The Gift of the Great Spirit
Multitudinous treasures in nature are available for humankind's respectful and loving use.
"Everything on the earth has a purpose,
Every disease an herb to cure it
And every person a mission.
This is the Indian theory of existence."
Mourning Dove, Salish
[Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi shares with us all the precious knowledge that this whole world is for our respectful, collective and loving use. This understanding is beautifully acknowledged in all Native Traditions that always demonstrate an inherent, deep respect for Mother Earth and Her healing treasures.]
"In the nature one goes absolutely thoughtless. For Me it is such a pleasure to meet you all under the trees. There is a beautiful atmosphere created by these trees. How much they work hard for us - think about that. All is built-in, in them, built in to produce this chlorophyll, this greenery, and all that is built in them. But see how collective they are. You have to learn a lot from them. Every leaf is allowed to get the sun, every leaf. How they grow, how they are organized, how they behave like this, nobody thinks even - and what is it working out in them? They haven't got realization, but how do they work it out in such a beautiful manner? Because they are under the complete control of the Divine - absolutely, they don't have to worry. Even the animals are, that's why they are called as Pashu, means they are under the complete Pash. Pash is the complete control of the Divine and Shiva is called as Pashupati, He's the one who looks after all this affectionately and in a very delicate manner. All this is created for human beings. These human beings don't understand that all this world, which is created, is for the use of human beings, not for abuse - but use." (Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, Picnic at Richmond Park, 1995-06-25)
[The use of herbs as medicine is a tremendous gift from the Divine for the collective use of all, as related in this Native Traditional story.]
"The Gift of the Great Spirit"
"Deep in the past, a hungry old man, covered with sores, came to a village. At the longhouse of the Turtle Clan he asked for food and shelter, but the matriarch was disgusted by the sight of him and told him to go away. Next he went to the longhouse of the Beaver Clan but was turned away again. The Wolf, Deer, Eel, Heron, and Hawk Clans also refused to help him. Tired, the old man came to the last longhouse in the village, which belonged to the Bear Clan. Here, the clan mother welcomed him and offered him food and a bed. The next day the old man became ill, but he told the woman of a secret plant which, if prepared in a special way, would cure him. He got better, but over the next several weeks he became sick again and again, each with a different illness. The woman gathered herbs and prepared them as he instructed, and each time he got better. Then one day the old man changed into a handsome warrior. He told the woman that he was the Great Spirit, and because she had been kind to him he had taught her all the cures for sickness. Since that day only the women and men who belong to the Bear Clan, which became the Keeper of the Medicine, have known the cures for many illnesses."
"Colonists learned that Native people knew a lot about the plants and other natural materials in their territories. Many colonists were cured of illnesses by Native medicines, and these remedies became well-known folk medicines throughout the colonies. Native people used plants such as witch hazel, ginseng, cranberry, goldenseal, and saw palmetto as medicines. Today, more than 170 medicines are made from plants that were used by Native people."
"Native healers used herbs, fruits, leaves, roots, flowers and bark to make medicines that relieved pain, helped heal wounds, or helped people recover from fevers, stomach problems, and other illnesses. Certain medicines also helped ease the minds of people who were anxious, upset or grieving."
"Traditionally, Native people have thought of well-being as the combination of a healthy body, mind, and spirit. They believe that illnesses are not always the result of problems within the body.
For example, Native people believe that stress and other emotions can make people sick or stop them from recovering. Traditional Native remedies for diseases and other ailments are combinations of natural medicines and spiritual treatments. Many ideas about health and wellness today are similar to those held by Native people. These ideas are known as holistic medicine. Holistic medicine focuses on healing the whole person, instead of just the sickness or disease."
Bial,Raymond.The Iroquois.Benchmark Books, Marshall Cavendish Corporation.New York,1999.ISBN 0-7614-0802-9 pp.83,84
Walker,Niki/Kalman,Bobbie.Native North American wisdom and gifts.Crabtree Publishing Company, New York, New York 10118,2006.ISBN 13:978-0-7787-0384-6(rlb) pp.20,21
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