OLDEST POEM ABOUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FOREST! (Post No.4896)

OLDEST POEM ABOUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FOREST! (Post No.4896)

 

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 8 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  20-38 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4896

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

 

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Rig Veda is a treasure house. It is the encyclopaedia of human race. Since it is the only book about humanity in the ancient world, everything said in it is carefully analysed. There is a beautiful poem about Forest and Queen of the Forest in the tenth mandala, the last of the ten mandalas/divisions in the Rig Veda.

We come across beautiful description of the forest by the poet. The queen of the forest is called ARANYAANI. The beauty of the word ARANYAM is that it is found in all Indian languages including Tamil. Vedaranyam, Dharbaranyam (Tirunallaru), Vadaranyam (Tiru Alankadu) in Tamil Nadu, Naimisaranyam, Dandakaranyam in the North are famous.

Like many Rig Vedic words, it is very common. The Goddess of the Forest is addressed by the poet.

This highlights many points

Hindus cared about environment several thousand years before any other community in the world.

Hindus appreciated and respected nature than any other community. Note the words Queen, Goddess etc.

Hindus worshipped everything in Nature.

The method of addressing is followed even by the 2000 year old Tamil Sangam poets: The poet says Aranyaanii! Aranyaanii! Tamils used such repetitions in Purananauru verses–195, 228, 256, 285, 301 etc

 

Let us look at the short poem or hymn now:

1.Goddess of the Forest! Goddess of the Forest! who seem to vanish from the sight.

How is it you seek not the village? Are you not afraid?

2.What time the grasshopper replies and swells the shrill Chichika bird’s voice

seeming to sound the tinkling bells, the Lady of the Wood exults

3.And yonder, cattle seem to graze, what seems a dwelling place appears;

Or else at evening the Lady of the Forest seems to free the wains.

4.Here one is calling to his house, another has felled the tree;

At evening the dweller in the wood fancies that somebody has screamed.

5.The Goddess never slays, unless some murderous enemy approach

She eats fruit and then takes, even as she wills, rest.

6.Now have I praised the Forest Queen, sweet scented, redolent of balm,

The Mother of all Sylvan things, who tills not but has stores of food.

–Rig Veda 10-146

 

Probably this is the oldest and most beautiful poem on Forest. The scent of the forest, the sounds heard in the forest, the strength of the forest (she doesn’t need to plough and cultivate), the vegetarian food of the forest queen, the title as Queen, the status as Goddess- all such words and epithets show great appreciation for the forest.

 

One wonders how come the forest is not afraid, but every one of us fears it because of the wild animals and the robbers hiding there.

The chirping of the birds and crickets is not missed by the poet.

The evening scenes are picturesque: – a cart is rolling, cows are mowing, some sounds similar to crying (from animals) are heard, someone sees a house at a distance with lamps perhaps.

 

The forest never hurts any one unless a person hurts it.  The forest never cultivates, ploughs or raise trees; but they grow on their own and always full of fruits—all appreciation!

 

It is as if we are beginning to read a story or novel. The authors always describe such scenes and proceed to their plot of the story.

If we imagine that this hymn is sung in the Bhoopaala Raga, it will add more colour to it.

In Sanskrit and Tamil we have Suprabatham and Tiru Palli Ezuchi. It may be the prelude to that genre.

 

–Subham—

 

 

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