Saturday, July 16, 2016

worship of Nature-essence of Indian tradition

Why is it that whenever any festival or religious ceremony or any special day is celebrated in India, the Nature worship Prakriti pooja, always has prominence? More over these religious dates are being celebrated in India since centuries; many are Pre-Vedic or Vedic era? We all know how old our Veda are? 
,lk D;ksa gS fd Hkkjr esa tc Hkh dksb frfFk iwtk ;k vU; dksb /kkfeZd vk;kstu gksrk gS mlesa izd`fr iwtk izeq[k ,oa vfuok;Z gksrh gS\ ,sls lHkh ioZ “kfn;ksa ls Hkkjr esa euk, tk  jgs gSaA irk ugha dc ls\ dqN iwoZ oSfnd vkSj dqN oSfnd dky ls euk, tkrs gSA     
o`{kiwtk Hkwfeiwtk i`Foh vUu i“kq if{k Qy vkdk“k ty ok;q o’kkZ ufn leqnz ioZr rkykc iks[kj ouLifr lw;Z pUnzek xzg vkfn lc iwts tkrs gSaA D;ksafd budk ekuo thou esa egRo gSA bl egRo dks /;ku es j[krs gq;s gh gekjs iwoZtksa us izd`fr dh iwtk dk fo/kku j[kk Fkk\ 
Tree, Earth, Mother Nature, Animals, Birds, fruits, even Sky, water, Air, River, Sea, Mountain, Pond, Lake, Vegetation all are worhisped. Sun, Moon, Planets are also worshiped. Does it not sounds strange? Yes but it has been there for centuries, it has been done since centuries.  All are revered. 


In Savitri Vat सावित्री वट पूजा pooja main deity is this Banyan Tree वट वृक्ष . This tree as it seems live forever. It never seems to Die. Thus due to this magical power it is regarded as a immortal deity who can give boon 'to live long life". Therefore on this day which often falls in months of May or June every year Married women pray for long life of their husbands & Sons. Themselves they observe Fast, they do not drink even water without performing pooja (worship) of the Banyan Tree . In disguise I understand that they seek blessings from this tree to bless them so that they can die being a married women? they must die being a Suhagan lnklqgkxu? it is may be, due to gender discrimination or inequality? i had written a blog in this Burgad Pooja (click to read).

The shoot head buds are swallowed by women so that they can have a SON? who in turn will carry forward the family and provide support to their mothers?  Later in time a story of Savitri is added to this day. She was a brave lady. Once satyavan, her husband was dying. The god of death came to take him away to Yam lok. Savitri moved behind the god of death, wherever he took her husband she kept following them. in many attempts God of death tried to dissuade her from following, but he failed in all his attempts. He then told her to ask for 3 boons in return. But in all her three boons she outwitted the god of death. She asked him to bless her with brave child. Yam, or the god of death sanctioned her the boon to have children, then she told to Yam to keep his promised boon. How come she can bear child without her husband, who is being taken away by death? realizing her wit, he surrendered to her and returned life of her husband. Since then Savitri is revered for her loyalty towards her husband, thus she became to the stature of a goddess. (Gender issue??)
Then there is this plant called Tulsi, तुलसी the Holy Basil. It is considered as the most sacred of all plants. It is considered so pure that if leaves are kept in any food items that item becomes pure. During the time of Eclipse Sun or moon, leaves of Tulsi are kept on the food items. 

But Besides medicinal properties why it is considered a symbol of purity, loyalty? 

There was a pious lady named as Vrinda वृंदा many centuries ago. She was educated learned lady and worshiper of lord Vishnu. 


She was married to a demon king Jallandhar जालंधर. He fought wars with Gods devatas. His strength was said to be due to the piousness of his wife Vrinda. during the course of war it was dawned on gods that they cannot fight and win over with this demon king. Thus Vishnu was asked to do help them out. Vishnu in disguise entered the living quarters of queen Vrinda. She some how could not see through the strategy. Her piousness was disturbed/torn by Vishnu who was with her disguised as her husband. She noticed that the garland given by her to her husband and asked him to keep always around his neck was not on this man who is in front of her. She became cautious but it was too late. By the time she was outraged, during that moment the demon, her husband was killed in war. She came to know about this heinous plan of devtas or Vishnu. 

She cursed Vishnu to become a stone- Shaligram शालिग्राम। Later he was married to Vrinda who is in form of Tulsi. Thus since then this Tulsi marriage with Vishnu is celebrated on Ekadasi, एकादशी the eleventh date of lunar cycle during Kartik कार्तिक month. 


But why she only was given punishment? Why she had to give sacrifice? This is a gender issue. But since then she had been given a high status recognized by society. So much so that now every house must have a pot with Tulsi. Mostly in central part or in courtyard of house anywhere. All women of house worship her-the Tulsi, who is now considered a Mother goddess.
It so happens that most of the plants we have been told to worship have many medicinal properties. But since due to influence of western ideas we tend to forget all our rich heritage.





Peepal, Burgad, Tulsi, Durva grass, Turmeric and all other such herbs have special place in our method/ritual of worship. all have some or the other benefits.
We have even a day where a mountain is worshiped or remembered. Govardhan was a mountain. It is worshiped on the second day of Diwali.
Diwali is impure form of word Deepawali. Deepak or Deep means the earthen pot lit with the light. I don't know what is the correct word of Deepak in English? what they (British) used for lightning their houses before electricity was invented? was it lantern? 
As we have numerous societies communities cultures in India, we tend to share many legends, often borrowed within our society. Govardhan is remembered with Krishna. In ancient times people worshiped, Indra as the god of rains, rivers, flood, storms. however Indra was the lord of gods (devta).
It was he who is considered to bring rains. We know, How much importance Rains have in life of Farming community? Rains are essential to Agriculture. Ganga Jamuna plains are the most fertile lands. As per the legend Krishna in his childhood told villagers not to worship Indra. He adviced them to worship Mountain Govardhan instead of Indra. It is the mountain that brings rains and not the Indra. How true he was? people often laugh at our Indian civilization, but see how then Krishna himself teaching people not to follow blindly everything. He initiates reasoning, Logical thinking & debate on the practices taking place blindly in society. Thus villagers agreed with Krishna and performed worship ritual of mountain. Angered and hurt Lord Indra broke all bounds and ordered his fellow powers- Wind, Water to storm the village, so as to teach them lesson. meanwhile Krishna is said to lift whole mountain on his little finger and saved life of villagers alongside their livestock. Later Indra accepted his mistake and asked forgiveness from Krishna, since then for agriculture community Govardhan mountain is the most respected thing for them. Moral of story is that Nature must be respected. Read my blog worship  of Mountain    https://swayamkatha.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/govardhan-pooja-or-govansh-vardhan-pooja/
Mountain represents Nature and Cow represents the earth, community economy based on the Cow and Animal husbandry.






Trees, earth, foodgrains, animals, birds, fruits, sky, water, air, rain, river, Mountain, SEA, ponds, vegetation, Sun, Moon, Planets, Universe all are worshiped in our religious ceremonies. 
Without this no religious ceremony is considered complete. All these have significant importance in Human life. 
Considering this importance our ancestors kept worship of nature essential in every ceremony. 
It is another story as to how and why most of us have forgotten teachings of our ancestors and blindly following the Western ideology?? Is it strategy of few vested interests and those who never wanted our people to flourish and live in total harmony with Mother Nature?

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