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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Vasant Panchami in Gadhwal

Vasant Panchami in Gadhwal
Bhishma Kukreti
( Written for those Mumbaikars who did not get chance to be in Gadhwal in spring)
Key words: Autosuggestion therapy Hari Haryali jau ki, dadwar, naubat, chaukul deen, Oum namha sidham

Vasant Panchami has very significance, meaning and implication, consequence, worth, connotation, importance and impact in Hindu society and in Gadhwali society too.
Vasant means the spring season. Panchami means the fifth day of a fortnight i.e. lunar calendar.
Vasant panchami comes after seventeen day of Makar Samkranti. It is coming on 31st January (fifteenth day of Magh month).
Vasant panchami has many consequences because it is:
This is the birth day of goddess Sarswati man
This is the beginning of spring and spring brings enthusiasm, agility, zeal, chivalry, graciousness in human beings and living organisms too.
There is change of season i.e. from winter towards summer season
Many plants come up necessity of our life
The sun god and goddess Ganga are worshipped with specific purposes
Pitar tarpan is also performed in this day
Vasant Panchami Celebration in Gadhwal
Hari hariyali Jau ki: Vasant Panchami being the birth day of Sarswati the daughter or part of Brahma- the creator or shilpkar. Gadhwalis provide due respect, admiration, value, importance to their shilpis (i.e. black smith or lohar, das, tamota etc) on this auspicious day of vidya (knowledge) and shilp (creativity).
Each Gadhwali family had its own black smith (lohar) and before the redness of down the lohar used to bring the de- rooted with roots of oat plants (jau ki haryalii) from the oat field of their thakur (master) and kept inside the alaha (a pocket of the outer wall of the house). (It means the oat plants to be de- rooted from the master’s field only). I witnessed that when oat growing was diminishing in our village; we used to sow oats just for this ceremony.
After bath, the head of the housewives in the family will bring fresh cow dung (gaud KO mol) and would start sticking the roots with cow dung and would stick the plants on both the upper sides of door (singhad of mwar) of the kitchen and then other family members will stick oat plants on the upper parts of doors of all houses and windows of all houses including cow-pen (chhani or sanni).

Just after the sun rise, the village das (a class of drum players and as part of family) used to come playing the kettle drum (damau) as naubat for Vasant Panchami. Naubat means the first information thorough playing the kettle drum.
On this day, the upper class families provide dadwar (a compulsive part of crops or things brought from outside) of kharif crop (the crop of rainy season) to their iron –smith (lohar), metal-smith (tamota), das ( drum and kettle drum players in auspicious day), family pundits, dalyah ( a class related to nath sect or kandudchhedi).
Vasant Panchami was a way of paying tribute and crop share to all those creative (shilpi) of the family.
This is also the time that bwari (daughter in laws) would return back from their parental home (poosh is the month that bwari will go their parental home from in-laws home). There is a folk song about hariyali
Har har hariyali jau ki
Khud lagin cha bau ki
(A nanad (sister of husband) says
---Hariyali is sticked on the door and windows, sister in law did not return from her mother’s home and I am remembering her very much
On this day, Gadhwali also visit various sangams of Ganga bank for taking holy dips in Ganga water.
In day time, the cooking of swala pakoda starts and these are also distributed to those families where there is barrjat (a twelve month period of mourning or grief due to death of a family member).
Chaukal Deen: Being the birth day of goddess Sarswati, Gadhwalis (used to) take the opportunity to initiate the education or learning of their children or children are taught first lesson. Initiation of learning is called chaukul deen in Gadhwali.

Usually, chakul deen ceremony is performed on chudakarma samskar (shaving the head first time). However, if learning ceremony is not possible on such time, the chaukul deen used to be performed on vasant panchami. The child writes by index finger “ Oum na, ma,si, dhing “ on the fine crushed red soil (lalu matu) on a wooden small plank or board (chaukul) with the help of a Guru.
The meaning of oum na ma si dhing was
Oum namah sidham (I bow down before accomplishment or o! lord provide me accomplishment)
We Hindus now left our many useful rituals in the name of modernity or in the name of not obeying blind faith.
This ritual of chaukul deen has many significances and magnitudes for a child whose mind is fertile ground for aiming the real accomplishment. The repeated muttering of following mantras at chaukal deen ceremony is a best example of using autosuggestion through rituals:
· Oum namha sidham – O Lord! provide me all accomplishments
· Oum namah uham sidhum - O Lord! Provide me the accomplishment of culture (purva samskar) to judge/take decision without bias or Accomplish, I, the fine culture
· Oum namah shabda sidhum-O Lord! provide me the accomplishment of communication skill (sound and words) or I get chance to find Guru for knowledge
· Oum namah adhyayan sidham - O Lord! Provide me the accomplishment of knowledge through various books
· Oum namah suhritprapti sidhum —O Lord! Provide me the accomplishment of capable and kind companionship
· Oum namah danam sidhum- O Lord! Provide me the accomplishment of donating the needy ones
This initial learning process is one of the best processes for making a child ambitious through auto-suggestion.
As rung panchami: Gadhwalis celebrate Vasant Panchami as rang panchami in Gadhwal. Usually, the white hand kerchief or dhoti is dip in the vasnati colour or haldi colour. Many inhabitants play with colour as mini Holi. The inhabitants used to prepare green colour by boiling crushed oat plants and mixing mustered oil for playing mini holi.
Dance and Song of Vasant panchami: The first quiet signals of the approaching festival of Holi visible at Vasant Panchami. Seasons undergo transformation. The coming of springtime is heralded. Trees are displaying new shoots. New life is evident in the woods and fields. Nature decorates Mango trees with new blossoms. Wheat and other crops enliven with evidence of new life. Vasant or spring is supposed be the season of Kama and rati (the god and goddess of love).

There are many folk songs sung for Vasant panchami.Take a pleasure of a very popular folk song sung with group dance at the time of vasant and foolon ka maina.
Gweeral phool phoolige myara bheena I
Vasanti rung man rungade bheena II
Malu beda phooladi phoolige bheena I
Vasanti rung man rung de bheena II
Jhapnyali sakinau phooli bheena I
Vasanti rung man rung de bheena II
Gharsari lagdi phooli ge bheena I
Vasanti rung man rung de bheena II
Dyul than kunaju phooli ge bheena I
Vasanti rung man rung de bheena II
Gairi gadni tusar phooli ge bheena I
Vasanti rung man rung de bheena II
Dandyun phholige burans myara bheena I
Vasanti rung man rung de bheena II
Dal phoolo vasant baudi ge bheena I
Vasanti rung man rung de bheena II
Gweeral phool phoolige myara bheena I
Vasanti rung man rungade bheena II
This is love song, a lover in the name of bheena (jeeja) informs her lover that:
· There is full of bloom in gweeral
· O my lover! Do love me, do love me
· In Malu beda, fweenli has started flowering
· With full of leaves and tender stem, sakino is blooming
· In the field, mustered is flourishing like a yellow bed sheet
· O my lover! Do love me, do love me
· Do love me, do love me, O my lover
· In the auspicious place, kunanja is thriving
· In the valley, tusar is blossoming
· Do love me, do love me, O my lover
· In the hilly peaks, buransh is, reddish way, flowering
· The withering has gone and Vasant has come back
· There is full of bloom in gweeral
· O my lover, Do love me, do love me
· Do love me, do love me, O my lover
The dance –song of vasant is performed in group in the thadya style.