There are many myths, legends and much folklore about rice. Gods or goddesses gave rice to humans and taught them how to grow it. In Asia, the rice spirit is female and often a mother figure. Religious use of rice takes place in China, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. Discover Myths, History and Folklore of RICE in India.
Sanskrit: Mana, Dhanya
Hindi: Dhan, Chaval
RICE- Oryza indica
Rice is the staple diet of more than two billion people in Asia and many millions more in Africa and Latin America. Every third person on earth eats rice every day in one form or another. More than one billion farmers make their living from rice and more than 90% of the world’s rice is grown and consumed in Asia alone.
Rice is a versatile crop, in Nepal and Bhutan it grows as high as 2750 meters above sea level; in the South of India- Kerala it grows as low as 3 meters below sea-level.
The species of rice grown in India is known as Oryza indica. The word for a particular plant in different languages gives clues as to where it has travelled.
The Latin word for rice, oryza, and the English “rice” are both derived from the Tamil word arisi. Arab traders took arisi with them and called it al-ruz or arruz in Arabic. This became arroz in Spanish and oriza in Greek. In Italian it is called riso, in French riz, in German Reis.
In Sanskrit, paddy is called vrihi. This became vari in Telugu. In Madagascar, on the east coast of Africa, rice is also called vary or vare. In Farsi, the language of Iran, the word brinj is derived from urihi. Kautilya’s Sanskrit treatise the Arthashastra refers to a rice variety shashtik, which took sixty days to ripen. This same rice is now called “saathee“.
The diversity of rice in India is shown here, with its traditional names:
HISTORY OF RICE CULTIVATION IN INDIA
Historians believe that while the Indica variety of rice was first domesticated in the area covering the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas (i.e. north-eastern India), stretching through Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Southern China, the japonica variety was domesticated from wild rice in southern China which was introduced to India before the time of the Greeks. Chinese records of rice cultivation go back to 4000 years.
The earliest remains of cultivated rice in India date from around 2000 B.C. Perennial wild rice still grows in Assam and Nepal. It seems to have appeared around 1400 B.C. in southern India after its domestication in the northern plains. It then spread to all the fertile alluvial plains watered by rivers.
Rice is first mentioned in the Yajur Veda (c. 1500-800 B.C.) and then is frequently referred to in Sanskrit texts. In India there is a saying that grains of rice should be like two brothers, close but not stuck together. Rice is often directly associated with prosperity and fertility, hence there is the custom of throwing rice at newlyweds. In India, rice is always the first food offered to the babies when they start eating solids or to husband by his new bride, to ensure they will have children.
Ramayana 2000 B.C. – Sri Rama stated to Bharata that special care and attention should be given to the farmers, then only prosperity and happiness of the people could be ensured.
Mahabaratha (1400 B.C.), also stated that agriculture, animal husbandry and trade are the ways of life of the people. It was mentioned that large irrigation tanks have been constructed for agriculture purpose.
Parashara (400 B.C.) was the author of Krishi Parashara, which is regarded as highest authority of agriculture. It deals with knowledge and practices relating to agricultural, such as soil classification, land use, manuring, plant protection and agricultural meteorology. It also deals with the care of drought animals and grasses for cattle.
RICE IN BUDDHISM
Rice is held sacred by the Buddhists because when after long meditation, Siddharta’s body became emancipated due to starvation and austerities, it was rice cooked in milk that revived him.
A ccording to the myth, Sujata milked one hundred cows and made fifty cows drink that milk. Then she milked those fifty cows and gave twenty five cows that milk to drink. Again she-milked those twenty five cows and-gave ten-cows-to— drink that milk. Ultimately she milked ten cows and gave one cow the milk to drink. It was the milk of this last cow that was very light and nourishing. Sujata cooked new rice thrashed by herself with sugar and the milk from this cow and gave it to Siddharta to eat and that revived his
strength after the prolonged austerities he had undergone.
Since it was the rice pudding that saved the life of Siddharta, rice came to be held sacred by the Buddhists.
G autama Buddha had a disciple Nagarjuna who was a good chemist. One day he heard of a certain sage who applied a special paste to the soles of his feet and vanished into thin air. Nagarjuna became his student and tried to find out the ingredients which went into this paste. One day he prepared his own paste and rubbed it on his feet. He too vanished…. but a few moments later fell flat on the ground. He again applied the paste. Again he vanished and again fell flat. Seeing him bruised and bloody, his guru questioned him. Nagarjuna confessed making the paste in secret and begged forgiveness. His guru smelt the paste and said,
“Son, you forgot only one ingredient-the saathee rice paste.”
Rice plays an important part in Buddhist culture. Gautama Buddha’s father’s name was Shudhodana, which means Pure Rice.
It is said that after his long meditation under a banyan tree, the Buddha attained enlightenment after he had eaten kheer, brought by a forest-dweller Sujata, here the legend:
S ujata milked one hundred cows and made fifty cows drink that milk. Then she milked those fifty cows and gave twenty five cows that milk to drink. Again, she milked those twenty five cows and gave ten cows to drink that milk. Ultimately she milked ten cows and gave one cow the milk to drink. It was the milk of this last cow that was very light and nourishing. Sujata cooked new rice, thrashed by herself, with sugar and milk from this cow, and gave it to Siddhartha to eat which revived his strength after the prolonged austerities he had undergone.
Since, it was keehr that saved the life of Siddhartha, rice came to be held sacred by the Buddhists. It is new rice that is used for religious ceremonies and not the old rice which is preferred for cooking.
Shri-Lakshmi is another Hindu form of the timeless mother goddess who nurtures and nourishes all life. Indians worship rice itself as Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth or Annapurna, one of her many manifestations.
Shri-Lakshmi has a long history testified by the fact that her first hymn, the Shri Shukta, was added to the Rig Veda, the oldest and most revered of Hindu scriptures, somewhere between 1000 and 500 BC.
Invoke for you O Agni, the Goddess Lakshmi, who shines like gold, yellow in hue, wearing gold and silver garlands, blooming like the moon, the embodiment of wealth.
Invoke for me that unfailing Lakshmi, blessed by whom, I shall win wealth, cattle, horses and men.
I invoke Shri (Lakshmi, who has a line of horses in her front, a series of chariots in the middle,
who is being awakened by the trumpeting of elephants, who is divinely resplendent.
May that divine Lakshmi grace me.
I hereby invoke that Shri (Lakshmi) who is the embodiment of absolute bliss; who is of pleasant smile on her face;
whose lustre is that of burnished gold; who is wet as it were, (just from the milky ocean)
who is blazing with splendour, and is the embodiment of the fulfillment of all wishes;
who satisfies the desire of her votaries;
who is seated on the lotus and is beautiful like the lotus…
LAKSHMI IN RICE RITUALS
A bowl of rice will provide equal satisfaction to a rich man and a poor man, to a saint and a sinner.
A bowl of rice does not judge the person who consumes it. The same applies to a piece of cloth.
A piece of cloth will provide comfort to whosoever drapes it, man or woman, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.
And a house will provide the same quality of shelter to all, without any discrimination.
We may judge a bowl of rice, a piece of cloth or a house, but the rice, the cloth and the house will never judge us.
For rice, cloth and house are forms of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
South Indians call rice Anna Lakshmi. Anna means “food” and Lakshmi is the Goddess of prosperity. From ancient times, Dhanya Lakshmi has been depicted holding a few sheaves of rice in her hand. Hindus particularly associate rice with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Paddy stalks or unhusked paddy is worshipped as embodying the goddess, from the sixteenth century till today. Rice and Lakshmi are interchangeable concepts in local imagination.
RICE is LAKSHMI and LAKSHMI and RICE.
Lakshmi being the provider of food is still worshiped and feared in an agrarian society like Odisha and women still observe the rituals with devotion lest her displeasure would affect the harvest of rice and bring about starvation. This also ensured care and attention to the process of rice production. During the annual worship of Lakshmi, women recite the story of the Purana which was written by Balaram Das.
The story of the Purana reads like this:
Once Lakshmi in disguise went out of the temple of Puri and wanted to see how her devotees were worshiping her on her designated day. She was disappointed because nobody was worshipping her except one untouchable woman. Lakshmi went to her house and being pleased granted her a number of boons. On her return, her husband, Jagannath, adequately incited by his brother Balaram, rebuked her and asked her to leave the temple since she had become an out caste by visiting an untouchable household. Being offended by their lack of appreciation of her visit to a devotee irrespective of caste, she cursed them to be deprived of food until she offered food to them.
She vowed to teach both the brothers a lesson by showing her own capabilities. Since she was in charge of all the food grains of the mortal world and also in charge of household affairs, she saw to it that both the brothers did not get any food. She resorted to this punishing act as she felt that otherwise men of the mortal world would not care for their women.
Being deprived of food, the brothers roamed around and finally landed on the doorstep of the same household where Lakshmi had been living. Lakshmi fed them well by declaring herself as an untouchable. Jagannath realized his fault and promised her autonomy of free movement among her devotees without any caste bar and that members of all castes would share the offerings to him together without being an out caste. Incidentally, the offerings to Jagannath comprise cooked rice even now.
As mentioned in the story, women were in charge of management of the food grains at the household level but also active working rice field. The Bhakti movement of the 16th century started as a protest movement against the stratified social structure and patriarchy. It got the royal support and social reformers of the movement used the tolerant culture of Lord Jagannath, presence of Lakshmi—the goddess of wealth in a separate temple as well as women’s visible work participation in rice cultivation to be able to write stories like Lakshmi Purana. In this story not only does Lakshmi assert her autonomy, but she also values women’s work and at the same time challenges caste discrimination.
RICE IN HINDU FESTIVALS AND RITUALS
Rice is involved in naming ceremonies (namkaran ) and birthday celebrations. It is also important during the Bhai Dhooj (sister-brother day), Diwali (festival of light), Makar Sakranti (January 13), and Pongal (harvest festivals). Major harvest festivals include Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Onam in Kerala, Huthri in Coorg (Kodagu).
Rice particularly plays a significant role in some Hindu samskaras – rite of passage ceremonies that signify transition periods in an individual’s life and personality development
Hindus worship Lakshmi the third day of Diwali, the festival of lights, this is when Lakshmi Puja.Devotees will clean their houses, decorate them with finery and lights, and prepare sweet treats, like keehr and other delicacies as offerings.
On this day, the mothers, are recognized by the family. Mothers are seen to embody a part of Lakshmi, the good fortune and prosperity of the household.
People wear new clothes or their best outfits as the evening approaches. According to tradition people would put small oil lamps outside their homes and open doors and windows to let her in.
It is popularly believed that Lakshmi likes cleanliness and will visit the cleanest house first. Hence, the broom is worshiped with offerings of haldi (turmeric) and sindoor (vermilion) on this day.
Devotees believe the happier Lakshmi is with the visit, the more she blesses the family with health and wealth. The family we where living with in Rishikesh would feed us the whole week of Diwali, offering us delicious sweets on this day.
Our Indian mother, as we called her, would sing while cleaning her house temple and prepare offerings for Lakshmi.
Sandal paste, saffron paste, garland of cotton beads or flowers, ittar (perfume), turmeric, kumkum, abir, and gulal are offered to the Goddess. Flowers and garlands, such as Lotus, Marigold, Rose, Chrysanthemum and leaves of Bael (wood apple tree) are also offered. An incense stick is lit and dhoop is given to her.
Sweets, coconut, fruits, and tambul is made later. Puffed rice and batasha (varieties of Indian sweets) are placed near the idol. Puffed rice, batasha, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds are poured or offered to her idol.
In villages, a pot made of bamboo-canes measuring the paddy known as Nana‘ is filled up to the brink with freshly harvest paddy. Rice and lentils are also kept with the paddy. The ‘Mana‘ is the symbol of Maha Lakshmi.
It is customary to read out the holy book, the Eulogy, “Lakshmi Puran” while performing the pooja
After the pooja, people go outside and celebrate by lighting up patakhe (fireworks). The children enjoy sparklers and variety of small fireworks, while adults enjoy playing with rockets and bigger fireworks. The fireworks signify celebration of Diwali as well a way to chase away evil spirits.
Rangoli or Kolam
Rangoli, Aripaan or Alpana patterns are created on the floor, near the entrance, in living rooms or yards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals.
Rangolis are made only by woman, in order to invite the Hindu Gods into the house, though they add to the aesthetics, they are mainly believed to bring in prosperity and luck. Alternatively, it is also believed that a rangoli guards the house and prevents evil spirits from entering in.
Elaborate rangoli patterns and designs are an integral part of all religious rituals. With an exact set number of dots and lines, these designs are often inherited from mother to daughter in every south Indian Hindu home.
They are usually drawn during Indian festivals like Onam, Pongal, Diwali or Tihar (collectively known as Deepawali), Dhana Lakshmi puja, Gaja Lakshmi puja… and other festivals.
JHOTI: Traditional folk art of Odisha or Orissa
The woman of Odisha in the month of Margasira (November-December), worship the goddess Lakshmi. It is the harvest season when rice is thrashed and stored. During this auspicious occasion, the mud walls and floors of each house in the village are decorated with murals in white rice past. This art work is locally called Jhoti.
To create the art work an earthy red color called dhau is smeared on the walls on which rice paste called pithau is used for drawing the lines and filling in the designs. The motifs include geometrical and floral designs along with animals and birds. The feet of Goddess Lakshmi is rendered in every jhoti work which remains an integral part of every festivals, belief and celebrations.
According to Oriya scripture, Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on every Thursday during the Oriya – harvest month of Margasira. Hence, mostly the decorations are done on Wednesdays and the Lakshmi puja is performed on Thursdays, touring in Orissa we saw beautiful jhoti.
The common motifs used in the artwork are lotus flowers, conch shell, the kumbh, peacocks, elephant, fish, and other floral and geometrical designs. The feet of Lakshmi are painted all around the surface.
Folk songs in Bengal
Chharas, folk rimes or folk songs are the creation of the rural people, transmitted orally from one generation to the next. In Bengal ‘Chhara’, a rhyme is sung. Food items like rice find their place in many Bengali chharas.
Chhele ghumalo para juralo
borgi elo deshe,
Bulbulite dhan kheyechhe
khajna debo kishe?
Dhan furalo pan furalo khajna debo kee?
Ar kotadin sobur koro rasun bunechhi.
Kids slept, locality silent, looters came, Birds have eaten the paddy, how can I pay the tax?
The rice and betel leaf are finished, what would I pay as tax?
Kindly wait a few days, I have sown garlic.
Sayings of Khanaa or Khanaar Bachaans feature rice alongside sayings of other crops:
Asharer poncho dine ropon je kore dhan
Bare tar krishibol, krishikarje hoi safol.
A farmer who sows rice within first five days in Ashar (~15 June to 15 July), can increase his agricultural property and become successful in farming.
RICE IN CEREMONIES AND RITUALS AROUND INDIA
In Hinduism, rice is revered as a potent symbol of auspiciousness, prosperity and fertility and therefore is used extensively in Hindu rites and rituals.
Rice is the only food grain which does not sprout and hence when wet, does not decay as other food grains do. Rice features in many legends about Buddha’s life. In Sanskrit one of the words for rice, dhaanya, also meant ‘sustainer of the human race‘, and the name of more than one ancient Indian king was derived from it.
The uses of rice in traditional medicine are closely interwoven with its use as a food. The main rice-products used as medicines are made from brown rice and rice oil from rice bran. Some of its traditional uses are supported by scientific studies.
Rice, tinted with the auspicious yellow color of turmeric, is showered onto newly-married couples, and is part of numerous rites and celebrations.
Rice is offered to the deities and used as an offering in the sacred fire of Hindu ritual agni.
In Rajasthan, when a fresh married woman first enters her husband’s house, a measure of rice is kept on the threshold. This she scatters through her new home inviting prosperity and happiness.
Raw rice, mixed with kumkum to redden it, is known as mangala akshadai and showered over newlyweds.
People in Gujarat celebrate Sharad Purnima by soaking flattened rice in sweet milk which they drink at night. Drinking this “dood-powa” on this night is said to protect health.
In Northern India, it is believed that, the doorstep of main entrance is the place where goddess Lakshmi stays. (which means she can easily go out of house. In other words, money is momentary and can slip out of your hand.)
In West India, among Parsis, the Achu Michu ritual is performed to purify the mind and body of the bridal couple. Female members of the family carry two silver platters each containing the following items:
- egg – symbolizing life giving force,
- coconut – symbolizing inner and outer worlds,
- betel leaf and areca nut – symbolizing suppleness and strength,
- unshelled almond – symbolizing virtue and honesty,
- dried date – symbolizing resilience,
- sugar crystal or sugar biscuit – symbolizing sweetness,
- dry rice – symbolizing abundance,
- rose petals – symbolizing happiness, and a
- glass of water – symbolizing purity, sanctity and perfection.
During a Hindu wedding, rice is often sprinkled over the newlywed couple to bless them with a prosperous married life. Because rice is thought to ward off demons, it is poured into the wedding fire by the bride and bridegroom. It is also offered by the couple to their patron household deity after the completion of the marriage ceremony and sprinkled around the house by the new bride to secure blessings on their joint home.
In certain parts of India the couple will stand on a pile of rice during the marriage ceremony.
In India, Sumatra, and some parts of Europe and the United States, rice grains are showered on the newly wedded couple for good luck and a fruitful marriage. It is suggested that this tradition might originate from China.
Women shower rice on the departing couple, in silent blessing that like rice they stay together, united and unbroken, facing all calamities.
The first food a new Indian bride offers her husband is rice, often during the wedding itself.
Rice is believed to scare demons particularly those that check fertility. From this belief perhaps stems the old marriage ritual of pouring rice into the sacrificial fire by the bride and the bridegroom, though it is puffed rice that is used, and the custom of presenting rice tinged with turmeric powder as invitation to the wedding feast. Among more affluent societies, saffron is used instead of turmeric powder for the same purpose.
In certain parts of India, the bridal couple stand on a pile of rice during the marriage ceremony and the guests throw a few grains of rice on the pile at the close of the recitation of the religious text.
According to Vedic Scriptures, a new Bride brings health prosperity to her new family, from that view a bride pushes a bowl of rice with her feet symbolizing that She is entering a new life with great prosperity- the bowl of rice symbolizing prosperity of life. Kicking a bowl of rice depicts that bride should not have any deficit for food in that house as long as she lives there. As in the Atharva veda:
Come you all and meet this bride, she is so good and auspicious harbinger of good fortune. Wish her all well with good fortune and protect her against all adversity and misfortune, then you may leave.
Hindu families believes that a newly wed bride will bring Lakshmi,- fortune, prosperity and money to the house.
In some places the new Bride has to step into a plate of kumkum. For Lakshmi puja, foot prints are drawn- a new bride’s foot step is very auspicious because she is seen as Lakshmi.
First Feeding Ceremony
Rice plays a central role in the Hindu ceremony of annaprashana, a ritualized first feeding, as it is the first solid food placed in a baby’s mouth.
The ceremony is conducted in the baby’s sixth or seventh month, depending on local customs and the health of the child, and is arranged by a priest. Simple boiled rice or a sweet rice pudding, kheer is prepared by the mother or grandmother of the child under the chanting of mantras.
The most special offering to Lord Ganesha is the Modak, a ball of sweet coconut/jaggery, covered with a thick rice paste, also a first food fed a child.
Education Initiation Ceremony
The Vidyarambham ceremony initiates Hindu children into the world of education by exposing them to their first letters. During the ceremony, a child is assisted to form letters in a plate covered with dry rice grains. The letters are generally a mantra of prosperity that is again written with gold on the child’s tongue. Rice is utilized in this ceremony as it represents fortune and blessings for the prosperous development of the child.
Pongal- rice harvest celebration
The rice harvest is an occasion for a festival in all Asian countries.
In Tamil Nadu Thai Pongal is celebrated and in northern India Makar Sankaranti.
The latter marks the entry of the sun into the constellation of Capricorn and the time of the year when the days begin to lengthen.
This is also the time when rice and sugarcane are ready to harvest. The Pongal is a four-days-long harvest festival and it takes its name from the Tamil word meaning “to boil” and is held in the month of Thai (January-February). This is traditionally the month of weddings.
The First Day
This first day is celebrated as Bhogi festival in honor of Lord Indra, the supreme ruler of clouds that give rains. Homage is paid to Lord Indra for the abundance of harvest, thereby bringing plenty and prosperity to the land.
Legend of Mount Govardhan
The first day of the festival Bhogi Pongal has an association with legend of Lord Indra (the God of clouds and rains) and Lord Krishna.
E arlier, people used to worship Lord Indra who was the King of the deities. This honor given to Lord Indra made him full of pride and arrogance. He thought himself to be the most powerful of all the beings. When child Krishna came to know about this he thought of a plan to teach him a lesson. He persuaded his cowherd friends to worship Mt. Govardhan rather than Lord Indra. This angered Lord Indra and he sent forth the clouds to generate non-stop thunder, lightning, heavy rains and flood the land. As per the tale, Lord Krishna lifted the huge Govardhan Parvat on his little finger to protect the cowherds and the cattle. He kept standing with the lifted mount to save all the humans from the ravaging storm of Lord Indra. The rains continued for three days and at last Indra realized his mistake and divine power of Lord Krishna. He promised humility and begged Krishna’s forgiveness. Since then, Krishna allowed to let the Bhogi celebrations continue in honor of Indra.
Thus, the day gave the origin to the Pongal celebration. The festival got another name of Indra from this legendary story.
Another ritual observed on this day is Bhogi Mantalu, when useless household articles are thrown into a fire made of wood and cow-dung cakes. Girls dance around the bonfire, singing songs in praise of the gods, the spring and the harvest. The significance of the bonfire, in which is burnt the agricultural wastes and firewood is to keep warm during the last lap of winter.
The Second Day
The pooja or act of ceremonial worship is performed when rice is boiled in milk (kheer) outdoors in a earthenware pot and is then symbolically offered to Surya, the sun-god along with other oblations.
A turmeric plant is tied around the pot in which the rice will be boiled. The offerings include the two sticks of sugar-cane in background and coconut and bananas in the dish. A common feature of the pooja, in addition to the offerings, is the kolam, the auspicious design which is traditionally traced in white lime powder before the house in the early morning after bathing.
The Third Day
The third day is known as Mattu Pongal, the day of Pongal for cows. Multi-colored beads, tinkling bells, sheaves of corn and flower garlands are tied around the neck of the cattle and then are worshiped. They are fed with Pongal and taken to the village centers. The resounding of their bells attract the villagers as the young men race each other’s cattle.
Arati is performed on them, so as to ward off the evil eye.
According to a legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Nandi or Basava, to go to the earth and ask the mortals to have an oil massage and bath every day and to eat once a month. Inadvertently, Basava announced that everyone should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. This mistake enraged Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to live on the earth forever. He would have to plough the fields and help people produce more food.
Thus the association of this day with cattle.
The Fourth Day
The Fourth day is known as Knau or Kannum Pongal day. On this day, a turmeric leaf is washed and is then placed on the ground. Several offerings are placed on the leaf, like the left overs of sweet Pongal and Venn Pongal, ordinary rice as well as rice colored red and yellow, betel leaves, betel nuts, two pieces of sugarcane, turmeric leaves, and plantainsare placed.
All women of the family, young and old, meet in the courtyard. The rice is placed in the center of the leaf, while the women ask that the house and family of their brothers should prosper.
Arati is performed for the brothers with turmeric water, limestone and rice, and this water is sprinkled on the kolam in front of the house.
Myths, History and Folklore of rice in India and the male gods
Hindu mythology has it that Lord Krishna,was so pleased with his childhood friend Sudama’s gift of two handfuls of roasted rice that in return he gave him the Earth and the Heavens. If his queen, Rukmini, had not stopped him, he would have given Sudama the Cosmos as well.
Another Indian legend speaks of the god Shiva, who having created a beautiful woman fell in love with her. In order to marry, she imposed the condition of receiving a food that she would never be tired of. Shiva could not find it, and the maiden died of grief. Forty days later an unknown plant sprouted from her tomb, which Shiva recognized as the food his beloved desired.
He collected its grains and distributed them throughout his kingdom.
Lord Indra or the rain god is also associated with the rice crop and Lakshmi.
Rice cooked in ghee or clarified butter is said to have been the favorite food of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Pitrs or the forefathers insist on mashed rice cakes as they are all ‘toothless’ like yet-to-be-born babies.
Ancient Indus community, perceived the Divine Female as Mother Goddess or Devi. Goddesses like Lakshmi, Gauri and Saraswati gave rice to Indians and taught them how to grow it. It was the practice of personifying the beauty and bounty of earth as a goddess and it was prevalent in ancient cultures.
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- Pattanaik Devdutt. On Durga Puja, let’s not forget the glory of Odisha’s Gosani jatra. Battle of Lakshmi and Saraswati. The rise of Kali. LAKSHMI, the Goddess of Wealth and Fortune – an Introduction. The Creatrix. Born of Brahma’s hair. http://devdutt.com
- Rice as a Superfood. Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 14, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/food/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rice-superfood
- Rice: The Grain That Shapes Cultures, Traditions and Rituals. www.asiarice.org
- Sahay Sarita. The folk tales of Bihar: An anthropological perspective .https://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol13/bihar.htm
- Subhamoy Das. Legend of Rice. 2017.
- The ancient story of goddess Lakshmi—bestower of power, wealth and sovereignty. Excerpted from Vakils, Feffer & Simons from the book Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth and Fortune – An Introduction authored by Devdutt Pattanaik. https://qz.com/545655/the-ancient-story-of-goddess-lakshmi-bestower-of-power-wealth-and-sovereignty/
- The Pongal festival. http://www.pongalfestival.org/pongal-festival.html