Pongal 2022: How Lord Shiva’s Bull Conveyed an Opposite Message, Got Cursed

Pongal is one of the major festivals celebrated in the Southern states of India. The harvest festival begins on the first day of the Tamil month Thai, hence it is also known as Thai Pongal. The four-day festival will be celebrated from January 13 to 17 this year.

The main festival is celebrated on Pratipada of Paush month as around that time, the fields are ripe with plentiful crops and hence the farmers celebrate the festival with great enthusiasm. Pongal is celebrated to thank the Sun God, rain, the farm animals and people who support agriculture. The tradition is no less than 2000 years old.

There are few mythological stories associated with the celebration of Pongal. The two most popular legends of ‘Pongal’ are linked to Lord Shiva and Lord Indra.

Legend has it that once upon a time, Lord Shiva sent his bull, Basava, to the earth to convey a message. He asked him to go to earth and ask mortals to bathe with oil every day and eat food only once a month. Meanwhile, Basava accidentally conveyed the opposite.

Lord Shankar was so angry that he cursed that bull and banished him to live on earth forever and help the farmers plough the fields to produce more food. Saying this, the bull was banished from Kailash, and since then the bullocks are being used for farming.

According to another story, Lord Indra and Lord Krishna are also associated with the festival.

The story began when Lord Krishna, during his childhood, decided to humble Lord Indra, who is known as the arrogant king of all deities. Following this, Krishna asked all cowherds of the village to stop worshipping Lord Indra. Annoyed, he sent his clouds to rain with thunderstorms for three consecutive days.

The village was soon flooded and to save all living beings, Lord Krishna lifted Mount Govardhan with his little finger, saving everyone.

At that time Indra realised his mistake and understood the power of Lord Krishna. After this incident, Lord Krishna asked Vishwakarma to settle Dwarka again. Dwarka settled again and the cowherds started farming with their cows.

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