Imphal Review of Arts and Politics


In Our Obsession with Science We may be Ignoring Proven Traditional ways of Getting Rains

When traditions are not honored there is shortage of rains and with water less for human consumption and in the fields the specter of drought has become an added feature of scarcities in life. Since it used to rain quite prolifically in the past several decades it may be a good question to ask why is it that water has become so scarce and also going at the current rate it seems quite possible that water is going to run dry in our rivers in the near future and there will be an acute scarcity.

It may be good to know what our tradition including religion or ceremonial customs tell us regarding harvesting rain from a parched sky. This because we have never really tried to know how rains are caused, and also sometimes singularly, by religious rites. Since it was raining substantially some decades back, we thought it would continue to do so. We were unable to see the truth in the simple way it is explained. In fact, we do not get rain if we do not fulfill the conditions required in the religious texts which prescribes that we introduce enough elements in the environment, like oil, scents, grains etc. during what is called a sacrifice. This is important for a profusion of rainclouds in the sky. Maybe we didn’t notice these required details since water was not lacking and only now when reservoirs are running dry it may be more than curiosity to try and know how this whole system of generating rainclouds works.

Earlier we could see that enough ingredients were released into the atmosphere at every marriage ceremony, birth ceremony, death ceremony or other social ceremonies. But now we see this is not happening even in the most religious of ceremonies. Marriages are not without the sacrifice of cows even if done away from the knowledge of elders who might object. So that the ghee which is supposed to moisturize the clouds is not used, as in a contradiction of religious levities cow flesh instead is being offered in the atmosphere. Even funerals were used as an opportunity to recharge the atmosphere by burning the pyres with pure ghee since that refumigates the atmosphere and does not cause pollution. But nowadays people get drunk and using a coarse and polluting material like kerosene get done with the job quickly hence harming the atmosphere every time someone dies.

We see that more and more people do not take bath these days and live in appallingly unclean conditions. This may be due to water shortage or because they have become used to living an in austere life. And it’s quite obvious that a person who would not even take his or her daily bath will have no cares for performing the necessary duties of life. Housekeeping with cleanliness, eating, sleeping, washing, cooking, all these will never be done properly by those who do not stay clean, and in turn, since the necessary ingredients including water are not being used the moisturization doesn’t take place to keep the air and earth wet.

We can see in this dry season that the whole stretch of Sekmai river in Manipur is completely dry. We can also notice that though experts are trying to harvest water scientifically it is eventually the rains that makes the difference and till then we can try so many scientific ways but to no avail. So eventually science has not been able to make any spectacular change though so much money is put into various water projects. Certainly, then we have to rely on our whole ecosystem which involves humans also, to start making the difference. Otherwise science remains a good excuse for the government departments to show that they are trying when nothing much can be gained from their research. As in many instances our traditions do many times bring harmony in our environment and taking recourse to it my save the day.

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