Deodar (The Story of Uma)
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Devran Dora is a small village in Chamoli. Years ago, there lived a priest named Bhavanidutt in this village. He was the main priest of Lord Shiva’s holy temple. His daughter,Uma was a religious girl and worshipped God whole heartedly. She followed her father to the temple everyday. After cleaning the temple premises, Uma would worship Lord Shiva. She would offer flowers and Gangajal ( the holy Ganges water) to the Shivlinga (phallus form of Lord Shiva). Everyday, the little girl herself plucked flowers from the jungle trees. Seeing the little girl bounce on her toes, the branches of the trees would lean down making it easier for the girl to pluck the flowers. Uma was fond of the jungle and loved spending time there . Sitting under the dense Cedar wood trees was her favourite part of the day. She loved the pine trees no less. She had planted a Cedar-wood sapling in the courtyard of her house and would water it daily. She enjoyed watching the sapling grow !!
One morning, she was on her way to the temple with her father, Bhavanidutt. All of a sudden, the two saw a herd of elephants approaching towards them. Frightened Uma hugged her father firmly. Seeing his daughter he said, “Don’t be scared, my dear. The elephants have come to visit the forest. They seem to love the Cedar wood just like us. They will leave shortly”. After the daily rituals at the temple, Uma headed to the jungle, but did not return. Her anxious father, Bhavanidutt left for the jungle in a hurry. After walking for a while, he spotted his daughter crying under a Cedar wood tree. This made him restless. He asked, “ Dear Uma, what happened ?” Pointing towards the tree, she said, “Father, a wild elephant while rubbing his back removed the bark / skin of the tree. The tree would be in pain.” Seeing his daughter’s feelings for the tree made him emotional and filled his heart with mercy. He started thinking that his little girl surely has a big heart which loves the trees so much !! It’s said that young Uma was reborn as Himalaya’s daughter, who was married to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased with Uma’s penance and accepted all the Cedar wood trees in the Himalayan region as their adoptive sons . Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati loved these trees as their own sons and shower their blessings and love on the Cedar wood trees till date. Vandevi (Goddess of the Himalayan forests) protects the trees from reptiles and forest fire.
The Cedar wood trees are pride of Himalayan Heights.
The curly burly Cedar wood trees!!!!
Writer -Dr. Abha Pandey, Delhi
Reference - Purvasi - 2016, Sri Laxmi Bhandar (Hukka Club), Almora, Issue : 37