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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Student research team chronicles tribal astrology know how

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WHILE UNIVERSITIES might shrug it off as a flimsy venture , Marwari School here last year made a stride in the field of tribal astrology to compile a summary on information to throw some light on the astrological relation between plants and planets.

Tribals believe that use of roots and leaves of certain plant species on specific days, along with a thread of particular colour , can ward off diseases - even deadly ones.

This belief and practice drove the in-charge of the Science Academy of the School MP Mishra and his "student- scientists" to set on a mission to collect information on tribal plant astrology.

Encouraged by the principal of the school Shikha Prasad , Mishra flagged off his adventure in May last year with his researchers- Amit Kumar , Binod Kumar Bedia, Karmveer Jha , Bashistha Narayan Kashyap and Rajiv Ranjan Choudhury.

Mishra visited the villages adjoining Ranchi during his three ,onth long odyssey and met 'vaids' , 'hakims' and tribal elders.

They helped him collect information from Mundas , Pahans and Mankis (presitly classes) on his hunt for knowledge-hunt.

They also elaborated on the procedure the use of plant species to dilute the disease causing malefic influences of planets .

This prescription was also dealt with in 'Sri Skanda Purana' , said Mishra.

" Tribals believe that the adverse effect of a planet posted in "Trik- asthavas" may be neutralized by wearing the roots of the plants concerned on the arm or round the neck with a thread a prescribed colour on a particular day," he explained.

He said that the life of the plants, as a belief goes discussed in the Hindu myhtology, is also regulated by zodiac influences of 12 'rashis' (star signs) and 27 'nakshatras' (stars) that astrology pin much importance.

Mishra came to know that the tribals prefer to wear 'bel' (aegle marmelos) with pink thread on Sunday to starve themselves off eye diseases , high fever and dangers of fire accidents that are caused by the malefic influence of Sun.

Similarly, they opt for 'Khirani' (mimus hexandra) to wear with white thread on Monday to shield themselves against asthma, dropsy and aquatic dangers resulted form the adverse lunar position.

Mishra did not want ot get sucked into the ongoing debate over whether astrology is a science or not. His objective was to know about the tribal plant astrology.

The Report they have prepared would pose as a testimonial to the endeavour of his Science Academy, but could provide some information to those who would wish to make research in this field.
He argued that the use of plant parts might react with the skin or sweat to generate the desired result , but his needs a thorough research to know their healing properties.

" All the plants are medicinal herbs. Therefore, efforts must be made to preserve them , though one may not go into the details of their astrological aspect, " Mishra said.

Source: Hindustan Times
September 24

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