Adivasis pin hopes on Bada Dev for good crop season
Perform vijjan tohwal at Jangubai cave temple in Kerameri mandal
For the Adivasis of Adilabad and neighbouring districts, agriculture is a matter of faith in providence. Just ahead of the kharif season, the Raj Gond Adivasis are busy performing the ritualistic vijjan tohwal or showing seeds to their gods and goddesses seeking blessings for a good crop season.
The vijjan tohwal is performed at the Jangubai cave temple located in Kerameri mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district or during the Persa Pen or Bada Dev puja done by the clans of Raj Gonds in their villages. Of the two, the latter is an elaborate event which features traditional music and prayers spread over three days.
Most of the Raj Gond clans perform vijjan tohwal as part of the Bada Dev puja invariably in May unlike the Bada Dev puja in January or Poos which is generally a thanksgiving fest. The puja of Bada Dev, which is made in the form of a fly whisk, called chahur in Gondi, is first performed by a bamboo bush close to a given village.
“After the initial puja, the Persa Pen is taken around the village symbolically meeting all the village deities scattered around the habitation. After puja in the home of the Bada Dev katoda or priest, it is taken to a tree outside the village for rest at the end of the first day,” revealed Madavi Jangu, the Patel of Mesalkar Madavi Raj Gonds at Rumankasa village in Gadiguda mandal of Adilabad district.
As the Rumankasa villagers were observing tum of homage for their departed this instance, unlike the Kanaka clan at Burnur Gutta village in Sirpur (U) mandal of KB Asifabad district which earmarked the celebrations for bheting or the ritualistic entry of new brides into the clan, goats were sacrificed in memory of the dead at night.The chahur in this village was given a ritualistic bath in a local stream called Ganga for the purpose. In the evening, it was taken to the Sathi matam or abode of the female counterpart of Bada Dev where the vijjan tohwal is performed. The villagers show seeds of the indigenous crop variety, especially jowar, to the deities and seek blessings. They also seek good health and prosperity for the entire clan.
The symbolic fly whisk would finally be disbanded and the ceremony of Pen soduswal or imprisoning the god, would be performed at the end of all the festivities on the third day. The small thalle or the top most part of the chahur which is considered to be the Persa Pen would be kept in a hole in an old mahua tree until it’s taken out in January.
Source: THE HINDU
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