Jambheshwar: Founder of Bishnoi caste, Environmental inspiration

About Shri Guru Jambeshwar:

Jambho Ji was the founder of the Bishnoi samaj (Bishnoi Cast), a movement that combined ecology and spirituality. He started this movement at Samrathal Dhora on the eighth day of the dark half of Kartika month (according to the Indian Lunar Calendar) in 1485 A.D.

Jambho Ji was born in 1451 A.D. in a remote village called Pipasar, belonging to the Panwar Rajput clan. He was an only child to his parents, Lohat Ji Panwar and Hansa Devi. He was a quiet and shy child for the first seven years of his life. He also lived as a cowherd for 27 years, similar to Lord Krishna (Interestingly, they shared the same birthday, i.e. Janmashtami!).

Guru Jambheshwar Bhagwan At the age of 34, Jambho Ji established the Bishnoi faith. He composed his teachings in the form of poems, called Shabadwani. He travelled across the country and preached for 51 years, but only 120 Shabads, or verses, of his Shabadwani have survived till today. These 120 Shabads are full of profound insights and are enough for anyone to follow his path. Bishnoism, as mentioned earlier, is based on 29 Rules (commandments). Among these 29 rules, 8 are meant to conserve biodiversity and promote good animal husbandry. 7 rules are meant to foster healthy social behaviour. 10 rules are meant to ensure personal hygiene and basic good health. The remaining 4 rules are meant to guide the daily worship of God.

Guru Jambheshwar Bhagwan
Guru Jambheshwar Bhagwan

The Bishnoi community celebrates socio-religious gatherings called Melas twice a year at Mukam, where Guru Ji’s body was laid to rest in 1536 A.D.

In summary, Jambho Ji was a visionary leader, who anticipated the negative effects of human actions on nature for economic development. He realised the importance of environmental protection and integrated his principles into religious commandments so that people can easily adopt them.

Life History of Guru Jambheshwar Bhagwan:

Guru Jambheswar Ji, also known as Jambhoji, was the founder of the Bishnoi sect, a Hindu subsect of nature lovers and environmentalists. He was born in 1451 A.D. in Pipasar village of Nagaur district of Rajasthan, in a royal family of Panwar clan. He was the only son of Lohat Ji Panwar and Hansa Devi. He was born on the same day as Lord Krishna, the eighth day of the dark fortnight of Bhadrapada month.

His father was very depressed when a farmer taunted him for being childless at the age of 50. He then performed penance and was blessed by a yogi with a son who would be different from others. His mother also received the same blessing from the yogi.

Guru Jambheswar Ji was considered to be an incarnation or a manifestation of Lord Vishnu, because of his miraculous powers and his divine teachings. He did not drink his mother’s milk or speak for the first seven years of his life. He uttered his first verse (Guru chinho guru chinh purohit…) to a Brahmin who was called to cure his muteness.

Guru Jambheswar Ji was a simple, kind, and brilliant child who liked solitude and performed many wonders. He remained unmarried and lived as a cowherd. At the age of 34, he renounced his home and possessions and started preaching at a sand dune called Samrathal Dhora. He was very compassionate and helpful to the people. In 1485, there was a severe drought in western Rajasthan and people began to migrate to Malwa (MP) with their animals. Guru Jambheswar Ji felt sorry for their suffering and offered his assistance to them. He provided them with grain, food, fodder, seed, and agricultural tools. He also used his miraculous powers to help them in their needs.

That period was a dark period for Hinduism. Hindus of that area were oppressed by foreign invaders, forced conversions, and internal malpractices. Hindus became either irreligious or superstitious or worshipped many gods and goddesses in despair and were exploited by hypocritical ascetics. People were engaged in immoral activities, selfishness, sins, and foolishness.

To save the people and the religion from this crisis, Guru Jambheswar Ji founded Bishnoism in 1485 (Vikram Samvat 1542, the eighth day of the dark fortnight of Kartika month) on the sand dune (Samrathal Dhora) after performing a fire sacrifice.
Bishnoism was based on 29 main principles and best practices taken from all religions and faiths.

People of different religions, faiths, castes, and professions and classes accepted Bishnoism by taking pahal (sacred water) and became Bishnois. Guru Ji’s teachings were very simple, logical, practical, and effective. He believed in one God and did not believe in idol worship or human worship or abandoning social responsibilities to attain God.
His way was, 


Which means a meaningful way of living and then liberation after death. He travelled a lot to help and teach people and did many welfare works. He was a true and visionary guru, social reformer, non-violent activist, great environmentalist, and believer in love and harmony among not only human beings but also nature.

His teachings are covered by 29 principles, 120 verses, and evening prayer. Many kings and renowned persons came in contact with him and admired his teachings. With his blessings, he aided numerous individuals.

Guru Jambheswar Ji left this world at the age of 85 in 1536 A.D. (Vikram Samvat 1593, the ninth day of the dark fortnight of Margashirsha month) at Lalasar and his body was buried in Talwa village (now known as Mukam) of Bikaner. Every year, two fairs are held there, one on the no moon night of Falgun month and another on the no moon night of Ashvin month.

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