Jangama Jarawa Jashodhis Jasondhi Jetti

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Jangama Jarawa Jashodhis Jasondhi Jetti Jogi JoshisSarvadas Juâng Jât Jógi Kachera Kadera Kahals Kaikâri Kakkalan Kakkalans Kakkans Kalibhilia Kallan Kallar Kamad Kambalattans Kamâr Kandera Kanjar

Jangama.:- (Sanskrit jangama,"moving.")-A Saiva order2, which is also called Linga-dhâri, because they wear a miniature hangman on the breast or arm. In the Panjâb they are regarded as a class of Jogis who wear flowers in their ears instead of the ordinary mundra earrings. It is said that when Siva at his marriage desired to give alms to the Brâhmans, no Brâhman appeared; the god thereupon tore open his lag (janga, jangha) and produced therefrom a man called Jangama, to whom he gave his alms. "These Jangamas are 3 looked on as Brâhmans, and are said to correspond with the Lingâyats of Central and Southern India. They dress and live like Jogis; they beg in the bâzârs, demanding a pice from every shop; they go about ringing bells, they carry peacock feathers in their hands and 4 sing songs in praise of Siva."

Beliefs and customs

Of the sect in the hills Mr. Atkinson writes- "They acknowledge the spiritual supremacy of Bâsava (Vrishabha), who was minister of Bijjala Deva, Kalachîri Râja of Kalyâna, and murdered his master in 1135 A.D. Bâsava wrote the Bâsava Purâna, and his nephew the Channa Bâsava Purâna, which are still the great authorities of he sect. They style themselves Puritan followers of Siva under the form of a linga, and all others idolators. They say that they reverence the Vedas and the writings of Sankara Achârya, but they reject the Mahâbhârata, Râmâyana and Bhâgavata as the invention of Brâhmans. They consider both Sankara Achârya and Bâsava as emanations of Siva. Bâsava himself was a Siva Brâhman and devoted himself to the worship of Siva under form of a linga, as worshipers of many gods, goddesses, deified mortals, and even of cows, monkeys, rats and snakes. He set aside the Veda as the supreme authority, and taught that all human beings are equal, and hence men of all castes, and even women, can become spiritual guides to the Jangamas.

Marriage is imperative with Brâhmans, but permissive only with the followers of Bâsava. Child marriage is unknown. A widow is treated with respect and may marry again, though, while she is a widow, she may not retain the jacket, perfumes, paints, black glass armlets, nose and toe rings, which form the peculiar garb of the married women. A Jangama always returns a woman's salutation, and only a breach of chastity can cause her to lose her position.

1. Hindu Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies, 1897 ed. p. 118

2 See Crooke.

3. Monier Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism , 88.

4. Maclagan, Panjâb Census Report , 116.

They are also called Víra Saiva, to distinguish them from the Arâdhya, another division of the worshippers of Bâsava, who call themselves descendants of Brâhmans and could not be induced to lay aside the Brâhmanical thread, the price of assuming which requires the recital of the Gâyatri or hymn to the Sun. Hence the Jangamas regard this section as idolators and reject their assistance. Those who totally reject the assistance of Brâhmans are called Sâurânya and Visesha. The Sâmânya or ordinary Jangama may take wine and betel and may eat in anyone's house, but can marry only in his own caste. The Visesha is the Guru or spiritual preceptor of the rest. The lesser vows are addressed to the linga, the Guru and the Jangama brother in the faith. The linga represents the deity, and the Guru breathes the sacred spell into the ear and makes the neophyte one with the deity; hence he is reverenced above the natural parents. The lingas in temples are fixed there and are hence called Sthâvira; the lingas of Bâsava are called Jangama, or "able to move about," and the followers Jangama are living incarnations of the linga . The Arâdhyas retain as much of the Brâhmanical ceremonial as possible; they look down on women and admit no proselytes. They call themselves Vaidika and say that the Jangams are Vedabahyas. The latter declare that every one has a right to read the Veda for himself and that the Arâdhyas are poor blind leaders of the blind, who have wrested the Scriptures to the destruction of themselves and others. The Jangama worships Siva as Sadasiu, the form found in Kedâr, who is invisible, but pervades all nature. By him the linga is worshipped as a reliquary and brings no impure thought. He abhors Mâya or Kâli, who is one with Yona, and is opposed to licentiousness in morals and manners. He aims at release from earthly lusts by restraining the passions; he attends to the rules regarding funerals, marriages, and the placing of infants in the creed, and is, as a rule, decent sober and devout. Burial is substituted for cremation, and Brâhmans are set aside as 1 priests."

The Jangamas in Benares, who call themselves Víra Saiva or Lingadhâri, profess to be the followers of VíraBhadra, the son of Mahâdeva. In this sect are found Brâhmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sîdras, Sannyâsis, and Achâryas. Unlike other Hindu sects, it binds all members in a bond of brotherhood. There are ascetic as well as house-keeping members. They will not eat or drink from the hands of other castes or sects, but they avoid Doms, Chamârs and similar menials, even if they belong to the sect. On the twelfth day after a child is born one of the house-keeping (grihastha) Jangamas comes and worships a miniature linga with an offering of sandal-wood (chandan), washed rice (achchhat), flowers, and incense, and ties the linga round the neck of the infant. This linga remains with the child all its life and even accompanies him to the grave. When the child is five years old the initiation rite is done in following way: a holy square (chauk) is made on which is placed a sacred water jar (kalas). The Guru or Mahant sits in the square and his feet are worshipped with an offering of sandal-wood, holy rice, flowers, a lamp and sweetmeats. The neophyte bathes and puts on a sheet of silk (pitâmbar), or, in default of this, a wet loin cloth, and smears his forehead with ashes. The formula of initiation- Om namah Sivay- is whispered into his ear. After this, if the child is intended to live a worldly life, he is kept at home; if he is intended to be an ascetic, he is made over to the Mahant, who takes him to his monastery, and for a year or two teaches the rules of the Siva linga worship.

To make him a perfect Jangama he is initiated for a second time. A week or so before the day fixed for the ceremony the Guru sends an invitation to the other members of the sect, and a special invitation is sent to the Guru of another monastery asking him to attend with Siddheswara Deota. The Guru of every monastery has an image of this deity, which is made of ashes and is regarded as the family deity. When all are present, a square is made in which the Guru sits. The neophyte is shaved by a barber and after bathing and putting on a silken robe he sits before the Guru. The worship of Siddheswara is performed in the same way as the worship of the Guru at the first initiation, and the same mantra is whispered again into the ear of the lad, after which he prostrates himself three times before the Guru. A feast to the brethren follows, and the ceremony ends with the presentation of money and

1. Himalayan Gazetteer , II, 862, sqq.

clothes, to the Guru who has brought the image of Siddheswara. After this the lad is known as kânaka ki murti, or "the golden image," and a full disciple of his Guru.

The Guru may have as many disciples as he pleases, and from among them he chooses his successor. When a disciple is appointed successor to the Guru he is called Pati, "Lord," or Chariti, "Minister." Sometimes one, sometimes two, persons hold these two posts. When he is appointed successor of the Guru, the worship of Siddheswara is performed as at his initiation. A burnt sacrifice (koma) is done and all the members present, following the Mahant who brings the image of Siddheswara, mark the forehead of the candidate and offer him costly presents, and all fall down on the ground before him.

Jangamas are generally wealthy people, and many of them own landed property. The worldly members of he sect marry in their own caste, but only with members of the sect. Their ceremonies are performed just like those of ordinary high-class Hindus. The mendicant members dress like Sannyâsis. Some wear long locks (jata); others shave their heads and moustaches. They wear clothes dyed in ochre and earrings (kundal) of Rudrâksha beads. They have a miniature linga round the neck. The Mahant wears usually a turban dyed in ochre, and he never wears shoes, but sandals (kharaun). The worldly members may dress as they please; the only mark of their sect which they carry is a miniature linga in small box of gold, silver, brass, or copper, which is tied in a piece of cloth on the neck or right wrist.

They bury their dead in the following way: the corpse is washed and dressed in the clothes worn during life. Then the whole is smeared over with ashes and a necklace of Rudrâksha beads tied on it. It is then seated on a stool in a sitting posture and worshipped as a form of Mahâdava with sandal, holy rice, flowers, etc. Songs are sung before it; texts of the Scriptures recited and musical instruments played. This goes on for a whole day or more, and large sums are spent in charity. The grave is dug from north to south and is two and a half yards is length and one and a half yards broad. On the north side steps are made, and on the southern side a small room is dug with a bricked arch for a doorway leading into the grave. The corpse, with loud cries of "Mahâdeva, Mahâdeva," is brought into the side-room, seated on a sort of chair (chauki) and placed facing the north. It is worshipped with sandal-wood, holy rice, flowers, leaves of the bel tree and ashes. In this room are placed all the articles which an ascetic Jangama needs in his lifetime. The whole corpse is then covered with ashes and bel leaves. The room is then closed with a wooden door leaving the corpse inside and the grave is filled up with earth. The only succeeding ceremonies are on the second and thirteenth day; on the second day the members of the sect are fed; on the thirteenth there is a second feast for members of the sect as well as for outsiders. Sayyadâna or "bed gifts," which correspond to the gifts made to a Mahâbrâhman at a Hindu funeral and intended for the use of the spirit in the other world, are among the Jangamas made to a member of the sect. Over the chamber in which the corpse is placed a mound (samâdhi) is raised, and on it is placed a linga of Mahâdeva, which is daily worshipped.

One of the chief duties of the members of the sect is to revere the Mahant like a deity. All orders issued by him must at any cost be obeyed. Whenever they meet him, whether the place be clean or foul, they must prostrate themselves before him. They have nothing to do with Brâhmans in their religious or domestic ceremonies. Those who beg ask only for uncooked food. They beg in the name of Mahâdeva. All of them abstain from animal food and intoxicating liquor. They do not care to look on any one who does not wear a necklace of Rudrâksha beads; if they cannot wear these beads, they mark the forehead with ashes. Almost the whole day is spent in devotion, the result of which they believe will be ultimate absorption is Sankar or Mahâdeva. They are respectable people, and particularly object to any member of the sect doing immoral acts.

Jarawa.: -It is a hunting semi-nomadic group. They are negritos in the Andaman Island. They still live in a kind of %primitive‘ way. Men and women do not wear clothes and they do not have a written language.
Jashodhis.: -or Karohlas. They live in central India. They are religious mendicants. In the past they were known as singers of sacred hymns of the Gonds. Now the Jashodhis sing the hymns to Kali.
Jasondhi.: -See Bhat.
Jât.: -An important agricultural tribe found chiefly in the western part of the Province in 1 the Meerut and Rohikhand divisions and in smaller numbers in the Central Duâb .

Origin. The traditions of the tribe do not throw much light on their origin. According to one story, at one time when Himâchal was performing a great sacrifice he invited all the gods to be present except his son-in-law Mahâdeve. His wife Pârvati heard of this from her husband, and was obliged to go alone. When she arrived she found that no seat and no share of the offerings had been allotted to her spouse; so she was wroth, and threw herself into the sacrificial fire, where she was consumed to ashes. When Mahâdeva heard of this he was consumed with anger, and untying his long hair (jata) dashed it on the ground. Instantly a powerful being arose and stood with folded hands before the god to do his bidding. Mahâdeva ordered him to go at once and destroy the sacrifice of Himâchal. He carried out the order and was named Vírabhadra, from whom are descended the race of the Jâts, and they take their name from the matted hair (jata) of the lord Mahâdeva. All the Jâts of these provinces have more or less vague traditions that they originally came form the Panjâb or Rajputâna. Thus in Mathura they assert that they originally migrated from Bayâna to Hissâr and thence made their way down the Jumna. In Bijnor they fix their original home at Dhâranagar, whence they came under the leadership of Râja Jagat Deva. Others in Bijnor refer their origin to Udaypur. By another account, when Muhammad Ghori conquered Chithor, two of the fugitives escaped, one in the direction of Nepâl, and the other wandering through Ajmer, Bikânor and Delhi arrived at Míranpura, a village in the Muzaffarnagar District. Thence he came to Jhandapur, near Bijnor, and warred with the Kalâls, who then ruled the land. They overcame him and killed his whole family, except, as is the stock incident in many tribal legends, a pregnant woman who escaped to her father's house at Dhanaura in the Rohtak District, where she gave birth to a son named Dasanda Sinh. A musician took pity on the lad and brought him to the court of the Emperor at Delhi, who sent a force with him to Bijonr and restored him to his family estates. An attempt has been made to trace the ethonological connections of the Jâts much further than 2 this. Thus General Cunningham identifies them with the Xanthii of Strabo and the Jatti of Pliny and Ptolemy, and fixes their parent country on the banks of the Oxus between Bactria, Hyrkania and Khorasmin. In this very position there was a fertile district irrigated from the Margus river, which Pliny calls Zotale or Youthale, which he believes to have been the original seat of the Jattii or Jâts. "Their course from the Oxus to the Indus may, perhaps, be dimly traced in the Xuthi or Dionysius of Samos and the Zuthi or Ptolemy, who occupied the Karmanian desert on the frontier of Drangiana.

1 See Crooke. Based on information obtained at Sahâranpur and notes by Mr. P. J. Fagan, C. S.; M. Atma Râm.

Head Master, High School, Mathura ; Chaudhari Dhyân Sinh, Morâdâbâd ; the Deputy Inspectors of Schools,

Bijnor, Bulandshahr, Meerut.

2 Archoelogical Reports , II., 55 .

They may have been best known in early times by the general name of their horde as Abars instead of by their tribal name as Jâts. According to this view, the main body of the Jattii would have occupied the district of Abiria and the towns of Pardabathra and Bardaxema in Sindh, while the Panjâb was principally colonised by their brethren the Mess." On this Dr. Pritchard writes: "The supposition that the Jats or Jâts of the Indus are descendants of the Yuetschi does not appear altogether preposterous, but it is supported by no proof except the very trifling one of a slight resemblance of names. The physical characters of the Jâts are very different from those attributed to the Yuetschi and the kindred tribes by the writers cited by Klaproth and Abel Remusat, who say they are of sanguine complexions with blue eyes." Others have attempted to identify them with the Kshatriyas tribe of the Jâtharas; but in opposition to this Mr. 1 Growse argues that their home is always placed in the south-east quarter, while it is certain that the Jâts came from the West. By another theory they are identified with the Jarttika, who with the Bahíka and Takka are said to have been the original inhabitants of the Panjâb. They were in the time of Justin known as Aratta, i.e., Arashtra, or "people with a king," and are 2 represented by the Adraistae of Arrian who places them on the banks of the river Ravi. 3 According to Mr. Nesfield's theory, the word Jât is nothing more than the modern Hindi pronunciation of Yadu or Jâdu, the tribe in which Krishan was born, which is now represented by the modern Jâdon Râjputs.

Connection of Jâts and Râjputs.

The opinion of the best Indian authorities seems to be gradually turning to the belief that the connection between Jats and Râjputs is more intimate than was formerly supposed. Thus, writing of Hissâr, Mr. P. J. Fagan says: "It would probably require a lifetime of careful study and comparison before we could reach any satisfactory decision in the question whether Jâts and Râjputs are identical, similar or distinct races. The popular native account of the matter is simple enough; the Jâts, in common with many of the other tribes, are, according to the common opinion of the country side, Râjputs who have fallen in the social by infringing the rules forbidding the marriage of widows, enforcing the seclusion of women, and the like. In regard to customs, religious and social, Jâts and Râjputs are very similar; whatever differences are apparent in the latter are the very grounds assigned for their lower social position. My opinion is that we cannot properly set aside the weight of common tradition on the point, and I think we must hold that within certain limitations Jâts and Râjputs were originally one race; but that, instead of the Râjput remaining stationary and the Jât falling in the social scale, it is the Râjput who has risen, while the Jât has remained stationary or risen only slightly." And he goes on to hazard the theory that of the two sub-divisions, the Sivagotra represent the non-Aryan and the Kâsib or Kasyapa gotra the Aryan part of the tribe. 4 To much the same effect Mr. Ibbetson writes :"It may be that the original Jât and the original râjput entered India at different periods in its history, though to my mind the term Râjput is an occupational rather than an ethnological expression. But if they do originally represent two separate waves of immigration, it is at least exceedingly probable both from their almost identical physique and facial character, and from the close communion which has always existed between them, that they belong to one and the same ethnic stock; while, whether this be so or not, it is almost certain that they have been for many centuries, and still are, so intermingled and so blended into one people that it is practically impossible to distinguish them as separate wholes. It is, indeed, more than probable that the process of fusion has not ended here, and that the people who thus resulted from the blending of the Jât and the Râjputs, if these two were ever distinct, is by no means free from foreign elements.

1Mathura , 8.

2Cunningham, Bhilsa Topes , 89.

3Brief View , II., sq.

4Panjâb Ethnography , paras. 421 422.

We have seen how the Pathân people have assimilated Sayyids, Turks and Mughals, and how it was sufficient for a Jât tribe to retain its political independence and organisation in order to be admitted into the Biloch nation; we know how a character for sanctity and exclusiveness combined will in a few generations make a Quraish or a Sayyid; and it is almost certain that the joint Jât-Râjput stock contains not a few tribes of aboriginal descent, though it is probably in the main Aryo Skythian, if Skythians be not Aryans. The Mân, Her and Bhîlar Jâts are known as 'asl or 'original' Jâts, because they claim no Râjput ancestry, but are supposed to be descended from the hair (jata) of the aboriginal god Sive; the Jâts of the south eastern divide themselves into two sections-Sivgotri, or of the family of Siva, and Kâsibgotri, who claim connection with the Râjputs; and the names of the ancestor Bar of the Sivgotries and of his son Barbara are the very words which the ancient Brâhmans give as the marks of the barbarian aborigines. Many of the Jât tribes in the Panjâb have customs which apparently point to non-Aryan origin, and a rich and almost virgin field for investigation is here open to the ethnologist.

"But whether Jâts and Râjputs were or were not originally distinct, and whatever aboriginal elements may have been affiliated to their society, I think that the two now form a common stock, the distinction between Jât and Râjput being social rather than ethnic. I believe that those families of that common stock whom the tide of fortune has raised to political importance have become Râjputs almost by mere virtue of their rise; and that their descendants have retained the title and its privileges on the condition, strictly enforced, of observing the rules by which the higher are distinguished from the lower castes in the Hindu scale of precedence, of preserving their purity of blood by refusing to marry with the families of lower social rank, of rigidly abstaining from widow marriage, and of refraining from degrading occupations. Those who transgressed these rules have fallen from their high position and ceased to be Râjputs; while such families as, attaining a dominant position in their territory, began to affect social exclusiveness and to observe the rules, have become not only Râjas, but Râjputs, or 'sons of râjas.' " In addition to all this there is good reason to suspect that the modern Jât race has become 1 under the influence of infanticide very much intermixed. From a recent Report it would seem that Jâts are much addicted to purchasing girls of low caste and passing them off among their friends as genuine girls of the tribe and then marrying them. This, of course, much weakens the force of any available evidence from anthropometry in settling the ethnological affinities of the tribe.

Physical appearance.

2 Of the tribe in Râjputâna a competent obserber; Dr. Breton, writes : "In physique the Jâts are generally of fair height, but below the average of Râjputs or other castes. Their chest measurement and weight are in fair proportion to their height; the extremities, especially the lower, are often disproportionate to their abnormal length. The women are of very strong physique, exceeding men in this respect, proportionately speaking. They are not remarkable for personal beauty, but some have very fine figures. They are most industrious and contented, work in the fields, etc., but are said to rule their husbands. The prevailing complexion is fair and the colour of the eyes dark; the hair is dark, fine, and straight; beard and moustaches scanty, and the former not usually worn. The crania are of tolerably fair size and shape, often elongated, altogether a lower type than the Brâhman skull. Their intellectual faculties are not brilliant, partaking more of shrewdness and cunning than ability.

They are said to possess courage and fidelity, are industrious and persevering in their habits, and are of an agile and muscular frame."

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