Maha Shivratri & Ecological Balance

In Hindu mythology, almost every GOD is associated with one plant and fauna suggesting variety which brings balance in eco-system and color to our lives.

Today is Maha Shivratri and is celebrated uniformly across India & Nepal. The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael or Bilva/Vilvam leaves to Lord Shiva, Lord Shiva wears snakes as ornaments.

Snakes are friends of farmers because they prey on rats in the fields. To highlight this aspect our elders have beautifully made snakes as ornaments of Lord Shiva. Bael or Bilva/Vilvam leaves and fruits have excellent medicinal properties especially for stomach related ailments. Though not very useful in daily life, atleast a tree is needed in every village for medicinal needs. Thus Bael or Bilva/Vilvam leaves are made liking of Lord Shiva, with an intention that people would grow at least one Bael or Bilva/Vilvam tree in their vicinity/locality/village.

Lord Shiva’s son Ganesha rides on a rat and can’t say to modaks if offered. To keep his sons pets i.e the rat population under check father(Shiva) wears snakes as ornaments and to help his food lover son (Ganesha) to recover from gastric problems asks his devotees to worship him with Bael leaves!! What a Balancing!!

The ripe fruit has a beautiful aroma and a unique flavor. The drink is too good and one would love to have it atleast once during the season. In Mumabi I don’t get this ripe fruit (: (:

In Telugu we have a saying that atleast once in a year we should eat – MAAREDU (Bilva) & NEREDU (Black Berries), because of their medicinal properties.

If you are able to get a ripe Bael fruit, enjoy the recipe as shown at  http://www.gayatrivantillu.com/recipes-2/drinks-and-smoothies/maredupandupaaneeyam
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