Leap…Leap…Leap Day!!

It’s Leap Day 2012. I figured I absolutely have to post something on this day. February 29, 2012. No particular reason to do so but just ‘cos…

Just want to wrap this post up with a few words of wisdom from Eckhart Tolle:

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” -Eckhart Tolle

I am Nagar – II


As I had mentioned in my previous post, the principal deity of all Nagars is Lord Hatkeshwar.

Every year Hatkeshwar Patotsav, also known as Ochchav, is celebrated by all Nagars. The Hatkeshwar Jayanti falls on the Chaudus (fourteenth) of the Chaitra month in the Hindu calender. It is believed that Lord Shiva incarnated as Lord Hatkeshwar on this day.

The celebrations include puja, and a procession called Palakhi no Varghodo.

The day begins with decorating the deity and then begins the puja. There are recitations of Rudrabhishekh, recitals of the Shivmahimna Stotra and so on. In the evening, the Lord is taken around town in a varghodo (procession) symbolizing the arrival of the Lord in the lives of Nagars. After that, all of the people gathered go to the Hatkeshwar temple to perform puja.

The Patotsav is almost always a proper Nagar feast.

Memories: Personally, I attended the Ochchav every year whilst I was in India. I have fond memories surrounding this day. Even though it almost always happened that the Ochchav fell on a school day, so we were not able to attend the entire day’s puja but we made sure that we went to the temple as soon as school was done. All the Nagars in the city converged to meet at the old city Hatkeshwar temple.

Everyone took to the streets as the procession got ready to make a round of the old city. The Palkhi was preceded by kids dressed up in a variety of costumes ranging from Lord Shiva to fairies. Some were on horses while others opted to walk in procession. Following all of this, came the Palkhi carried on the shoulders of men who in no way showed a sign of pain from carrying the doli. The others walked chanting the name of Shiva, along with filling the air with gulal and giving out oblations to the believers. Something like this

After the Palkhi was taken back to the temple, we visited the temple and prayed before heading home. In the back of our minds, these words keep reverberating

Namami Natkeshwaram
I bow to you, Lord Natkeshwar
Bhajami Hatkeshwaram
I worship you, Lord Hatkeshwar

Jai Hatkesh

I am Nagar

I somehow tend to give out some kinda impression that I am south Indian. And when I clarify that I am Gujarati, I get “Oh so you’re a Patel, is it?”. So I have decided to explain who I am. This post is in no way meant to prove any kind of hierarchy of Caste-ism. It is just plain information about the way of life of Nagars.

Yes, that’s what I am. I am a Nagar. [pronounced as ‘Naa-gar’]

Origins: The earliest reference of the Nagar community is in the‘Nagar Khand’ of Skand Puran, believed to be written between 300 and 770 AD.

It is believed that Nagars came across the borders to Kashmir and then they spread out in the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Utter Pradesh, Bengal, Malva, and Gujarat.

Another belief that some historians have is that the Nagars are descendants of the Greek soldiers that married girls of Kashmiri pundits when Alexander invaded India.

Irrespective of the place of origin, Nagars finally settled in Vadnagar in Gujarat and then slowly spread out to other places. This led to naming the Nagars from the cities that they settled in. There are six primary factions : Vadnagra (Nagars from Vadnagar), Visnagra (Nagars settled in Visnagar), Sathodra (settled in Sathod), Chittroda (settled in Chittrod), Prashnora (settled in Prashnipur) and Krushnora (settled in Krishna village).

Symbols of Nagars:

* Kalam (Pen) representing intellectual proficiency
* Kadchhi (Ladle) representing culinary talent
* Barchhi (Small Spear) denoting valour,courage and willingness to stand for justice and rights of the weak and poor.

Music runs in the Nagar family.

Principal Deity: Lord Hatkeshwar (Shiva) is the ishtadev of all Nagars. It specifically refers to a Shivlingam.

The temple of Lord Hatkeshwar in Vadnagar is one of the most important ones for the Nagars.

Apart from this, all festivities in the Sanatan Dharm is shared by the Nagars. But the worship of Shiva remains a priority.

Famous Nagars : Narsinh Mehta

To be continued…

Jai Hatkesh

Flow…

Go with the Flow.

I was one of those people who had a really hard time to go with the flow. I used to think that only dead fish go with the flow. I had forgotten that there is a reason that fishes swim against the flow and since I am definitely not a fish, I had no reason to go against the flow.

I had forgotten that it is necessary to completely go through a phase to actually get something out of it. I didn’t realise that fighting was never an option.

I should give more credit to the Power that works this Universe.

How can a man’s life keep its course
If he will not let it flow?
Those who flow as life flows know
They need no other force;
They feel no wear, they feel no tear,
They need no mending, no repair. ~ Witter Bynner