The word Bishnoi is derived from bis (twenty) and nai (nine) i.e.followers of 29 principles given by Guru Jambheshwar. Guru Jambheshwar was the spiritual leader of Bishnoi’s, gave the message to protect trees and wildlife around 540 years ago when nobody could predict that harming the environment means harming yourself. He formulated twenty nine tenets. The tenets were not only tailored to conserve bio-diversity of the area but also ensured a healthy eco-friendly social life for the community. Out of the 29 tenets, 10 are directed towards personal hygiene and maintaining good basic health, seven for healthy social behaviour, and five tenets to worship God. Eight tenets have been prescribed to preserve bio-diversity and encourage good animal husbandry. These include a ban on killing animals and felling green trees, and providing protection to all life forms. The community is also directed to see that the firewood they use is devoid of small insects. Wearing blue cloths is prohibited because the dye for colouring them is obtained by cutting a large quantity of shrubs. In 1730, 363 Bishnoi men, women and children gave their lives to protect trees from cutting by the king's men. This incident happened in Khejarli which is a village in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan, India 26 km south-east of the city of Jodhpur. In this incident 363 Bishnois sacrificed their lives while protecting trees, by hugging to them, this incident is the first event of the Chipko movement in history. History
Bishnois were founded by Guru Jambheshwar of Bikaner, who was born in 1451, and is buried in Talwa/Mukam in Bikaner. His spiritual name was Jambhaji. He left his followers a scripture in the Nagri character called Shabdwani which consists of 120 SHABDS. The adherents of the sect are the descendants of immigrants from Bikaner, parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab and are exclusively Jats or some Rajputs by caste, though they often abandon the...
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