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Durable Link to this BlogWednesday, May 25, 2011

Lullaby to a Stone!

In an article on cradle-culture in India it was shown how a roundish little stone used as a kitchen tool, to break, pound, grind or roll, edible things was used. This stone was a symbol of strong and long life. Blessings were sought to the newborn, through this stone, prior to putting the infant in the cradle. The stone is called Gundappa or Gundayya (the "rotund"). It is every mother's wish as also elders that the child grows as strong as the rock in the following years. 'Gundu' is a pet name in certain families as well.

A folk song or lullaby to this Gundappa (stone) runs like this:-

   Reigns supreme the ragi stone
   life saving is the grinding stone
   cleans our life the washing stone
   ever-sustaining is our dosa stone
   Jo! Jo! to you, stone supreme!

Stones in Indian Culture

Nature-worship of Indians in everyday life is ever-surprising. Stone-implements of different shape and size were essential in everyday life. Craddle ceremony was one occasion when the ancients gratefully remembered the bounteous nature .

It is a pity that in India where a stone was worshiped as a gift of Mother Earth, earlier, gangsters and mischief mongers take recourse to throwing stones at public and private property, mainly buses and government buildings to show their protest of any kind, at times for silly reasons. This leads to unnecessary, or uncalled for violence. Most of the stone-throwers go unpunished, due to political reasons, in Gandhi's land of non-violence.

See Also:
• Gundappa Viswanath
• The Elements - Photographic Exhibition
• Eco-Friendly Living in India

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Jyotsna Kamat

Jyotsna Kamat Ph.D. lives in Bangalore.


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