Saturday, October 23, 2010
watering the mango tree - आम्र-सेक-पितृ-तर्पण
= āmrasékapitṛitarpaṇa nyāyaḥ
= the maxim of watering the mango tree while offering oblations to the ancestors. killing two birds in one stone.
Amra = mango
seka = sprinkling
pitRi = ancestors, [fore]father
tarpaNa = act of offering of oblations
nyAyaH = maxim
so this maxim says that one may be offering water oblations to the ancestors, but in the same act, one ends up watering the mango tree as well.
the mango is considered the king of fruits and the fruit of kings (the second one easily disputed by people today). india is one of the largest producer of mangoes and at least of the best varieties of them.
mango is critical to indian culture, for the spring onset is indicated by the mango buds coming out and the cuckoo starting to sing even sweeter than before, the classical description of spring.
it has been indian tradition to take care of neighborhood trees planting, watering etc. and many customs are created with trees in the focus or just involved. today 'educated' people may call it 'superstition' to worship a peepal tree or any other such tree, but for ordinary people not yet touched by ego of knowledge or fast and mobile life, these rituals made it enjoyable to practice the wisdom of land.
today we have govt programs to plant trees and public doesn't care. traditionally, trees have been central to many ceremonies. even today, you will find at certain holy places, large banyan trees on which devotees tie red thread or put a tiny statue of a deity and many such things. it all ends up keeping the trees in the focus.
maybe global warming needed a simple solution!
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