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Krishi Parashar by Sage Parashara – A treatise on the science of agriculture from ancient India

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ॐ श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः ॐ श्री शिवानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री चिदानन्दाय नमःॐ श्री दुर्गायै नमः 

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There was a sage named Parashar. The names of ‘Krishi Sangrah’, ‘Krishi Parashar’ and ‘Parashar Tantra’ are counted in the texts composed by him.

But out of these, the original text is ‘Krishi Parashar’. There is a lot of difference of opinion on who is the author of this book; which Parashara Muni?

Based on the writing style of the book, the book is not considered to have been written before the 8th century.

In ‘Krishi Parashar’, the effects of planets & constellations on agriculture, clouds and their varieties, rainfall measurement, forecast of rainfall, effect of rainfall at different times of the year, care of agriculture, selection & protection of oxen, cow dung as an organic manure, the techniques of ploughing, harvesting time, sowing of seeds, collection & preservation of grain etc. have been very scientifically covered for maximmum agricultural yield and for keeping the ecology intact.

The study of the book shows that Parashara had immense respect for the science of agriculture.

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How should a farmer be, how to keep animals happy and healthy, how to prepare dung for manure, and what are the benefits of applying organic manure in the fields, when and how the seeds should be preserved, and many other such topics of immense use and value have all been very scientifically covered in Sanskrit language in this treatise.

Regarding the plows, the text says that Isha, Juva, Halasthanu, Niryol (Phar), Pashika, Addachal, Shahal and Panchani are the eight parts of a plow.

Haris should be of five-hand length, Halasthanu (Kudha) two-and-a-half-hand , Phar one and a half-hand, and Juva ear-like in shape and four hands in length.

It is known from this text that agriculture was a very vigorous and prominent activity during the time of Sage Parashara.

Krishi Parashar

Krishi Parashar is the most popular book on agriculture written in Sanskrit language. It is believed to have been composed by Maharishi Parashara.

It has been said in the beginning of the treatise itself that food is the very life of existence, food is strength, and food is the means to unlimited wealth.

Gods, demons, human beings all live by consuming food and food alone, and food is produced from food grains, and without agriculture there is no food.

Therefore, leaving all work one should get fully involved in agricultural activity.

In view of the need of water for agriculture, and rain being the main source of water for agriculture, Parashar has given utmost importance to the knowledge and science of rain.

And in this sequence it has been told that different planets What is the effect of rain on rain, such as when the moon is the king of the Samvatsar, the earth is full of grains and when Saturn is the king, the rain is slow.

Similarly, Parashara has described the types of clouds, descriptions of the symptoms of rain in different seasons, and also the symptoms of drought.

Along with this, the sage has also asked to take proper care of the animals employed in agricultural work.

He has instructed to do the agricultural work in such a way that the animal does not suffer. This is indicative of the behaviour and feelings of ancient Indians towards animals.

After this, special attention has also been given to the cleanliness of the Gaushalaas (cowsheds).

The sage has also described the festivals of animals and the material for making plow.

After this, while describing the time of starting agricultural work, it has been said that after worshiping in the auspicious time, the solution should be broadcast.

After this, instructions are given to sow the treated and preserved seeds at the proper time, as well as the description of harvesting and cutting the grain and making it weedless.

Parashara Rishi says that the grain which is not cleared of grass and weeds decays soon.

Along with this, the description of water conservation has also been discussed in detail.

Sage Parashar while giving instructions for this says that when autumn season comes, water should be conserved and taps should be planted in the area.

Along with this, Parashar has advised Pushya Yatra before harvesting the grain. This was for the peace of all the obstacles and for the fast and healthy growth of the grain.

Thereafter, instructions have been given to harvest the grain in the Hindu month of Paush.

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By Mala Chandrashekhar

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