Image of the day – Bishnoi life

As promised here’s another couple of my favourite images, again from our trip to India back in in 2010 / 11.

We spent new year’s day with the Bishnoi tribe in their desert home.

These pictures are of the tribal elder whose lined face shows the price that his hard life has taken.

The word Bishnoi is derived from bis (twenty) and nai (nine)

It is used to designate the followers of 29 principles given by Guru Jambheshwar who spread a very early eco friendly message to protect trees and wildlife around 540 years ago.

The tribes people adopt a very simple life, living in mud huts amongst their chickens, extended family and goats.

The 29 Principles of Guru Jambheshwar

  1. Observe 30 days state of untouchability after child’s birth
  2. Observe five days segregation while a woman is in her menses
  3. Bath early morning
  4. Obey the ideal rules of life: Modesty
  5. Obey the ideal rules of life: Patience or satisfactions
  6. Obey the ideal rules of life: Purifications
  7. Perform Sandhya two times a day (a religious ritual)
  8. Eulogise God, The Lord Vishnu in evening hours
  9. Perform Yajna every morning ( a ritual offering into a consecrated fire)
  10. Filter the water, milk and firewood
  11. Speak pure words in all sincerity
  12. Adopt the rule of forgiveness and pity
  13. Do not steal
  14. Do not condemn or criticise
  15. Do not lie
  16. Do not waste the time on argument
  17. Fasting on Amavashya and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu
  18. Have pity on all living beings and love them
  19. Do not cut the green trees, save environment
  20. Crush lust, anger, greed and attachment
  21. Accept food and water from our purified people only
  22. To provide a common shelter for male goat/sheep to avoid them being slaughtered in abattoirs
  23. Don’t sterilise the ox
  24. Don’t use opium (which our tribal elder must have forgotten!)
  25. Don’t smoke
  26. Don’t take bhang or hemp
  27. Don’t take wine or any type of liquor
  28. Don’t eat meat, remain always pure vegetarian
  29. Never use blue clothes
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