Sasya Veda (सस्यवेदः)

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Sasyaveda (Samskrit: सस्यवेदः) refers to agricultural and farming practices of man. Agriculture, farming and domestication of animals is one of the most ancient occupations of man. Agriculture came to be practiced when man gave up his nomadic habits and settled down in a place which had favorable climate and topography. Initially depending on wild roots, fruits, and seeds for his sustenance, man eventually adopted the practice of tilling the land to grow crops. Although the time when the ancient man starting farming practices is not completely ascertainable, evidence of agricultural practices in ancient Bharat are available from the worlds oldest texts, the Vedas. Agriculture is the foundation of human civilization.

It has been documented that early inhabitants of Bharatakhanda took to farming as their chief occupation supported by the archaeological evidence found in Indus Valley excavations. Discovery of charred rice grains, presence of wheat in the excavations present oldest records of developed agricultural practices.[1]

परिचयः ॥ Introduction

Food is the basic requirement of every living being on earth and our ancient texts have proclaimed that even devatas relay on food, which is offered sacredly in the form of havis.

अन्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसंभवः । यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः ॥ (Bhag. Gita. 3.14)

All creatures (life) comes into being from Anna (food), and this food arises with the help of rain. Through yajnas we get rain, thus yajna gives rise to activity or karma.

Agricultural activities were thus designed to ensure food supply from rains as well as to maintain ecological sustainability; farmers over ages developed holistic scientific knowledge to ensure that goal.

A few perspectives about why ancient Bharat's people have given highest importance to agriculture is presented below

  • India has 52% of cultivable land as compared to the world average. (unfortunately it is decreasing)
  • Sunshine hours is quite high as compared to world average
  • India has all the 15 major climatic regions
  • Endowed with 10 Biodiversity regions
  • Abundance of many species of flora and fauna
  • Large livestock population
  • Large number of rivers and water bodies

Apart from the above ecological perspectives, one may note that agriculture has great impact on the economy and growth of the country.

Over due course of time due to the human interventions of mostly abuse and misuse of the modern science and technology, all the above factors are rapidly depleting. In modern times overcrowding and population increase has lead to encroachment into the natural habitats, taking over of fertile agricultural lands for human habitation and economic activities along with insensitivity to ecological balance has led to disastrous climatic changes in a very short period of time.

Origin of Agriculture

According to the Markandeya Purana, Brahma was regarded as the first inventor of Agriculture. According to this Purana, in the beginning of the creation of the earth and its inhabitants, the soil yielded almost all type of corns, vegetables and fruits etc. In the Adhyaya 49, one can trace the lifestyle of people when they lived contentedly under the shades of trees.

गृहाकारा यथा पूर्वं तेषामासन्नहीरुहाः । तथा संस्मृत्य तत्सर्वं चक्रुर्वेश्मानि ताः प्रजाः॥४९.५२॥

वृक्षस्यैवङ्गताः शाखास्तथैवञ्चापरी गताः । नताश्चैवोन्नताश्चैव तद्वच्छाखाः प्रचक्रिरे॥४९.५३॥ (Mark. Pura. 49.52-53)[2]

As man's desires and greed (रागलोभौ), and other emotions increased along with hunger, thirst etc. They started plundering the environment and medicinal plants for their selfish needs, thus the earth became depleted of its abundance, in their distress approached Brahma. Brahma seeing the state of people brought about the system of Varnas and Ashramas according to the people's natures and abilities. Thereafter, Brahma milked the Meru (earth) like a cow, caused rains and obtained various kinds of seeds for giving rise to food grains, seasonal fruits and medicinal plants, thus the system of farming, agriculture and trading came to be established by him.[3]

स चापि तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा तदा ग्रस्तां वसुन्धराम् । वत्सं कृत्वा सुमेरुन्तु दुदोह भगवान् विभुः॥४९.६५॥

दुग्धेयं गौस्तदा तेन शस्यानि पृथिवीतले । जज्ञिरे तानि बीजानि ग्राम्यारण्यास्तु ताः पुनः॥४९.६६॥

ओषध्यः फलपाकान्ता गणाः सप्तदशा स्मृताः । व्रीहयश्च यवाश्चैव गोधूमा अणवस्तिलाः॥४९.६७॥ (Mark. Pura. 49.65-67)[2]

यदा प्रसृष्टा ओषध्यो न प्ररोहन्ति ताः पुनः । ततः स तासां वृद्ध्यर्थं वार्तोपायञ्चकार ह॥४९.७३॥

ब्रह्मा स्वयम्भूर्भगवान् हस्तसिद्धिञ्च कर्मजाम् । ततः प्रभृत्यथौषध्यः कृष्टपच्यास्तु जज्ञिरे॥४९.७४॥ (Mark. Pura. 49.73-74)

Seeing the ability of different classes of the people in the society Brahma initiated people into the agricultural profession. Since then agriculture based on human toil brought back the crops in fields. However, according to the Atharvaveda, Viṣṇu Purāṇa, and Śrimad Bhāgvad Mahāpurāṇa, Pṛthu Maharaja, the son of a Vena was regarded as the one who initiated agriculture as seen from the following shlokas of Vishnu Purana.

न शस्यानि न गोरक्षं न कृषिर्न वणिक्पथः । वैणेयात्प्रभृति मैत्रेय सर्वस्यैतस्य सम्भवः ।। ८३ ।।

स कल्पयित्वा वत्सं तु मनुं स्वायम्भुवं प्रभुः । स्वे पाणौ पृथिवीनाथो दुदोह पृथिवीं पृथुः ।। ८६ ।। (Vish. Pura. 1.13.83 and 86)[4]

Meaning: At that time there were no crops, nor were the cows protected, nor was there agriculture (कृषि) or ways for business (वणिक्पथः). Starting with Vaineya (Prthu) all these activities became possible. Prthu, that raja, milked the earth using his hand (as a vessal) by arranging Svayambhuva Manu as the calf. Thus, Pṛthu may be considered as a king who effectively brought the agriculture into practice. In the Atharvaveda, Prthu Vaineya has been said to be inventor of agriculture by "milking" the Virat after arranging Vaivasvata Manu as the calf and making earth as his vessal. It is he Prthu, son of Vena, who for the first time did farming and grew grains.[5]

तस्या मनुर्वैवस्वतो वत्स आसीत्पृथिवी पात्रम् । तां पृथो वैन्योऽधोक्तां कृषिं च सस्यं चाधोक्।

ते स्वधां कृषिं च सस्यं च मनुष्या उपजीवन्ति कृष्टराधिरुपजीवनीयो भवति य एवं वेद ॥२४॥ (Atha. Veda. 8.13.24)[6]

Men earn their living by agriculture and growing crops. The one who knows the secrets and becomes an expert of farming will become the support for livelihoods of other beings.[7]

वेदेषु कृषिविषयाः ॥ Agriculture in Vedas

It goes without saying that agriculture was given due importance in ancient India. Vedic seers knew that agriculture was the only option for food security. Food, as everybody knows, is basic necessity of human being. Agriculture is helpful is attaining all the four goals (पुरुषा र्थ चतुष्टय) of life. Human life is dependent on Anna and production of Anna is dependent on agriculture. Hence, agriculture is basic necessity of human life.

Agricultural practices have been described in the vedic literature, not as narratives but as sporadic references. Agriculture not only involved crop production involving a number of practices, but also domestication of animals. Thus agriculture and cattle rearing went hand in hand and prosperity in those days was a measure of high crop yield and large numbers of domesticated animals mostly, cattle.

In Rig Veda

Speaking about the importance of agriculture, Rig Vedic seer says-O gambler, stop gambling, and engage yourself in agriculture, which is regarded as most valuable wealth, so that you will earn wealth, happiness, cattle and happy married life. You respect this wealth and be content with this wealth.

अक्षैर्मा दीव्यः कृषिमित्कृषस्व वित्ते रमस्व बहु मन्यमानः । तत्र गाव: कितव तत्र जाया तन्मे वि चष्टे सवितायमर्यः ॥१३॥ (Rig. Veda. 10.34.13)[8]

The Ṛgveda further adds that the cultivator is bound to get plentiful crops and immense wealth (Rig. Veda. 7.39.2).

Agricultural work used to be practiced by skilled persons. Poets and scholars took this occupation and did farming for happiness. Agriculture was a delightful occupation in which Indra and Pusha were also engaged. Success in agriculture leads to success in life. The person possessing abundant food grains is respected as a great man in the society (Aitareya Brahmana 2.5). Through agriculture one can acquire vigour, energy and power.

In Yajurveda

Yajurveda says that one should make effort for producing abundant grains through agriculture. In the Yajurveda and Taittirīya Samhita agriculture is regarded as the means of human welfare. In the Rajasuya and Vajapeya mantras a Raja is placed in a high position as one who protects and nourishes the yajnas, progeny, wealth, agriculture, and cattle.

...यन्तासि यमनो ध्रुवोऽसि धरुणः कृष्यै त्वा क्षेमाय त्वा रय्यै त्वा पोषाय त्वा ॥ (Yaju. Veda. 9.22)[9]

In the context of worship of Rudra, the one who worships expresses his desires, both laukika and alaukika to be granted to him. It is called Rudra Chamakam, and the worshipper asks Rudra as follows

कृषिश् च मे वृष्टिश् च मे... औद्भिद्यं च मे....ऽन्नं च मे ऽक्षुच् च मे व्रीहयश् च मे यवाश् च मे माषाश् च मे तिलाश् च मे मुद्गाश् च मे खल्वाश् च मे गोधूमाश् च मे मसुराश् च मे प्रियंगवश् च मे ऽणवश् च मे श्यामाकाश् च मे नीवाराश् च मे ॥

...वनस्पतयश् च मे... वीरुधश् च म ओषधयश् च मे कृष्टपच्यं च मेऽकृष्टपच्यं च मे ग्राम्याश् च मे पशव आरण्याश् च यज्ञेन कल्पन्ताम् । (Yaju. Veda. 4.7.4)[10]

Grant me.... agriculture, rains, sprouting saplings, dhanya (for food), that which fulfils hunger, vrihi (dhanyas), yavas (a kind of grain), masha (black gram), tilas (sesame seeds), mudga (green gram), khalvas (a big sized, kind of grain), godhuma (wheat grains), masur (horsegram), priyangu (a kind of grain), anva grains (small like variga grains), grains growing in the villages and in the forests (one that grows without ploughing), vanaspati trees, creepers, medicinal plants, the crop obtained in the lands which are ploughed (example paddy fields and fruit farms), and those crops obtained in the land which is not ploughed (example is like the crop obtained in forest).

In Atharvaveda

The Atharvaveda, describes the life of the ancient agriculturists in India. It is regarded as the most honourable of human activities by all sections of people and practiced irrespective of varnas. Farmer was an authority in the knowledge and production of food and hence respected as "Annadata". Ploughing the land was considered a privilege, and it is well known that Janaka Maharaja of Videha, found the girl child during ploughing of the land for a yajna, and named her Sita (which means furrow made by the plough). Everyone had a piece of land, big or small, which was cultivated to sustain the family in ancient times. The farm is compared to the divine cow fulfilling all the desires of the hard working farmer. Ancient Indian farmers evolved nature friendly farming systems and practices.

According to the Atharvaveda (8.10.42-43), food is the basic necessity for human beings. But the availability of food depends of agriculture. People well versed in agricultural activities were considered to be highly respectable and successful in their endeavour. There are dedicated suktas in Atharvaveda for krishi (3.17 for agriculture), vanaspati (3.18 for medicinal herbs) and pashuposhana (3.28 for livestock), Anna (6.17 and 7.58), Anna samrddhi (6.142) which mention about the significance of agriculture.[5]

Krshi Sukta in Atharaveda

Krshi sukta from Atharvaveda is quoted in totality (Kanda 3 Sukta 17).[5]

सीरा युञ्जन्ति कवयो युगा वि तन्वते पृथक्। धीरा देवेषु सुम्नयौ ॥१॥

युनक्त सीरा वि युगा तनोत कृते योनौ वपतेह बीजम् । विराजः श्नुष्टिः सभरा असन्नो नेदीय इत्सृण्यः पक्वमा यवन् ॥२॥

Wise men fasten the bulls to the plough, to please the devatas with a desire to attain the wealth of grains, the wise among the learned place the harness on bulls. O Peasants! fasten the plough to the harness and place them on the bulls, sow the seeds (of wheat, jowar etc) capable of sprouting in these fields which are ploughed. May these plants become heavy with food grain filled pods fit to be reaped with the sickles.

लाङ्गलं पवीरवत्सुशीमं सोमसत्सरु । उदिद्वपतु गामविं प्रस्थावद्रथवाहनं पीबरीं च प्रफर्व्यम् ॥३॥

इन्द्रः सीतां नि गृह्णातु तां पूषाभिरक्षतु । सा नः पयस्वती दुहामुत्तरामुत्तरां समाम् ॥४॥

The sharp-edged plough is making furrows in the grounds, the seed sower brings happiness to the farmer. May the cows and goats (in the sense of animals of farming) become efficient. May the bulls and horses which draw the rathas become strong. May Indra rain and give water to the furrows having seeds, may Pusha (Surya) preserve and protect the sprouting seeds. May the well irrigated farm give good yields through each succeeding years.

शुनं सुफाला वि तुदन्तु भूमिं शुनं कीनाशा अनु यन्तु वाहान् । शुनासीरा हविषा तोशमाना सुपिप्पला ओषधीः कर्तमस्मै ॥५॥

शुनं वाहाः शुनं नरः शुनं कृषतु लाङ्गलम् । शुनं वरत्रा बध्यन्तां शुनमष्ट्रामुदिङ्गय ॥६॥

शुनासीरेह स्म मे जुषेथाम् । यद्दिवि चक्रथुः पयस्तेनेमामुप सिञ्चतम् ॥७॥

Let the plough turn up the land and bring us happiness. Farmers may go along with oxen in happiness. Let the Shunaseera devatas, Vayu (Air) and Surya (Sun) be contented with the havis that are offered (in the sense of yajnas performed in agricultural processes) and give good rains that cause our plants to bear abundant food. Let the bulls and horses pull the ploughs happily, let the farmers work happily, let the plough turn out the land nicely, let the harness be bound safely and let the driving goad be happily applied on the bulls. Let the Shunaseera devatas be favourable to me by bestowing this Earth with water which they create in sky.

सीते वन्दामहे त्वार्वाची सुभगे भव । यथा नः सुमना असो यथा नः सुफला भुवः ॥८॥

घृतेन सीता मधुना समक्ता विश्वैर्देवैरनुमता मरुद्भिः । सा नः सीते पयसाभ्याववृत्स्वोर्जस्वती घृतवत्पिन्वमाना ॥९॥

We praise the furrow (Sita) made by the plough and let it be directly favourable for us. May it be fruitful for us. Let the furrow be beset with honey like water and I invoke Visvedevas and Maruts to protect this furrow made favourable for crops (by all the physical forces and various kinds of airs). Enriched with ghee like viscous material let this furrow make us happy with being full of water.[11]

Itihasa References

Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa (2.100.47) and Mahābhārata (Sabhaparva 5.80) are also of the opinion that people engaged in agriculture are bound to lead a happy and prosperous life. According to Sukraniti (3.276), agriculture of a land irrigated with river water is the best means of one’s livelihood.

Deities Related to Agriculture

Various suktas of Rigveda such as Ksetrapati (4.57), Parjanya (5.83), Prthvi (5.84), Go sukta (6.28), Aapah (7.47), Aksha (10.34), Visvedeva (10.101) and Araṇyanī have well described in the importance of agriculture.

In the Rigveda, the deities Dyava-Prthvi, are extolled for regaining control over the fertile lands from the Dasyus. Mantras praising Indra as the deity for granting copious rains are well-known. So also Surya is praised as the deity having bonds in the three lokas; his bond in water i.e., habitable world, explained by Sayanacharya, are tillage, rain and seed. His rays called Asva are powerful and he is known to "drink the waters in the oceans" to form clouds. Thus hydrology or science of water is intimately connected with the deity Surya and with Indra who is the deity for clouds and rains.

Traditionally mountains, the rivers arising in the vast mountainous ranges such as Himalayas and rains have been revered in bharatiya sampradayas as they are believed to be the source of Anna or food grains.

In Yajurveda, Rudra is extolled and praised (Namaka and Chamakam of Rudraprashna) to obtain all the things associated with agriculture and its products such as grains. Yajurveda praises Shiva as the adhipati of the (farm) land - क्षेत्राणां पतये नमो नमः। (Yaju. Veda. 16.18)[12][5]. Shiva is worshiped as Kedaranath (ruler over Kedara which means crop fields) in the form of a mountain. Nara and Narayana mountains in Badarinath are believed to be the forms of Mahavishnu. Thus Shiva and Vishnu devatas are both associated with mountainous forms of earth and the food grains; both are revered as deities of agriculture. In the Bhagavata Purana, the legend of Shrikrishna's lifting the Govardhana mountain for protecting the cattle and gopalas from the incessant rains poured by Indra depict the importance of mountains and their role in agriculture as they produce the fertile alluvial soils for crop production.

Many festivals in India are associated with agriculture such as Sankranti and Gomata puja are well known.

In effect, the agricultural work was considered to be pious job (Rig veda 10.117.7). It directs all classes of the society to perform the job of agriculture as it was considered to be equivalent of Yajna (Rig Veda 10.101.3-5). Rigveda mentions some experts in agriculture who knew how to increase the output of agriculture (Rig Veda 1.161.2).

Yajnas and Agriculture

Many ancient texts in Bharatavarsha, the land of Yajnas, advocated that all activities of life are a form of yajna and have to be done with reverence. Origin and evolution of agriculture and irrigation are not separate processes and they are created by Yajnas as evidenced from the following mantras in Shukla Yajurveda.

कृषिश् च मे वृष्टिश् च मे... औद्भिद्यं च मे यज्ञेन कल्पन्ताम् ॥ (Yaju. 18.7)[13]

These mantras illustrate the importance of Yajnas for rain, agriculture, air, environment, creatures such as snakes and their interrelationship.

The Shrauta and Grhyasutras describe a number of yajnas related to agricultural operations and welfare of cattle. The grhyasutras prescribe certain ceremonies to be performed at the time of ploughing the field. Ceremony of yoking the plough, called Halabhiyoga, is described in Gobhila Grhyasutras. Under an auspicious nakshatra, the householder performs a yajna with offerings made to deities such as Indra, Maruts, Parjanya, Ashani and Bhaga, Sita and others. These deities are again worshiped during the time of making the first furrow called Sita Yajna, at the sowing of seeds called Pravapana, at the time of reaping the crop called Pralavana, at the time of threshing the grains called Khala Yajna and at the time of putting the corn into the barn (Prayayana). Manava Grhyasutras also describe these yajnas in detail. The Aagrayana is an offering of first fruits of the season, which is ancient tradition mentioned in the Aitareya and Kaushitaki Brahmana. The Shrautasutras describe Aagrayana as an important Shrauta yajna, while the Grhyasutras also mention it for Anahitagnis respectively. Many Rigveda mantras are recited during this ceremony.[14]

Sita Yajna is an other important yajna mentioned in the Grhyasutras. The word Sita (सीता) literally means a "furrow", addressed as a deity in the Rigveda (4.57.6-7). A detailed account of the Sita Yajna is found in the Paraskara Grhyasutras.[14]

Vrshotsarga is an important cattle related yajna that is mentioned in the sutra texts. The word Vrishotsarga literally means "the letting loose of a stud-bull" for the purposes of breeding and yajna is so named after it. The Shankhyana, Paraskara, and Kathaka grhyasutras give an account of this rite.[14]

The Chaturmasya yajna or the four monthly rites were held at the beginning of the three seasons of four months each. These were carried out as preventive and expiatory rites. The four rites were known as Vaisvedeva, Varunapraghasa, Sakamedha and Sunaasira. Two among these four rites, Varunapraghasa and Sunaseera had direct link with agriculture. The former held in the rainy season was carried out for good rains, getting good yield of food grains and increase of cattle wealth. The latter, Sunaasira, which means the plough, Not only this, symbolic agricultural activities were pursued on sacrificial ground with the purpose of successful crop-raising.

Importance of Agriculture

Kautilya's Arthashastra aply describes the important role of agriculture in the over economy of the country. The concept of science of agriculture is clearly recognized and how it affects the overall operations of the government is emphasized here.

कृषि-पाशुपाल्ये वणिज्या च वार्ता । धान्य-पशु-हिरण्य-कुप्य-विष्टि-प्रदानादौपकारिकी ।। ०१.४.०१ ।। (Arth. Shas. 1.4.1)[15]

AGRICULTURE, cattle-breeding and trade constitute Varta. It is most useful in that it brings in grains, cattle, gold, forest produce (कुप्य । kupya), and free labour (विष्टि । vishti). It is by means of the treasury and the army obtained solely through Varta that the king can hold under his control both his and his enemy's party.[16]

Kashyapiya-krishi-paddhati and Krshiparasara are two other classical texts which discuss the importance of agriculture since ancient times.

कश्यपीयकृषिपद्धतिः ॥ Kashyapiya-krishi-paddhati

Kashyapiyakrishi paddhati mentions that production of grains and other vegetation are the sole purpose of highest fulfilment of the earth. The rich earth full of vegetation is the cause of growth of living beings-[5]

सस्यादिरेव मेदिन्याः परोधर्मः परं यशः। सस्यपूर्णा वसुमती प्राणिनां प्राणवर्धिनी।। (1.18)

It further adds that it is the giver of all auspicious things, leading to the satisfaction of devatas especially with its perpetual power to produce grain and fountains of sweet water-

सर्वमङ्गलदात्री च देवानां तुष्टिदायिनी। नित्यसस्या च मधुरजलस्रावा विशेषतः।। (1.19)

Seers with divine insight eulogize agricultural business as the basis of sacrifice and as life giver of living beings-

यज्ञानामपि चाधारः प्राणिनां जीवदायकम्। कृषिकर्म प्रशंसन्ति मुनयो दिव्यचक्षुसः।। (1.235)

Men should exert and devote themselves to farming whether they get farmlands from a king or purchase one for themselves-

नृपत् प्राप्तं स्वतःक्रीत सस्यक्षेत्रं तु मानवाः। संप्राप्य यत्नवन्तश्च कृषिकार्यकृतादराः ।। (1.236)

They are said to please devatas and rshis. Of all wealth, agriculture is the highest wealth-

देवानां च मुनीनां च मे मताः प्रीतिदायिनः। घनानामपि सर्वेषां कृषिरेव परं धनम्।। (1.237)

As this wealth cannot be taken away by others, it is commended by everyone. Yielding profuse returns, it provides pure grains and other things which please devatas-

परैरग्राह्यमादिष्टं सर्वंश्श्लाघ्यं महाफलम्। देवानां प्रीतिजनक शुद्धद्रव्यप्रदायि तत्।।(1.238)

Keeping away dependence on others, always yielding wealth, it provides for the guests, deities, and one’s own family-

परातन्त्र्यहरं चैव नित्यम लक्ष्मीविलासकृतम्। तथातिथीनां देवानां स्वकुटुम्बस्य जीवदम्।। (1.239)

Giving delight in several ways, the profession of farming is indeed praiseworthy. Any other livelihood involves dependence-

नानाविधानन्दकरं कृषिकर्म प्रशस्यते। अतस्तदन्या वृत्तिस्तु पारतन्त्र्येण गुम्भिता ।।(1.240)

The natural inclination of people towards agriculture pleases devatas and be nurtured with special effort as it sustains life of all living beings-

कृषिप्रवृत्तिं सर्वेषां देवानां प्रीतिदायिनीम्। यत्नतो रक्षयेयुस्तां जीवानां जीवनप्रदाम्।। (1.244)

Seers are of the opinion that farming activity should be planned and undertaken in every community, in every country, in every rural part, and in every tableland-

वने जनपदे देशे क्षेत्रे ग्राम्ये भृगोस्तटे। कृषिप्रवृषत्तिं संकल्प्यां मन्यते हि मुनीश्वराः ।। (1.245)

Sages of ancient times have pursued agricultural activities even on open yards of cottages with a view to benefit all beings-

पुरातनैस्तु मुनिभिरुटजाङ्गणभूमिषु । कृषिकर्मकृतं लोके सर्वप्राणिहितार्थिभिः।। (1.246)

Undertaking in agriculture is to be pursued by all great men of sharp intelligence to get permanent joy-

अतः कृष्यादानमेतत् सर्वेः पुरुषपुङ्गवैः। सूक्ष्मधीभिरिहासेव्यं शाश्वतानन्दहेतवे।। (1.248)

कृषिपराशरः ॥ Krshi Parashara

Krshiparashara has discussed the importance of agriculture. It says that even a learned Brahmin who is proficient in all the four Vedas, who recites Shastras and is intelligent, when is overpowered by Alakṣmī, is reduced to humiliation caused be begging for food with folded hands. And only through farming, one however ceases to be a suitor. By practicing agriculture alone one is bound to be bhupati (master of the earth). People even having surplus of gold, silver, jewels and garments have to solicit farmers as earnestly as a devotee would pray. People in spite of having gold ornaments in their necks, ears and hands have to suffer from hunger in absence of food. Food is life, food is also the strength, food is everything. The divinities, the demons, and all human beings depend on food for surviving. Food, verily, comes from grains and grains cannot be available without agriculture. Therefore, leaving everything else one should strive for farming. Blessed is agriculture, holy is agriculture, and agriculture is life of all living creatures (Krishiparasara 2.8)[5]


  1. Ray, P and Sen, S. N. (First Edition 1937) The Cultural Heritage of India, Volume 6. Calcutta: The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture. (Page 176)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Markandeya Purana (Adhyaya 49)
  3. Dr. Satyavrata Singh. (1985) Sri Markandeya Mahapuranam Part Two (Chapters 46-93). Sitapur: Institute for Puranic and Vedic Studies and Research. (Pages 44 - 48)
  4. Vishnu Purana (Amsha 1 Adhyaya 13)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Dwivedi, Dhananjay Vasudeo. Development of Agriculture in Ancient India in Sanskruti Darpan, Issue 54, Jan. 2018
  6. Atharva Veda (Kanda 8)
  7. Atharva Veda Hindi Translation (Kanda 8 Page 36)
  8. Rig Veda (Mandala 10 Sukta 34)
  9. Shukla Yajurveda (Adhyaya 9)
  10. Krishna Yajurveda, Taittriya Samhita (Kanda 4 Prapathaka 7)
  11. Atharvaveda Telugu Translation (Page No 387-398)
  12. Shukla Yajurveda (Adhyaya 16)
  13. Shukla Yajurveda (Adhyaya 18)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Gopal, Ram. (1959) India of Vedic Kalpasutras. Delhi : National Publishing House
  15. Kautilya's Arthashastra (Adhikarana 1 Adhyaya 4)
  16. Shamasastry, R. (1910) Kautilya's Arthashastra, Translated into English. (Page 12-13)