In this era of global warming which leads to low rainfall,droughts,melting glacier and other hazards of nature where whole world is suffering with nature hazards and the only reasons is rapid deforestation, on other hand tribal culture helping in maintaing perfect balance between people and environment.
In month of September karma puja celebrated annually in jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, chhattisgarh and assam.Tribal communities celebrate this festival.Tribal people generally worship karam tree which is mainly found in the forests of jharkhand.Tribal people believe that due to karam devta(god) they get prosperity and everything. whole tribal communities enjoy popular chain dance on the desi beat of drum and mridang(mander) and local melodious song called nagpuri song.
Karma Puja, one of the most popular festivals of Jharkhand is related to the harvest and a tribute to the Karam tree. This tree symbolises fertility, prosperity and everything that is auspicious. During the festival, the branch of the Karam tree is carried by the Karma dancers accompanied by singing and dancing. Smeared with milk and rice beer, this branch is raised in the middle of the spot where the group performs dance. The festival is vibrant, interesting and a lovely sight.
A very interesting story is associated with this festival – it is the story of Karam Rani:
Long ago in a village, there lived seven brothers who worked so hard in their agricultural field that they don’t even ha time for lunch, due to which their wives used to carry their lunches everyday to the field. One day it so happened that their wives didn’t went to the field with their lunches. Working hard the whole day without food when the brothers returned home in the evening,they found their wives dancing and singing around the Karam tree forgetting about their duty towards their husbands, they roared out in anger and lost their temper and ripped the branch and threw it into the river.
After this incident, hardship fell on their whole family; their economical condition worsened day by day as the Karam deity was insulted. They called upon the village priest and took suggestions from him on how to improve their lives and as per the priest instructed; they searched for the deity and finally brought her home with utmost respect and devotion and worshipped her and sought her blessings. Slowly and gradually their economic condition was improved.
Karam Rani story is believed and religiously the message is followed by the people of Jharkhand.
Who Celebrate Karma Puja
The festival ofKarma is celebrated by different groups of people, which includes Mundari, Kharia, Panch, Kurukh, Korba, Nagpur, Santhali, Kurmali, Oraon, Ho and a few more. This festival is celebrated in different forms not only by the tribal group of Jharkhand but also of Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Jhargram of West Bengal, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. The tribes who celebrate Karma Puja consider this as very auspicious as they believe that the God of Fate brings prosperity in their life. In different areas, the festival is celebrated for various reasons by the different communities.
Various Reasons Behindthe Celebration
As the festival is celebrated by diverse groups, it also reflects various thoughts behind the celebration.
For the people of Jharkhand, the festival is closely associated with nature. The tribes worship the trees as the trees are the source of livelihood. It is an agricultural festival and so the tribes worship Mother Nature, so that their fields ensure a rich harvest every year.
For the people of Assam, the tea tribe community, Karam is the Goddess of creation. The Puja is performed by women for a better conjugal life. She is considered the Goddess of wealth and children.
On the other hand, KaramDevta is also considered as the God of power and youthfulness.
In some parts, it is popular as a festival of friendship, sisterhood and cultural unity.
It is celebrated as a festival of welfare and brotherhood.
The various communities celebrates the occasion with different purposes, but it is the Nature that is unique.