Since the very dawn of human civilization, Mother Nature and the Forces of nature are being worshiped . Our fore fathers knew that the very existence of human and life on this earth is due to nature . They worshiped Sun, Moon, Water and many such forces of nature. The Peepal trees and the Banyan trees are worshipped all across India !! The tulsi tree is a must in every Hindu house hold.
Thus our ancestors were aware of the environment and its role in our existence building. Man and nature are inseparable and thus we have to take care of Mother Nature ..
Here I would like to talk about one particular festival that we celebrate in Orissa ( may be celebrated in other states too with some other names ) it's called Samba Dashmi where we worship the Sun God our very own Surya Dev!!
Samba Dasmi vrat also know as Surya Puja is observed on the 10 th day of Shukla Paksha in Pausa month in Odisha.
Legends or Samba Dasami vrat katha say that Samba, the son of Lord Sri Krishna, was affected by leprosy. He performed a severe penance for Surya Bhagwan and was cured. On this day, mothers perform Surya Puja to please Surya Bhagawan and to keep their childrenhealthy.
On the day of Samba Dashami, the women in the family wake before sunrise. After bathing they prepare dishes such as Khichdi, Oriya Puli, and Ghadghadia Tarkari (a curry), and offer them to the Sun God at sunrise.. One of the specific characters of this ritual is variety of individual food item is offered to Sun God in the name of each member of the family, especially children. Once the food items have been offered to the Surya, the women prepare a set of cake-like dishes called Pitha (cake), which includes Manda Pitha, Kakara Pitha, Poda Pitha, Arisha Pitha, Biri Laddoo, Makar Chaula,Chhenaguda, Dhanu Muaan, Khiri, Rasagola, Jhilli, Chhenagaja, and Sweet Curd.
At noon, a bowl of turmeric water with betel in it is taken to ‘chaunra mula’ (a small temple-like structure with a Tulsi plant overhead). All the cooked food is served on plates. The women in the family view the Sun God through the bowl of turmeric water and offer all the dishes to the Sun God. They read the legend of ‘Samba Dasami Brata Katha’ and pray for the well-being of all family members.
In the evening, another Puja is observed as a part of the Samba Dasami ritual. This is ‘Mahakala Puja', in which special Budha Chakuli is offered to Yama.
Thus we Learn that preserving and caring and respecting our environment dates back to ages .. Nature is God n God is Nature!!