Yoga for Peace and the Bishnois
Destination: Bishnoi Village
Go Inspired’s Yoga for Peace program will be held in a Bishnoi Village near Jodhpur, India. It is a fantastic opportunity for our participants to experience life in the village living alongside the Bishnoi.
Who are the Bishnois?
The Bishnois are an eco-friendly sect of Hindu religion. They are known for their rich cultural Rajasthani Life and their true love for nature and animals. The Bishnoi’s believe in conservation and respect for other animals and plants and are known as the first environment conservationists in the world. They do not support the idea of destroying (killing) life for satisfying human needs. Bishnoi was the first sect/religion emphasizing love, peace and harmony among not only human beings but also with Mother Nature, wild animals and trees.
They normally wear a white shirt, dhoti and turban. This dress pattern is ideal for the hot dry desert climate. They pay special attention to cleanliness in their houses. Only one crop of pearl millet (bajra) is grown during the monsoon season. The bushes, which grow in the fields, protect the loose sand from wind erosion and provide the much-needed fodder for animals during a famine. Bisnois often live in little hamlets called Dhani and villages, with just a few round huts with intricate thatched roofs. The mud floors are plastered with cow dung to keep vermin away. The interiors are airy and clean. Bishnois in Haryana and Punjab are much wealthier than other castes.
The word Bishnoi 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. The principles were not only tailored to conserve bio-diversity of the area but also ensured a healthy eco-friendly social life for the community.
What are the 29 principles they follow?
- Observe 30 days state of untouchability after child’s birth
- Observe 5 days segregation while a woman is in her menses
- Bathe 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 God, The Lord Vishnu in evening hours (Aarti)
- Perform Yajna (Havan) every morning
- Filter the water, milk and firewood
- Speak pure words in all sincerity
- Adopt the rule of forgiveness and pity
- Do not steal
- Do not condemn or criticize
- Do not lie
- Do not waste the time on argument
- Fasting on Amavashya and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu
- Have pity on all living beings and love them
- Do not cut the green trees, save environment
- Crush lust, anger, greed and attachment
- Accept food and water from our purified people only
- To provide a common shelter for male goat/sheep to avoid them being slaughtered in abattoirs
- Don’t sterilise the ox
- Don’t use opium
- Don’t smoke and use tobacco
- Don’t take bhang or hemp
- Don’t take wine or any type of liquor
- Don’t eat meat, remain always pure vegetarian
- Never use blue clothes (Wearing blue cloths is prohibited because the dye for coloring them is obtained by cutting a large quantity of shrubs.)
Where are they located?
The Bishnois are presently spread over the western parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh.
Yoga for Peace is an incredible opportunity for you to learn more about yourself, incorporating peace into your yoga and about the specific world of the Bishnois. The workshop grants you time for practice as well as time for exploration.
Information for this article was taken from: