By: Devakinanda Ji
Agriculture is our nation's symbol. It is the back bone of our culture and of India. No matter how much infatuation Indians have toward western materialism, money and technical progress, the breath of our nation is agriculture. Any where we travel across the country side of our nation, we see green fertile lands on either side. We see people on bullock carts with their crops, some carrying hay bundles on their head, especially during Sankrānṫi festival time. We see all kinds of tall trees especially palm trees, and coconut trees, standing tall. You have to have a mind-set to appreciate nature and you don't have to take vacation to enjoy this scenery.
People who live busy lives in big cities don't have the luxury of enjoying our country side agriculture. So, they have no personal experience of this. Our main staple is rice in the south and wheat in the north. In olden days, they used to estimate one's wealth based on their fertile land, their cattle and other produce. Everything we get from cattle is useful for our household starting from milk in the morning, to our sweets that are based on flour, milk, sugar and ghee (clarified butter). We feed our cattle with hay, grains and lentils. Without farmers, farming, cattle and plants, our life comes to halt. We depend on our farmers and agriculture, but we don't thank them or treat them right which is a shameful thing because the energy we get to move around comes from our food which comes from agriculture. We used to use plants and herbs in so many ways and our grand and great grand parents know that very well.
During Vedic times, farmers and farming were given utmost respect and importance. To worship God with leaves, flowers, fruits; to perform abhishekam (ceremonial bath to the gods) with milk, ghee, sugar, honey, fruit juices; they all come from agriculture, from our cattle and paddy.
Our nation's back bone is agriculture and every Indian must realize this.
The land whose back bone is agriculture is our Bhāratabhūmi, -'Halabhriti Bhūmi'.