Bishnoi religion was founded by great visionary Saint Guru Jambheshwar Ji in year 1485AD(Vikram Samwat 1542, Kartik month, Krishna 8th) on SAMRATHAL DHORA ( Sand Dune ) near Nokha in Bikaner District of Rajasthan (India).
Bishnoi is not only a caste it is simple art of living. A person who follow 29 rules laid by Guru Jambheshvar Ji is a Bishnoi (unteesh dharma ki aankadi, hridhya dhare joye, bishnoi naam soy). All the 29 rules have no complicated rituals. It is simple and scientific way of living. Most of rules are either to protect environment or for personal hygiene.
A true bishnoi person and village can be easily recognized because of following 29 rules which show in form of healthy physical appearance, surrounding green environment, fresh atmosphere and freely roaming wild animals near their houses.
The forthcoming disaster of global warming was perceived by the saint Guru Jambheshwar Ji more than 500 years back and suggested most viable and sustainable solution for the same through the teaching of 29 principles.
Bishnoi people have their self sustained economy by farming and animal husbandry. Most of normal life essentials are their own produced like food grains, milk, butter, cooking oil, masalas, cotton, wool.
“29 Principles “
|1.||To examine separation of the mother and newborn for 30 days after delivery.||To avoid infection to the mother and the baby for the period of a stage when both are very liable to outer infections.|
|2.||To keep woman away from all actions for 5 days through her menstrual periods.||To provide necessary rest to the woman (also, allowing for the poor hygiene levels in those days or even today in rustic India) For woman.|
|3.||To take early morning bath every day.||Personal hygiene.|
|4.||To maintain both exterior and interior purity and remaining content.||Inner hygiene means a good purpose, humble manners, nature without envious approach, etc.|
|5.||To think twice a day i.e. morning and evening (period when night is being divided from the day)||
Morning meditation to consider over the proposed activities of day, whether my procedures are right, moral or am I going to do something next to my life values. Also, to pray the lord for instructions and power to move ahead in the life path.
Evening meditation to take a supply of day ¡s actions, whether I made any mistake? Did I hurt somebody? Whether I spent the day in positive activities or just washed out this valuable time?
|6.||To sing the Lord ¡s glory and narrate His qualities every eveninga.|
|7.||To offer daily oblation to the holy blaze with a heart filled with manner of welfare, love and loyalty.||Daily (preferably morning) oblations with: Feelings of welfare of all living being , Love for nature and whole world, Devotion to the Lord.|
|8.||Use filtered water, milk and carefully cleaned fuel/ firewood.||To make the water and milk bacteria free! In case of firewood to see that some insects etc. don’t ¡t get burned with the fuel and pollute the environment.|
|9.||Filter your speech!||Think before you speak.|
|10.||To be forgiving in nature.||Forgiveness is a parameter of greatness. This one virtue could uplift a normal person to the standards of great souls of the world. Guru said further, ” if somebody come to you shouting, become cool like water!”|
|11.||To be compassionate.||
Compassion helps in purifying the heart. It is opposite** to the forgiveness (Refer rule 10 and end note) in a sense that in forgiving, we keep our heart and mind cool against some external stimuli, whereas in compassion, we imbibe the feelings of the helpless.
We put ourselves in the shoes of victim (of some other external circumstance, assault, stimuli) and acting accordingly.
|12.||Not to steal.||Trying to own someone else ¡s things through cheating, or stealing is theft. Theft is the dirt of the character. It pinches the soul.|
|13.||Not to revile/ condemn someone.||
Reviling means insulting stealthily or disparaging behind the back. This is different from open criticism.
Criticism is done openly with an objective of the improvement, whereas the objective of reviling/condemning someone is only to malign the victim ¡s image/position in the eyes of listener or the community. Condemning is an act of cowards and done out of envy and/or hatred.
|14.||Not to tell lies.||A liar can never attain respect of others. It is insult to the gift of speech. There was a time, when even the court used to accept the testimony of Bishnoi men as hard evidence.|
|15.||Not to indulge in opprobrium.||
One should not indulge in any unnecessary/ wasteful debates. All such discussions/ deliberations, which are anti-social, anti-human fall under this category.
It is to be noted that the Guru has not proscribed / banned a healthy debate on issues concerning the welfare of all.
|16.||To observe fast and meditate on no-moon night (and the same day i.e. Amavsya)||
To provide rest to the body and its internal systems. This day of the month has a special significance from astronomical and planetary science ¡s point of view. In addition, the regular fading of the moon ¡s appearance is also symbolic of the perishable nature of life.
So in this context, one should not waste his/her energy in the daily routine work but should ¡®charge ¡s his /her energy level and introspect & ponder over the collective welfare.
|17.||To recite the holy name of Lord Vishnu.|
|18.||To be compassionate towards all living beings.|
|19.||Not to fell green trees.|
|20.||To kill the non-perishables!||To overcome the non-perishable enemies of human beings viz. lust, anger, envy, greed and attachment.|
|21.||To partake food cooked by self/ other religious person or one who is pure by heart and work.|
|22.||To provide a common shelter (Thhat) for goat/sheep to avoid them being slaughtered in abattoirs.||
No Bishnoi should sell a male goat/sheep because these could be used for slaughtering purposes. Hence, he should send them to That ¡s where the whole community provides feed and shelter for them.
In later years, most Bishnoi ¡s got out of the business of rearing goats/ sheep, etc.
|23.||Not to have bull¡¯s castrated.||
In rural India, bulls are castrated before they are used as bullocks for agricultural purposes. Guru prohibited this activity for his disciples.
The underlining feeling behind this commandment is that Bishnoi ¡s rear the bovines like their son/daughters and getting them castrated through a painful procedure portray nothing but cruelty.
|24.||Not to partake of opium.|
|25.||Not to use tobacco and its products.|
|26.||Not to partake of cannabis.|
|27.||Not to drink liquor.|
|28.||Not to eat meat or non-vegetarian dishes.||
The underlying rationale of this commandment are two pronged. To protect the animals/birds from being slaughtered by creating a market barrier!
To protect the man, the best creation of the nature, from stooping to such low standards as eating meat of dead animals/birds. Scientifically also the structure of man ¡s teeth, jaws etc. is of not a carnivorous animal but is that of a herbivorous creature.
Interestingly, if the meat eating would have been that superior, why even the non-vegetarian people eat meat/ eggs of the herbivorous animals/birds and not that of carnivorous animals/birds?
|29.||Not to use blue coloured clothes.||
In ancient India, the blue colour used to be obtained from indigo. Thus it ¡s possible that the Guru wanted to stop destruction of this wild shrub or promote its cultivation in lieu of other life supporting crops.
Blue is the colour of death , poision ( Indian Mythology- Lord Shiva). It is also thought that the blue colour do not reflect the harmful ultraviolet rays but absorbs them, which is a major health hazard.
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