India had ancient wisdom of farming since beginning of human civilization. It came from enlightened Rishis who lived in forests and understood all the rhythms of nature. One of these great rishis was Parashara but there were many others who taught the art and science of cultivation as per Vedic science. Vedic India was essentially agricultural India. After conquering the fertile land of India, the Aryans settled down and commenced cultivation and animal husbandry on the Indo-Gangetic plains of northern India. The very name Arya, by which Aryan conquerors of India have distinguished themselves from the aborigines, is said to be derived from the root, which means ‘to cultivate’. Agriculture was the most important industry and occupation of the people as also the biggest source of income of the society and state. Agricultural heritage denotes the values and traditional practices adopted in ancient India, which are more relevent for present day system. Krishi Parashara authored by Maharshi Parashara, grandson of Maharshi Vashishtha, consists of 243 verses. It is the theory of agriculture expounded in such manner that the farmers would benefit by its application. This treatise includes observations on all aspects of agriculture such as meteorological observations relating to agriculture, management of agriculture, management of cattle, agricultural tools, seed collection and preservation, ploughing and all the agricultural processes involved right from preparing fields to harvesting and storage of crops.
Angara is an earthworm seeding preparation. To make it’s selection easy one uses soil from beneath a Banyan tree which has ample fruits and very fertile root systems including the roots that drop which have fertility promoting substances (for man and soil). If Banyan trees are not available or the soil beneath your Banyans is too dry to allow earthworms then looks for other earthworm rich soil to prepare the angara from. You can also start an earthworm cultivation program if the above is not available or possible.
15kg soil from the base of a banyan tree (per acre of farmland)
If you are in an area where the soil is hard packed under the Banyan trees then use soil from places where earthworms are present during the rainy season. The soil does not have to have live earthworms per say.
OATING OF SEEDS BEFORE PLANTING
Coat all seeds with honey and ghee mixture 1:1 before sowing
The coating of seeds with honey and ghee is given by the Rishis. This provides a powerful boost to the potencies of the seeds and helps them germinate and gives a crop that is strong and resistant to disease for it’s entire life.
Coat all bulbs with wet cow dung before sowing
This is a special herbal nectar water that is fed to the soil to improve it’s nutrition and bring more vitality (prana) to the soil.
Use 200 litres of AMRITPANI per acre of farm land
250g pure cows ghee from indigenous cows
500g of organic raw unheated honey
10kg of fresh cow dung from indigenous cows
200 litres of water
Mix the ghee and the dung first well
Blend the honey into this mixture
Add the 200l water stirring all the time
The different actions concerning Agriculture, are clearly stated in Shatpath Brahman (1,6,1,3), as follows :- ploughing (Krushantaha); sowing (Vapantaha); harvesting (Lunantaha); crushing (Mrunantaha). The ripe crop was cut with a hack – saw (Datra, Sruni), tied in different bundles (Parn); and was dumped in godowns (Khal). After that, it was sieved through sieves (Titad) or jerked (Shubh), for separating corn, from the husk, and grassy portion, (RIG. 10/71/2). The person who used to jerk it, was known as ‘Dhanyakrut’ (RIGV. 10/24/13). The food crop was measured, by filling it, in a measuring – vessel, called ‘Udar’
The varieties of acquired food – products, are not distinctly described in RIGVEDA, and hence keep us, in darkness. For instance, the meaning of the word ‘Yav’ is obscure, and that of ‘Dhana’ also, is not clear. The situation is different in the later ‘Sanhita (Baj Sanhita). In that, there is the word (Breehi) (RICE), and the word ‘Yav’, which means ‘Jo’ (Satu; Barley), and the name of one of its varieties, is (Upawak). The substances ‘Mudrag’, ‘Mash’, ‘Tila’ and other varieties of food, like Anu, Khalva, Godham, Niwar, Piyadg, Masur, Shyamak are also stated, and ‘Urvaru’, ‘Urvaruk’ were also known. It is not certainly known, whether, the Fruit trees were planted, or they were growing naturally, in the forests. (There is reference of plucking ripe fruits, in RIG. 3/45/4). But the reference of ‘Karkandh’, ’Kuval’, ‘Vadar’ is available, very often.
THE SEASONS (Rutu)
The seasons of Farming, are described in short, in Taitiriya Sanhita (7,2,10,2) – “It gets ripe, in Summer, and, no doubt, it was sown, during WINTER season, as is the practice, in modern INDIA. RICE gets ripe in AUTUMN Season, and is sown, in the beginning of Rainy Season (Varsha) ‘Mash’ (Udid) and ‘Til’ (sesamum) are sown during the Rain in Summer, and get ripe in Winter Season.” According to Taitiriya Sanhita (5,1,7,3), the crop (Sasya) was cut, twice during the year. As state in Kaushitaki Brahman (19.2), the seeds sown during Winter, get ripe upto the month ‘CHAITRA’ (Chaitra).
The farmers had to face, a number of calamities. The animals living in the holes of the ground (e.g. Rats,Chhachhudar), used to spoil the seeds. The birds, and serpent – like other animals (Upakwas, Jamya, Tard, Patang) damage the new buds, and the excess Rain – fall, as well as, the drought, hamper the crops. The ATHARV – VEDA describes the auspicious Chants, for the protection from such calamities. As stated in Chhandogya, the insects called ‘Matchi’, also destroy crops to a large extent. Sometimes, they destroy the crops completely. There is a reference, of one incident, that the whole, ‘Kuru Janpad’ was destroyed by ‘Matchi’ insects, in Chhandogya 1/10/1 (“Matchi Hateshu Kurushu”).
During that Era, the method of Irrigation was prevailing. In one chant, two types of water, are described – Khanitrima (produced by digging), and Swayam Ja (Naturally prevailing – river water etc. – (RIGV. 7/49/2). References of ‘Kup’ (Well), ‘Avat’ (ditches created by digging) are available in many places, inRIGVEDA. The water of these wells, never diminished. The water from the well, was drawn out, with the wheels, created from stones. (Ashmachakra), to which, the pots that can hold water, were tied, by the Ropes (Barwa) (RIGV. 11/25/4). After drawing the water from the well, it was poured into the wooden receptacle (Aahav). The wells were used, not only for drawing water for the people and animals, but also, for Irrigation of the fields, some times. The well – water would reach the fields, by flowing through, wide lanes prepared (RIGV. 8/69/12) and make them fertile. This method of drawing water from wells, still prevails in some areas around Punjab and Delhi. The word ‘Kusya’ is also available in Rigveda. Mueer is of the opinion, that, this probably indicates the artificial water-flows, that fall into the well.