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Gugga

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Title: Gugga  
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Subject: Chhapar Mela, Punjabi folk religion, Hindu Punjabi Festivals, Punjabi folklore, Guga
Collection: Hindu Warriors, Punjabi Culture, Punjabi Folk Religion, Punjabi Folklore
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Gugga

Gugga
Protects against snake bites
Major cult center Rajasthan, Punjab Region, parts of Uttar Pradesh old kingdom of Bagad Dedga: Dadrewa, Hissar and Bathinda
Parents Father: Raja Jewar, Mother: Queen Bachhal

Gugga (also known as Gugga Pir, Gugga Jaharpir, Gugga Chohan, Gugga Rana, Gugga Vir and various others) is venerated for protection against snake bite and is the folk deity of Rajasthan and the Punjab region. He is known as Gogaji in Rajasthan and Gugga Ji in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Contents

  • Worship 1
  • Birth in Rajasthan 2
  • Connection to Haryana and the Punjab Region 3
  • Kingdom of Bagad Dedga in Rajasthan and Punjab Region 4
  • Celebration 5
  • Folk Religion 6
  • General 7
  • See also 8
  • Sources 9
  • References 10

Worship

The cult of Gugga Ji is prevalent throughout northern India in the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the north western districts of Uttar Pradesh. His followers can also be found in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. He is worshiped in the month of Bhadon especially on the ninth day of that month. Gugga is meant to protect against snake bites and he is venerated in shrines known as marris. The shrines do not conform to any religion and can range from antholes to structures that resemble a Sikh Gurdwara or a Mosque. When worshipping Gugga, people bring noodles as offerings and also leave them in places where snakes reside.[1]

Interestingly, the Sindhi community celebrate Nag Panchami in the month of shravan in honour of Gogro. The story of Gogro is set in Kutch (Gujarat). Not only is the name Gogro similar to Gogaji, but his mother's name, Vachalbai is similar to Queen Bachhal.[2]

Birth in Rajasthan

Gugga was warrior-king who was born in Dadrewa in the Churu district of present day Rajasthan. Gugga Ji's mother was Bachhal Devi and Gugga Ji's father was King Jewar of Dadrewa.

Connection to Haryana and the Punjab Region

Gugga Ji's mother was Bachhal Devi who was the daughter of Rajput ruler, Kanwarpala who in 1173 AD ruled over Sirsa in present day Haryana. Accordingly, Gugga Ji's maternal family hails from present day Haryana. His father, according to one legend, was not Jewar but Vachha Chauhan, the Raja of Jangal Desh, which stretched from the Sutlej to Haryana.[3] Gugga Ji is also believed to have lived for some time in Bathinda.[4]

Kingdom of Bagad Dedga in Rajasthan and Punjab Region

Gugga Ji's kingdom included territory stretching from Hansi near Hissar in present day Haryana to the river Sutlej in Punjab.[5] It is believed that Gugga Ji lived during the 12th Century AD[6] It is suggested that in the past, the river Sutlej flowed through the district of Bathinda in present day Punjab in India.[7] This means that at a minimum, the district of Bathinda was part of the kingdom of Gugga. The capital was at Dadrewa near Ganganagar.

As Gugga Ji's kingdom included parts of the Chhapar Mela.

Gugga Ji's legacy in Punjab can be seen is towns such as Bareta Mandi, which is situated at a distance of 51 km from Mansa in Punjab. "The town is predominantly inhabited by Chauhans who trace their origin from Gugga, ‘Lord of Snakes’. It is said that nobody has ever died here on account of snakebite because of the blessings of Gugga."[8]

Celebration

In the Punjab region, it is traditional to offer sweet Vermicelli to the shrines of Gugga Ji [9] and sweet fried bread (mathya (Punjabi: ਮੱਥੀਆ)).

On the day of Gugga naumi, when offering the sweet dish, songs are sung which include:

Punjabi:

ਪੱਲੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਥੀਆਂ
ਨੀ ਮੈਂ ਗੁੱਗਾ ਮਨਾਓੁਣ ਚੱਲੀਆਂ
ਨੀ ਮੈਂ ਬਾਰੀ ਗੁੱਗਾ ਜੀ
[9]
Palle mere mathyaa
ni mein Gugga manaun challyaa
ni mein bari Gugga ji

Translation

I have got mathya
I am going to worship Gugga ji
Oh Gugga ji

Folk Religion

Gugga Ji was born a Hindu but according to legend he descended into the earth as a Muslim.[1] The cult of Gugga Ji falls within folk religion and therefore his followers include people from all faiths.

Gogga

General

Some members of the Chauhan communuity believe Gugga Ji to be their ancestor. He has been deified as a snake demigod and is a prominent figure among those who follow the Nāga cult in what is now Rajasthan and since the seventeenth century has been worshiped in the Western Himalayas also, possibly as a consequence of migration there from Rajasthan.[10]

He is particularly popular among those engaged in agrarian pursuits, for whom the fear of snakebite is common. Although a Hindu, he has many Muslim devotees and is chiefly considered to be a saint (pir) who had the power to cure the effects of poison (jahar).[11]

Although there are references to him in the folklore of Rajasthan, little historical knowledge of Gugga exists other than that he ruled the small kingdom of Dadrewa, fought against Muslims and was a contemporary of Prithviraj Chauhan.[12]

He was a great warrior who was never beaten in war but instead of expanding his territories, Gugga chose to stay content in his kingdom but defended it vigorously when attacked.

He was reputed to be a disciple of Guru Gorakhnath. He learnt the way of entering and leaving solid earth and was initiated in it by a Muslim Pir. According to legends prevalent in Punjab, Gugga Ji consulted Hazi Rattan of Bathinda about Islam.[1][13]

See also

Sources

  • Briggs, George Weston (1 January 2001). Gorakhnāth and the Kānphaṭa Yogīs. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 192.  

References

  1. ^ a b c Bhatti, H.S Folk Religion Change and Continuity Rawat Publications
  2. ^ [7] Jhulelal.com
  3. ^ Census of India, 1961: India, Volume 1, Issue 4; Volume 1, Issue 19 [8]
  4. ^ James Todd (1920) Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan: Or The Central and Western Rajput States of India, Volume 2 [9]
  5. ^ Rajasthan [district Gazetteers].: Ganganagar (1972) [10]
  6. ^ [11] Gupta, Jugal Kishore: History of Sirsa Town
  7. ^ "Welcome to the official website of the Municipal Corporation Bathinda". Mcbathinda.com. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  8. ^ "Punjab Revenue". Punjabrevenue.nic.in. 1992-04-13. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  9. ^ a b Alop ho riha Punjabi virsa - bhag dooja by Harkesh Singh Kehal Unistar Book PVT Ltd ISBN 978-93-5017-532-3
  10. ^ Naga Cults and Traditions in the Western Himalaya: Omacanda Hāṇḍā
  11. ^ Hāṇḍā, Omacanda (2004). Naga Cults and Traditions in the Western Himalaya. New Delhi: Indus Publishing. pp. 317–320, 330.  
  12. ^ Hāṇḍā, Omacanda (2004). Naga Cults and Traditions in the Western Himalaya. New Delhi: Indus Publishing. p. 330.  
  13. ^ Shivam Vij 18/01/2013[12]


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