It's the season of festivals..Most of us might have watched this typical scene.. A temple in a village..Amidst a forest from which one is not supposed to collect even firewood.. The forest of the Gods.. Sacred forests.. Once in a year, the celebrations in the midst of this serene greenery...A beautiful red brick and red tiled little sanctorium..In the evening Wood being piled up so high that as children we felt it would reach heaven..Then at night the great bonfire and the burning embers follows..The next morning a man possessed with the spirit dressed elaborately in green and white robes of nature, danced n rolled over the embers.. People followed him and walked on those embers emerging unhurt.. Children standing around watching it all with awe.. People who made mistakes would get hurt..they would say and the good ones would remain unhurt walking over the embers.. Well, we know now that speed matters..the quicker one walks, lesser the hurt.. We say it's simple science..And the spirits are just an outcome of the fits of a mentally ill individual.. Some brush the whole thing off as a superstition..
But there's something that caught my fancy here..There was a moral side to it..We were a God fearing community and we erred less..These traditions and the spirits made us confess our sins.. And we sinned less out of fear of the unknown..
As we drifted away from these beliefs we started unconsciously denying and destroying what was rightfully not ours.. We fell in love with the cities..We went away.. We relate ourselves to the soil no more.. Our relationships are virtual now within the social network.. Not with the living breathing Earth.. Our community was a community of farmers..
Now, we don't think about that plastic bag we threw out of our car yesterday, watching exotic animals on our phone! Watching animals that are close to extinction because of the way we have been dominating and destroying earth.. We are so (in)sane that we believe in Bitcoin and Paper Currency which actually works only because of our wonderful imagination.. What's money? Isn't it a bundle of papers afterall?
And far away in a village.. People believe in spirits and they don't let anyone destroy their sacred forests..They are ready to fight tooth and nail for their gods and their forests..Half of Kodagu breathes a clean air today because of these forests.. People walk over the fire for the sake of inherent faith in their gods.. I don't know if their gods protect them.. But these people do protects gods and their abode - the forests..Faith can do wonders..Don't you think so?