Nuts can represent humanity: the kernel, or spirit, is encased by the shell, or flesh and bone. Nuts are also goodness hidden in a hard shell, so represent truths or realisations that were worthwhile working at.
A nut to crack means a problem to solve, or in a nutshell suggests wisdom or information put in a compact form.
Smashing the coconut is symbolic of annihilating the ego and humbling oneself before Life.
This ritual indicates that the actual “doer” is Life and humans are merely instruments in his hands. Coconuts are also broken before the deities in temples during normal worship. Again, the philosophy is the same – complete submission to God.
The smooth outer skin of the coconut represents man’s Gross Body. Within the Gross body is the subtle body of mind, this is represented by the matted coir of the coconut, indicating the desires and attachments of man with the outer world. The hard shell represents the Causal Body and the white inside the Kernel represents the Self.
Coconut is a fruit, the end result of some action. Similarly as an end result of our actions we also obtain some fruit (a particular status in the material world and state of mind) PLUS a new set of desires from this achieved platform. Basically the end result of working on one set of desires is another set of desires. When you offer the coconut fruit to Life, the significance that you are required to keep in mind is that you are giving up the fruit, i.e. the new set of desires relating to the materialistic world.
Coconut Palm Tree is called the ‘Tree of Life’, ‘The tree from heaven which gives all that you desire’ by those living in coastal areas is As a thanksgiving to God and a symbolic gesture, for the path to Self Realization which you tend to forget in the midst of the stress and strain of day to day living.