Lok Devtas and Saints of Rajasthan

Introduction:

With start of medieval period, Hinduism started facing both internal and external threat. Internal threat came from short-comings of hindu religion like rigidity of caste system etc and external challenge came from the introduction of new religion of Islam.

The age saw development of a new path of Bhakti which was built on rooting out evils of hindu religion and promoting harmony. The path of Bhakti grew as movement and spread across the country.

Saints of Rajasthan

In Rajasthan, the emergence of saint bhakts was witnessed from 16th century to end of 18 century.

A. Bhakti Saints of Rajasthan

  • Dadu Dayal
  • Mira Bai
  • Sundar das
  • Rajjab
  • Bhakhan
  • Wajind
  • Raghavdas
  • Lal Das
  • Charan Das
  • Mavaji

Dadu Dayal

  • Believed to be born in 1544 in Samvat near Ahemdabad, Gujarat
  • In 1568, came to Sambhar & began to give sermons and “Dhunia”
  • Followers of Dadu Dayal made – Dadu Panth.
  • Naraina is the prinicipal seat of Dadu Panthis. Here clothes & pothis of Dadu ji are kept.
  • His teachings have been consolidated by his disciples – Dadudayal Ki vani & Dadudayal-Ra-Duha.
  • Contemporary of Rana Pratap & Akbar. In 1575, met Akber and influenced him by his views.
  • Dadu Dayal stressed on faith in God and Guru, knowledge of Self, love, morality, futility of casteism, truth and simple life.
  • Virakt: Community of nomad disciples of Dadu.
  • Dadukhol: Cave on Bhairana hill in Naraina, where Dadu Dayal enetered into Samadhi.
  • Followers of Dadu Dayal can be classified into 5 types:
    • Khalsa
    • Virakta
    • Sthandhari
    • Uttaradev
    • Khaki

Sunder Das

  • He was a disciple of Dadu Dayal.
  • Born in: 1596 in Dausa.
  • Sunderdas ji established Naga sect.
  • Wrote: Sunder vilas, Sunder Granthavali, Gyan Samudra, Sundersar.
  • He is also knows as Shankarachrya of Rajasthan.
  • Died in: 1707 (or in 1689) in Sangner, Jaipur.

Meera Bai

  • Born in Samvat 1573 at Kudki, Nagaur and was married to Bhojraj, eldest son of Rana Sanga.
  • Her compositions include Teeka Raag Govind, Rukmani mangal, Teeka on Geet-Govind, and Narsi Mehta ni Mund.
  • Meera Bai established Pasi sect in Brindhavan (UP).
  • Meera was devotee of Krishna and treated him as her husband.

Lal Das

  • Born: In 1540 at Dholidoov village of Mewat on Shravana Krishna Panchami.
  • Opposed superstitions prevalining in society & stressed on devotion & purity.
  • Sermons are available in Laldas ji ki chetavaniyan.
  • Died: At Nagla village of Bharatpur. His Samadhi is at sherpur of Alwar.
  • Major sites are in Alwar, Sherpur & Nagla.

Charan Das

  • Born in: Derha, near Alwar, in Rajasthan.
  • Author of around twenty works. Many of these are in verse and deal with aspects of devotion, particularly relating to the worship of Krishna.
  • Wrote commentaries on various Upanishads, particularly the Katha Upanishad, and on specific yoga practices, especially Pranayama, control of the breath.
  • Belived in harmony between Hinduism & Islam.

Mavaji

  • Considered incarnation of Vishnu.
  • Two disciples of Mavaji, Aji & Vaje built Laxmi Narayn temple at confluence of Som & Mahi Rivers.

Rajjab Ji

  • Disciple of Dadu Dayal ji.
  • Born in: Pathan Patwar, Sanganer
  • Ancient seat in Sanganer known as Rajjab Dwar.
  • Authored Rajjab vani, Sarvangi.

Bhakhan

  • Born in Narena
  • Low caste Muslim singer, entertain Dadu with his fascinating songs.

Wajind

  • Initially, a Pathan hunter.
  • Came under influence of Dadu and became follower.
  • Created literature for Dadu Panth.

Raghavdas

  • Dadu Panthi scholar
  • In 1660 A.D. wrote Bhaktamal.

Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti

  • Born in: 1143 in Sanjar, Iran
  • He became disciple of Khwaja Usman Harooni of Chistiya Order (Silsila).
  • Came to India during reign of Illtutmish and settled in Ajmer in 1233 A.D.
  • His shrine is open to all irrespective of religion, caste or creed and especially for poor & needy, hence he is popularly knows as Garib Nawaz.
  • Died in Ajmer, his tomb is popularly known as The Dargah Sharif.

B. Warrior Saints of Rajasthan (Folk Gods) 

Rajasthan has a strong tradition of venerating righteous warriors as deities. Legends and anecdotes relate folk deities with supernatural power impressing & evoking faith and beliefs of people in these local deities.  This post is an attempt to consolidate information of such folk deities (Lok Devtas and Devis) into single piece.

Panchpir: Of the numerous lok devtas and devis, the five greatest are worhsipped throughout the Rajasthan, these are –  Goga Ji, Ramdevji, Pabuji , Mehaji and Harbuji. (Note: Vir Tejaji is not part of this)


Religious Cults of Rajasthan

A religious cult is a social group defined by its religious beliefs and practises. There are multiple religious cults flourishing in Rajasthan each based on its particular ideals & teachings given by their saint. Few important religious cults are:

  • Vaishnav Cult
  • Jasnathi Cult
  • Bishnoi Cult
  • Dadu Cult
  • Ramsnehi Cult
  • Nath Cult
  • Gaudiya Cult
  • Nimbark Cult
  • Ramanuj Cult
  • Vallabh Cult
  • Shaiva Cult
  • Kabir Panthi Cult
  • Shakt Cult
  • Laldaasi Cult
  • Parnami Cult

Lok Devta of Rajasthan

Goga Ji

Birth
  • 1003 A.D. at Dadrewa in the Churu district of Rajasthan
Legend
  • Protects from Snakes bites (Jaharpeer).
  • Saint Gogaji fought with Mahmood Gajnavi for protection of cows.
Died (Samadhi)
  • Gogamedi in Hanumangarh District
Worship
  • Main Temple: Gogamedi, built by King Ganga Singh.
  • Villages in Rajasthan has a Than dedicated to him, Than is always under Khejri tree.
Fairs
  • Organised every year at Gogamedi from 9th day of dark-half (Krishna Paksh) of Bhadra month to  eleventh of the month.
 Phad
  • Musical Instruments – Damru & Madal
 Other Facts
  • Farmers tie 9 Knot – Goga Rakhadi – to their plough for good harvest.
  • Goga Ji indentification – Blue Horse, Spear and Snake

Teja Ji

Birth

·       1074 A.D. at Khadnaal in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan.

·       Day was Magh Shukla Chaturdashi

Legend

·       Snake Diety.

·       Tejaji sacrificed life while recovering cows of Lachha Gujri from cluthes of meenas.

·       Kala & Bala – benefactor in agricultural activities.

Worship
  • Tejaji’s major Than are located at Sursura, Beawar, Saindaria & Bhanwata in Ajmer district.
  • Saindaria – Main place – as this is supposed to be place he was bitten by snake.
Fairs
  • Parbatsar, Nagaur cattle fair is organized from Bhadra Shukla Dashmi to Poornima.
 Other Facts
  • Tejaji Ji indentification – Horse-back, with Sword and Snake

Pabu Ji

Birth ·       1239 A.D. at Kolu Village, Phalodi in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan.
Legend

·       Associated with rathore family of Marwar.

·       Snake Diety.

·       Tejaji sacrificed life while recovering cows of Lachha Gujri from cluthes of meenas.

·       Kala & Bala – benefactor in agricultural activities.

Worship
  • Tejaji’s major Than are located at Sursura, Beawar, Saindaria & Bhanwata in Ajmer district.
  • Saindaria – Main place – as this is supposed to be place he was bitten by snake.
Fairs
  • Parbatsar, Nagaur cattle fair is organized from Bhadra Shukla Dashmi to Poornima.
 Other Facts
  • Tejaji Ji indentification – Horse-back, with Sword and Snake

Ramdev Ji

Birth ·       Undookasmer Village, Shiv Teshil in the Barmer district of Rajasthan.
Legend ·       After giving away Pokharan in dowry for his niece Ramdev Ji made Runeecha (Ramdevra) his new residence.
Died (Samadhi) ·       Runeecha, Jaisalmer
Worship
  • Temples located at Runicha (Jaisalmer), Barathia (Ajmer), Suratkheda (Chittorgarh).
  • Ramdevji started Kamadia Panth.
  • As symbol, his pagaliya (Foot prints) are worshipped.
Fairs
  • Runeecha (Jaisalmer) – Bhadrapada Shukla Dwitya to Ekadashi.
 Other Facts
  • Terah Taali dance is presented by kamadias.
  • Ramdev ji composed – Chaubis Vaniya.

Dev Narayan Ji

Birth ·       1233 A.D. at Kolu Village, Phalodi in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan.
Legend ·       The brave warrior and his Sadhak are considered incarnation of lord Vishnu.
Worship
  • Devmali near Asind (Bhilwara), Devdham Jodhpuria (Tonk).
  • Leaves of Neem are essential for worship.
Fairs
  • Fairs are held at Ajmer, Bhilwara, Tonk & Chittaurgarh on Bhadrapad Shukla Shasthi & Saptami.
 Other Facts
  • Leeelagar is name of his horse.

Veer Kalla Ji

Birth ·       Vikram Samvat 1601, Merta in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan.
Legend ·       Kallaji is famous as “Lok Devta with four hands”
Worship
  • Ranela is sacred peeth.
  • Temples are located at Bhauraigarh, Mahiyadham varda, Salumbar, Samalia, Gatroad.

Baba Tallinath

Birth ·       Shergarh, Jodhpur
Legend

·       Nature loving Lok Devta

·       Held at high esteem in Jalore district.

·       When a person is bitten by poisionous creature, taken to baba’s place & thread is tied.

Worship
  • Panchmukhi hill of Panchota Village (Nagaur Diastrict)

Hadbu Ji Sankhla (Harbunji)

Birth ·       Bhudole in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan. (Contemporary of Rao Jodha)
Legend

·       One of Panch Peers (Goga ji, Ramdevi ji, Pabu ji, Hadbu Ji, Manglia Meha ji) of Marwar.

·       Well versed in Shakun Shastra.

·       Cousin of Baba Ramdev.

Worship
  • Main Temple: Baingti Village, Phalodi, Jodhpur
  • In the temple, Sankhla Rajput act as priests and worship Harbhuji ki gaadi.
Fairs
  • Parbatsar, Nagaur cattle fair is organized from Bhadra Shukla Dashmi to Poornima.
 Other Facts
  • Tejaji Ji indentification – Horse-back, with Sword and Snake

Meha Ji Manglia

Birth ·       Bapni Village, Jodhpur
Legend ·       Manglias are main worshippers.
Worship
  • Main Temple: Bapni Village, Jodhpur
Fairs
  • Bapni village – Bhadrpada Krishna Ashtami

Mallinath Ji

Birth
  • 1358 A.D. at Kolu Village, Phalodi in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan.
Legend
  • Defeated army of Subedar Nizamuddin of Malwa in 1378 AD.
Worship
  • Main Temple: Tilwara, Barmer
Fairs
  • Tilwara, Barmer – Chaitra Krishna Ekadashi to Chaitra Shukla Ekadashi.
  • Tharparkar Cow is traded most in his fair.
 Other Facts
  • Malani pargani in Barmer is named after him.

Other Lok Devta’s of Rajasthan

Bhomiaji
  • Worshipped in villages as a protector of land.
Mamadev
  • Lok Devta of rain

Eloji

  • Lok Devta of Love (Cupid).

Fatta ji

  • Waged war with robbers in Santhu village in Jalore District.
  • Fair – every year on Bhadon Sudi Navami.

Dev Baba

  • Protector & savior of Gurjars.
  • Temple: Nagla Jahag village of Bharatpur District.

 Panraj Ji

  • Born – Naga Village, Jaisalmer
  • Two fairs every year at panrajsar, Jaisalmer.


Lok Devis of Rajasthan (Folk Godesses)

Like Lok Devta, Lok Devis are also worshipped in Rajasthan with equal devotion. In Rajasthan, several communities like rajputs worship their particular goddess as kuldevi, some communities worship tree as kuldevi.

Kaila Devi

  • Tutelary (Kuldevi) of Karauli’s royal family, worshipped as form of durga.
  • Lakkhi fair – Chaitra Shukla Ashtami – on Trikut hill at Kaila Devi.

Shila Devi

  • After victory over East Bengal, Maharaja Man Singh of Amer installed Shila Devi in Amer in 16th Century.

Karni Mata

  • Temple: Deshnok, Bikaner
  • Goddess of Rats, white rats in temple are called as kaba.
  • Kuldevi of Rathore Clan
  • Charan community also considers her as their Kuldevi.

Jeen Mata

  • Temple: Rewasa Village, Sikar
  • According to inscription found in Harsh Mountain – Temple of Jeen Mata was built during period of Prthviraj Chouchan I.
  • Jeen Mata is considered Kuldevi of Chouchans.

Sakrai Mata

  • Main Temple – udaipurwati, Jhunjhunu.
  • Kuldevi of Khandelwals.
  • She is also called as Shakmbhair devi & temple of Shakambhari devi is located at Sambhar & Saharanpur of UP.

 Jal Devi

  • Temple: Bavadi, Tonk District.

Rani Sati

  • Marble temple in Jhunjhunu.

Sheetla Mata

  • She protects children from Chicken Pox.
  • Donkey is her vehicle & Kumhar (Potter) is her Pujari.
  • Main Temple: Sheel ki Dungari, Chaksu, Jaipur
  • Also known as Sedhal mata.

Mahamaya (mahamai)

  • Worshipped as protector of children.
  • Pregnant women worship Mahamaya of Mavli (Udaipur) for safe delivery & well being of their children.

Aai Mata

  • Sirvi Community of Kshatriyas consider her as their Kuldevi.
  • Temple: Bilada

Narayani Mata

  • Temple: Barva Doongri, Rajgarh, Alwar
  • Barbers consider Narayani Mata as their kuldevi.

 Ashapura Mata

  • Considered incarnation of Hinglaj mata
  • Kuldevi of Chauhan dynasty.
  • Shakmbhari in Sambhar, Chamunda in Ajaymeru Merwara, Asapura in Nadole are famous temples.