The Bold Voice of J&K

May all creatures everywhere be happy


From the most venomous cobras to harmless little water snakes, you find an entire array of snakes in India. Snakes play an important role in balancing the world’s ecological system. Sanatan Dharma teaches us to see all creatures – snakes included – as part of the one Supreme Cosmic Power.
This is why we even have temples for snakes, where they are worshipped.
Snakes are predators. Their presence controls the population of rats and rodents, which can spread diseases and destroy crops. At the same time, snakes are also part of the food chain.
They are food for birds of prey, like eagles and herons. Thus, Nature ensures ecological balance in its own systematic way. All man has to do is stop obstructing this divine system.
It is in this context, we should strive to understand the ancient truth voiced by our sages: Vasudhaiva kutumbakam – the world is one big family.
A human body has many organs, each with its own specific role to play in maintaining the harmonious functioning of the whole. Just as all our individual organs are not separate from our body, similarly, all the sundry creatures in creation are not separate from the world.
The world is one organic body; each species of plant and animal is a part of that body.
From this perspective, where does man get the right to infringe upon the life of other creatures?
They have the same rights to life on earth as we humans do. In fact, it is only when we understand and respect this truth and behave in alignment with it that we become worthy of calling ourselves ‘human’.
Once, when a sage was meditating, a king approached him to ask for water. Being in deep meditation, the sage didn’t hear the king.
The king became angry and rested a dead snake around the sage’s shoulders.
When the sage’s son returned and saw this, he was enraged.
He cursed him, “Whoever did this will die in seven days from the bite of Takshak, the king of serpents.”
After this curse bore fruit and the king died, his son decided to take revenge by conducting a sacrifice wherein all snakes of the world were to be offered into the fire.
But during the sacrifice, another sage told the king’s son that what he was doing was wrong. The sage imparted spiritual wisdom to him. Happy to have received the gyan, the king’s son asked the sage what he wanted in return.
The sage asked him to stop the sacrifice.
This day came to be celebrated as Nag Panchami. Such celebrations are a reminder to love all living creatures and to never destroy them out of hatred or in the name of taking revenge.
In olden days, every home would have a sacred grove with a small temple and pond.
Trees there would have medicinal qualities, and the breeze blowing through their leaves would rejuvenate the body and mind. Insects and reptiles populated these groves, and termites would make their mounds there.
Snakes made their home in holes underneath those termite mounds.
To dilute the toxicity of the snake’s venom, people would make offerings of milk mixed with turmeric. On special days, snake-charmers were hired to lure snakes out with their pipe music. Snakes would then be bathed with milk.
This was said to curb the potency of their venom. In those days, people regarded all creatures with reverence and awe. It is love that eventually turns into worship.
Today, even when throwing food out, most people do not think of offering a ball of rice to the crow. Our forests are being destroyed, and our homes do not have any temples in their yards.
Snakes are being deprived of their natural habitats – termite mounds and wooded areas, as a result, they enter our living spaces. When we step on them, they bite us out of fear and pain. If we are careful, neither will we get bitten nor will we have to hurt and kill snakes.
Nothing is to be rejected, everything has a proper place in this cosmos. May grace protect snakes and save them from being endangered. May we all also develop the right mentality to facilitate this. Let us remember the primary prayer of Sanatan Dharma: ‘Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu’ – May all creatures everywhere be happy.
-Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By :