dakshinamurthy is nearly always depicted sitting in silence under the banyan with rishis at his feet.
• Also in hindu culture, the banyan tree is also called kalpavriksha meaning 'wish fulfilling divine tree'. In modern parlance in the hindi language, it is known as Bargad, Vatavriksh, and Barh.
• Buddha is believed to have achieved enlightenment in Bodhgaya in India while meditating under a banyan tree of the species sacred fig. The tree is known as Bodhi Tree.
• In Buddhism's Pali canon, the banyan is referenced numerous times. Typical metaphors allude to the banyan's epiphytic nature, likening the banyan's supplanting of a host tree as comparable to the way sensual desire (kama) overcomes humans.
• The Lam Tsuen wishing trees are banyan, and are a popular shrine in Hong Kong. They are located near the Tin Hau Temple in Lam Tsuen.
• In many stories of Philippine mythology, the banyan, (locally known as balite) is said to be home to a variety of spirits and demon-like creatures (among the Visayans, specifically, dili ingon nato,meaning "things not like us").
• In Guam, 'Chamorro people believe in tales of taotaomona, duendes and other spirits. Taotaomona are spirits of the ancient Chamorro that act as guardians to banyan trees.