Santal have their own religious philosophy where their style
of living,tradition, culture belongs from .They follow the Sarna religious
belief, which we’ll later tell you about ‘Sarna’ at the end of this post.
Santals are the nature worshipper, they don’t believe in
worshipping any idol, statue, shape and temple, assuming the nature as the form
of their own life they respect it, worship it, sing for it and dance for it.
The ‘Bonga’ is venerated as the supernatural power that is ultimate
form of nature.
In other way they worship and believe in all the natural
sources around them who have influence on their living and this is what where
they show their gratitude, respect towards nature by worshipping, dancing and
Marang Buru is worshipped in Santals as the Supreme source
of power. Which doesn’t possess any
shape,face,idol. Marangburu is
worshipped in the shape of nature. It
will be totally wrong to consider him as ‘God’ or ‘Godess’. In actual, this
nature is believed to be ‘Marangburu’ who gives them everything rain, water, air,
land, forest, river everything that is present in this nature and which they
use in their life .
Dhiri, Nadi, Hoy,
Hasa, Sengel, Da( Rock,Vine, Air, Land, Fire, water) or say the whole nature is
Marang Buru in context of Santali. The literal meaning of Marang Buru is ‘The
Great Mountain’ Marang means ‘Big’ or ‘Great’ and Buru means ‘mountain’.
The folksong of the Santals is not a fanciful song sung in Explanation
of natural phenomena and inexplicable events, but a method of expressing inexplicable
events certain ways of thinking and
Feeling about the facts of life and how they are interlinked with the almighty
The Santals feels and experiences the Marangburu(nature) as a real
friend or Helper of all people who helps them in their trouble and blesses
their hard work. The Santals of course suffered a lot through drought, famine,
epidemics and socio-economic oppressions, even poverty. Like when nature causes
disasters, such type of calamities are believed to be the signs of Marangburu’s(Nature’s)
displeasures. But at the same time the Santals have experienced God's merciful
liberative acts recorded in the history of the Santals.
As nature is the greatest strength whose origins are unclear
as the world and thus can be considered as the supernatural power whose has
controlled on everything, who is nature and who created the human and
everything that we see in on Earth, in this way the philosophy of worshipping
to nature by Santals is more practical and realistic.
Their religious philosophy and belief is connected to river
which helps them in cultivation, they worship to mountain and forest which
gives them wood and other resources, they worship ‘SUN’ who gives light and
energy and thus they call it ‘Sin Bonga’ (Sin in Santali means ‘Day’ or ‘Light’
or ’Sun’ and Bonga means God ) .
Whether it be their religious philosophy , folk song, Community living or
any social rituals, the philosophy, presence of nature is found everywhere.
Sarna is the Munda word for ‘Sacred Grove”. According to
the mythology of the Santhal community, the genesis of the ‘Sarna’ religion occurred
when the ‘Santals had gone to the forest for hunting and they started the
discussion about their ‘Creator and Savior’ while they were taking rest under a
tree. They questioned themselves that who is their God? Whether the Sun, the
Wind or the Cloud? Finally, they concluded that they would leave an arrow in
the sky and wherever the arrow would target that will be the God’s house. They
left an arrow in the sky; it fell down under a Sal tree. The after day after
this, when women went to forest to collect leaf and other resources they found
that arrow on Sal tree, they shouted “Sar na, Sar na” when they saw it. Those
men came and yes got the same arrow to that Sal tree.
Then, they started worshiping the Sal tree and named their
religion as ‘Sarna’ because it is derived from word ‘Sar’ which means arrow in
Santali and this is why their religious place ‘Jaher’ consists of a group of
Sal tree’ where they do community worshipping. Thus, Sarna religion came into existence.
There are priests and an assistant priest called "Naikey" and
"Kudam Naike" in every Santhal village.