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Indian Belief in Nature and Buddhism
Indian Temples and Pilgrimages
Indian shrines and temples or any other places are divine places which are revered by the followers of the religion. India in particular is said to be the land of holy places. Many such rituals, mythological truths and beliefs and religious cultures have given birth to such diverse religions. Some may discuss the general: Buddhism, Hinduism, Muslim, Sikhism, Christianity and Jainism. Indian culture praises not only the idols of God but also some gifts of nature. For example:
Animals like cows are highly respected in this culture. The cow is not hurt by people, but is decorated and worshiped in many religious ceremonies; Snakes are also considered sacred. Snakes are worshiped in Kumaon and poems are sung to them. Snakes are also worshiped in Kerala.
The forces of nature like wind, fire, earth etc. are also worshipped. Like- the people of Ladakh believe in a religion called Bon in which natural forces are worshipped; Land and villages are worshiped in Kumaon; The tribals of Tripura worship natural deities such as goddesses of cotton and maize, gods of the sky and sea, and gods of healing;
Rivers are a sacred natural gift of God. Among the many sacred rivers, the Ganga River is the most dedicated. The river originates at Gaumukh in Gangotri and flows into the North-Indian plains at Haridwar. A grand fair called ‘Kumbh Mela’ is held here occasionally. Ganga water is called ‘Jal’ and its use is mandatory in all religious ceremonies. Bottled ‘Jal’ can be kept at home for an unlimited period of time and does not spoil. Most of the Hindu families have to have ‘Gangajal’ at home. Ghats are places where sacred rivers flow and all kinds of sacred rituals are performed there. The ghats of Varanasi are worshiped because the rivers Varuna and Asi flow through them; Allahabad is the confluence of three famous rivers-Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati and that particular place is worshiped with great reverence; Shipra river in Ujjain is also considered sacred.
Trees are the oldest nature gods worshiped in this country. Sal tree is worshiped in Jharkhand; The banyan tree known as Bargad is one of the oldest trees. With big thick trunks, massive branches and aerial roots, Vada has a majestic personality of its own. On the festival of ‘Bargad Amavasya’ women worship her by tying the sacred red thread ‘Klav’ around her and pray for good fortune. The celebration varies by region; The pimpal tree is also one of the oldest trees. Basically this tree is worshiped to please Lord Shani. People light earthen lamps under trees. This can be done every day but Saturday is considered a more fruitful day;
Tulsi is a shrub which is a ‘Gangajal’ considered a must have in a Hindu household. This plant is considered a goddess and is worshiped every morning. Its leaves are used in sacred ceremonies but are not supposed to be plucked after sunset and on Sundays. A ‘Tulsi marriage’ is conducted on a particular day with a black stone called ‘Saligram’, considered to be equivalent to Lord Vishnu.
Nine planets popularly known as ‘Navagraha’ are also worshiped here. Prayers and rhymes are chanted for these planets. Besides, Guwahati, Assam has a temple named ‘Navagraha Mandir’ dedicated to these nine planets.
Let’s dive deeper into some of the religions in India. Among them Buddhism and Hinduism are the oldest religions. So, let’s bow down to find temples and shrines built, revered and served by God’s devotees.
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#Indian #Belief #Nature #Buddhism