JAGAR: Calling Of Gods and Ancestor Spirit

JAGAR: Calling Of Gods and Ancestor SpiritJAGAR: Calling Of Gods and Ancestor Spirit

     JAGAR: Calling Of Gods and Ancestor Spirit

     Jagar is a ritualised form of ancestor spirit worship practiced in hills of Uttarakhand, both in Kumaon and Garhwal. As a ritual, Jagar is a way in which gods and local deities are woken from their dormant stage and asked for favors and remedies. The word Jagar comes from the Sanskrit root, Jaga,meaning,”To wake”

     Music is the medium through which the gods are invoked. The singer, or Jagaria, sings ballad of the gods with allusions to great epics, such as the Mahabarta or Ramayana, in which the adventures and exploits of the god being invoked are described.

     Every village had its own god, called Bhumyal or Kshetrapal, protecting its boundaries. Each family has its own Kul Devta or Kul Devi. Hinduism has strong Kuladevata traditions that enabled the Jagar tradition to grow in India and Nepal.

     Jagar ceremonies generally have two primary types. The first is the Dev Jagar, or the invocation of a god, which usually includes local god occupying the body of the medium. The second is the Bhut Jagar, or the inovation of a deceased person’s spirit or soul in the medium’s body. Other less frequently practiced forms include the Masan Puja.

    Today, Jagar is viewed as a cultural and musical componant of local heritage that needs preservation. The ritual remains highly revered, especially in rural areas and New Delhi. Since many Kumauni and Garhwali live in Delhi and are unable to go villages every year for Jagar, they have initiated Jagar in Delhi.

     The musical instruments used are the Hurka, Damaru or doonr, Dhol, Damau and Thali, all of which are percussion instruments native to Uttarakhand played by progessional musicians.


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