Source : https://bishnoisamachar.in and Wikipedia
Bishnoi (also known as Vishnoi and Prahladapanthi) is a Hindu religious sect found in the Western Thar Desert and northern states of India. They follow a set of 29 principles/commandments given by Guru Jambheshwar (1451-1536). Jambheshwar founded the sect at Samrathal Dhora in 1485 and his teachings, comprising 120 shabads, are known as Shabadwani. He preached for the next 51 years, travelling across India.
The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan state of India has been in limelight ever since the case against Bollywood actor Salman Khan for poaching the blackbuck (also known as “black deer” by locals) started. Bishnois are known for their devout religious commitment to protect environment and wildlife, many times even laying their lives for the cause.
Here’s some more information about the incredible community:
Bishnoi sect was founded by Guru Jambheshwar (1451-1536), also known as Jambhaji. Some writers have used the term Vishnoi, meaning followers of Lord Vishnu but sect members refer to themselves as Bishnoi. Jambheshwar himself did not refer to Bishnoi but does mention Vishnu. Adherents are also known as Prahladapanthi because of their devotion to Prahlada, another Hindu deity.
Jambheshwar announced a set of 29 tenets. These were contained in a document called Shabadwani, written in the Nagri script, which consists of 120 shabads. Of his 29 tenets, ten are directed towards personal hygiene and maintaining good basic health, seven for healthy social behaviour, and four tenets to the worship of God. Eight tenets have been prescribed to preserve bio-diversity – although most adherents are unaware of that, or such things as global warming, as a concept – and encourage good animal husbandry. These include a ban on killing animals and felling green trees, and providing protection to all life forms. The community is also directed to see that the firewood they use is devoid of small insects. Wearing blue clothes is prohibited because the dye for colouring them is obtained by cutting a large quantity of shrubs.
The Bishnoi have various temples, of which they consider the most holy to be that in the village of Mukam in Nokha tehsil, Bikaner district, Rajasthan. It is there that a shrine to Jambheshwar exists.
The Bishnoi narrate the story of Amrita Devi, a member of the sect who inspired as many as 362 other Bishnois to go to their deaths in protest of the cutting down of Khejri trees in September 1730. The maharaja of Jodhpur, Abhay Singh, requiring wood for the construction of a new palace, sent soldiers to cut trees in the village of Khejarli, which was called Jehnad at that time. Noticing their actions, Devi hugged a tree in an attempt to stop them. Her family then adopted the same strategy, as did other local people when the news spread. She told the soldiers that she considered their actions to be an insult to her faith and that she was prepared to die to save the trees. The soldiers did indeed kill her and others until Abhay Singh was informed of what was going on and intervened to stop the massacre.
Some of the 363 Bishnois who were killed protecting the trees were buried in Khejarli, where a simple grave with four pillars was erected. Every year, in September, the Bishnois assemble there to commemorate the sacrifice made by their people to preserve their faith and religion.
The 29 tenets of Bishnois state:
- Observe 30 days’ state of ritual impurity after child’s birth and keep mother and child away from household activities.
- Observe 5 days’ segregation while a woman is in her menses.
- Take bath daily in the morning before Sunrising.
- Obey the ideal rules of life: Modesty, Patience or satisfactions, cleanliness.
- Pray two times everyday (morning and evening).
- Eulogise God, Vishnu, in evening hours (Aarti)
- Perform Yajna (Havan) with the feelings of welfare devotion and love.
- Use filtered water, milk and cleaned firewood.
- Speak pure words in all sincerity.
- Practice forgiveness from heart.
- Be merciful by heart.
- Do not steal or keep any intention to do it.
- Do not condemn or criticize.
- Do not lie.
- Do not indulge in dispute/debate.
- Fast on Amavasya.
- Worship and recite Lord Vishnu in adoration
- Have merciful on all living beings and love them.
- Do not cut green trees, save the environment.
- Crush lust, anger, greed and attachment.
- Cook your food by yourself.
- Provide shelters for abandoned animals to avoid them from being slaughtered in abattoirs.
- Do not sterilise bull.
- Do not use or trade opium.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco or its products.
- Do not take bhang or hemp.
- Do not drink alcohol/liquor.
- Do not eat meat, always remain pure vegetarian.
- Don’t use violet blue colour extracted from the indigo plant.
“उणतीस धर्म की आंकड़ी, हृदय धरियो जोय। जाम्भोजी जी कृपा करी नाम विश्नोई होय ।”
“If you daily follow these 29 rules of Bishnois in your daily life then I assure you that you will live a joyful and happy life.”
बिश्नोई के 29 नियम साधारण भाव के साथ :-
1. प्रतिदिन प्रात:काल स्नान करना।
2. 30 दिन जनन – सूतक मानना।
3. 5 दिन रजस्वता स्री को गृह कार्यों से मुक्त रखना।
4. शील का पालन करना।
5. संतोष का धारण करना।
6. बाहरी एवं आन्तरिक शुद्धता एवं पवित्रता को बनाये रखना।
7. तीन समय संध्या उपासना करना।
8. संध्या के समय आरती करना एवं ईश्वर के गुणों के बारे में चिंतन करना।
9. निष्ठा एवं प्रेमपूर्वक हवन करना।
10. पानी, ईंधन व दूध को छान-बीन कर प्रयोग में लेना।
11. वाणी का संयम करना।
12. दया एवं क्षमाको धारण करना।
13. चोरी, 14. निंदा, 15. झूठ तथा 16. वाद – विवाद का त्याग करना।
17. अमावश्या के दिनव्रत करना।
18. विष्णु का भजन करना।
19. जीवों के प्रति दया का भाव रखना।
20. हरा वृक्ष नहीं कटवाना।
21. काम, क्रोध, मोह एवं लोभ का नाश करना।
22. रसोई अपने हाध से बनाना।
23. परोपकारी पशुओं की रक्षा करना।
24. अमल नहीं खाना
25. तम्बाकू नहीं खाना
26. भांग नहीं खाना
27. मद्य तथा नहीं खाना
28. नील का त्याग करना।
29. बैल को बधिया नहीं करवाना।