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Guru Jambheshwar also known Jambhaji, is the spiritual leader of Bishnoi sect.
Bishnoi are a socio-religious group found in the Western Thar Desert of India, the desert overlaps areas of Punjab, and Sindh in Pakistan. The name is derived from bis (twenty) and nai (nine) i.e. followers of 29 principles given by Guru Jambheshwar. Guru Jambheshwar gave the message to protect trees and wildlife around 540 years ago, prophesying that harming the environment means harming yourself. He formulated twenty nine tenets. The tenets were not only tailored to conserve bio-diversity of the area but also ensured a healthy eco-friendly social life for the community. Similar to Jainism, people from various communities like Rajputs, Agarwals, Jats and many others follow Bishnoism.
Out of the 29 tenets, 10 are directed towards personal hygiene and maintaining good basic health, seven for healthy social behaviour, and five tenets to worship God. Eight tenets have been prescribed to preserve bio-diversity 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.
In 1730, 363 Bishnoi men, women and children led by Amrita Devi died protecting trees from cutting by the king's men. This incident happened in Khejarli which is a village in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan, India 26 km south-east of the city of Jodhpur. The Bishnois sacrificed their lives while protecting trees by hugging to them.
Bishnoism was founded by Guru Jambheshwar of Bikaner, who was born in 1451 in Marwari Panwar Rajput family, and is buried in Talwa/Mukam in Bikaner. His spiritual name was Jambhaji. He left his followers a scripture in the Nagri character called Shabdwani which consists of 120 SHABDS.
Places of pilgrimage
29 Rules in English
- Observe 30 days' state of untouchability after child's birth
- Observe 5 days' segregation while a woman is in her menses
- Bath early morning
- Obey the ideal rules of life: Modesty
- Obey the ideal rules of life: Patience or satisfactions
- Obey the ideal rules of life: Purifications
- Perform Sandhya two times a day
- Eulogise their God, Vishnu, in evening hours (Aarti)
- Perform Yajna (Havan) every morning
- Filter water, milk and firewood
- Speak pure words in all sincerity
- Adopt the rule of forgiveness and pity
- Don't steal
- Do not condemn or criticize
- Don't lie
- Don't waste the time on argument
- Fast on Amavashya and offer prayers to Vishnu
- Have pity on all living beings and love them
- Do not cut green trees, save the environment
- Crush lust, anger, greed and attachment
- Accept food and water from our purified people only
- Provide a common shelter for male goat/sheep to avoid them being slaughtered in abattoirs
- Don't sterilise ox
- Don't use opium
- Don't take smoke and use tobacco
- Don't take bhang or hemp
- Don't take wine or any type of drugs
- Don't eat meat, remain always pure vegetarian
- Never use blue clothes
- The Bishnois, ecologists since the 15th century a book by photojournalist Franck Vogel
- The Bishnois: India's eco-warriors (Rajasthan, l'âme d'un prophète) (52 min, France 5, 2011) a documentary film directed by Franck Vogel and Benoit Ségur.
- "The Desert Dwellers of Rajasthan – Bishnoi and Bhil people". 2004. Retrieved 19 Mar 2013.
- Jambhoji: Messiah of the Thar Desert,1998, author M.S.Chandla
- The Bishnois,(2001), ASIN: B004HQ08BE
- "29-Rules". http://www.bishnoisamaj.com. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "List of 29 Principles". www.bishnoism.com. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Bishnois information on www.franckvogel.com
- Bishnois film trailer by France 5 TV channel
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bishnoi people.|
- "The Bishnoi Faith". Retrieved 19 Mar 2013.