Deoghar: The centuries-long relationship between Deoghar, the land of Baba Baidyanath, and Mithila, the land of Mother Parvati, has kept both the places connected even today. Since Bholenath’s marriage with Mata Parvati, the daughter of Maharaj Daksh of Mithila, the people of Mithila consider themselves to be Baba’s saara (brother-in-law). Following this relationship and tradition, since ancient times, people of Mithilanchal come to Devghar, the city of Baidyanath, to offer Baba’s tilak on Basant Panchami. They are also called Tilakharua. From Mauni Amavasya itself, the process of Tilakharus coming to Babadham in groups continues. This time Basant Panchami is on 14th February. Tilak puja of Bholenath will be done on this day. Regarding this, Tilakharus have also started arriving in Babadham. Phag Geet and Holi will start in entire Mithila. This tradition of relations between both the places continues till today. Mithila residents leave home on foot carrying the traditional Kanwar a month in advance and on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya, after reaching Sultanganj, fill water with the Kanwar and leave for Babanagari on foot. After coming to Deoghar, these people first reach Baba temple. After that they circumambulate the temples located in the complex. After worshiping Baba, Mother Parvati, Kaal and Anand Bhairav in the temple, they go to Basukinath and worship.
According to the Kanwariyas, there is a tradition of doing the Kanwar Yatra on foot from home, applying Bhole Shankar’s Tilak along with living a life of simplicity. Just as Bholenath lives in the open sky, similarly his relatives live like him and participate in his worship, hence these people worship in the open sky.
All Tilakharuas who come to Baba’s court are equal.
Among the Tilakhars who come to Baba’s court, there are not only farmers but also doctors, professors, engineers from small to high-ranking posts and people from all walks of life, from poor to rich. But, here everyone arrives in the same group like a common devotee. Everyone has their own group and there is a treasurer in it. It is the responsibility of the treasurer to keep track of the expenses incurred on group food, puja and stay, collect money from everyone and handle every problem of the group in his own way. These people mainly live in Saraf School, R Mitra, B.Ed College, Pigeon Dharamshala, Animal Husbandry Department, Transport Department, Club Ground and other places in Baba Nagari.
Baba Mandir’s estate priest Shrinath Pandit tells that Baba Bhole Nath’s marriage took place on the day of Mahashivratri. Before this, Tilak puja of Baba was done by the girl’s side. Since then, Bholenath became a worshipable god for the people of Mithila. Even in colloquial language, people take Baba’s name only. Being from Kanya Paksha and to follow the tradition of Tilak Puja on the auspicious day of Basant Panchami, since then till today these people have been coming to Kanwar Yatra to participate in this puja. Every year people come to carry out the ancestral tradition.
The journey will conclude after Bhairav Puja
Every day is special for these Tilakharuas who come out of their homes for Tilak Puja. These people travel according to all the rules throughout the way. Food is cooked once at night. Before this, Bhairav is worshiped on the way. These people believe that Bhairav has special blessings in making this Mahayatra successful. Bhairav is also a form of Bholenath. Before Baba came to every Jyotirling, Bhairav came and took the responsibility of protecting the devotees and then Bholenath came. After the puja, all the separate groups of Kanwariyas perform special puja of Bhairav at their residence, offer gulal and apply it on each other and return after completing the journey.
The first Holi of newly married couples will start with Gulal applied on Tilak.
Holi of Mithilanchal will start after Bhairav Puja on Basant Panchami. On the day of Basant Panchami, after offering water to Baba Baidyanath, everyone will reach their stopping place, where during Bhairav Puja, after offering Gulal to Bhairav and offering the favorite food Laddus, Dhol and Kartal will also be worshipped. Along with this, the song of Phaag will start by applying Gulal to each other, which will continue till the day of Holi in the month of Phalgun. These people will take the gulal offered on Baba and Bhairav home with them. There will be Kujagra involved in the ancient tradition of Mithila. In this, newly married couples will celebrate their first Holi after marriage. Holi will be started by applying this gulal to both of them. Special worship of Baba will be done on Basant Panchami. Daily Kancha Jal Puja will start on Wednesday, Basant Panchami, after the Baba Temple opens early in the morning. Then, after Sardari Puja, the doors of the temple will be opened for common devotees to offer water. In the evening the curtain of the temple will be opened for worship. This puja will be in two parts. After opening the curtain, after wiping the Shivalinga with a muslin cloth, Baba Mandir Mahant Sardar Panda Shri Shri Gulab Nand Ojha will offer flowers to Baba. After this, Baba’s adornment puja will be stopped and Tilak puja will be organized in Lakshmi Narayan temple. Here, under the supervision of Baba temple healer Bhakti Nath Phalhari, the estate priest of Acharya temple, Shrinath Pandit Ojha ji will perform Tilak puja of Baba. After doing special puja and aarti etc., after offering gulal, Ojha ji will enter the sanctum sanctorum for Shringar puja. Here, after applying sandalwood etc. to Baba, Gulal will be offered to Baba. This tradition of offering gulal will continue till the full moon day of Holi Phalgun month.
Motichoor laddu and desi ghee will be offered in large quantities
On the day of Basant Panchami, special offering of Motichoor Laddus will be made to Baba and Kaal Bhairav by Baba Temple. Tilakharua will also offer laddus to Baba. Local ghee will be offered as a boil till around ten o’clock in the night. A drum is kept to lift the ghee offered to Baba. This ghee is used to light the Akhand lamp in the sanctum sanctorum of all the temples located in the complex including Baba’s sanctum sanctorum. During this period, so much ghee is accumulated that there is no shortage of ghee to light the lamp in the temple throughout the year.
Barricading done for the queue, speedydarshanam coupon rate will be Rs 500
Baba Temple and the district administration have made tight arrangements to provide easy water offering to Tilakharue who came to Baba Temple. A large number of police forces have been deployed for the day of Basant Panchami. For queue management, barricading has been done till Pandit Shivram Jha Chowk. At the same time, with the aim of providing better facilities to the devotees who want to take advantage of early darshanam, a separate holding point has been prepared in the convenience centre. On this day, the price of Speedydarshanam coupon has also been kept at Rs 500 per devotee. There is ongoing discussion on not allowing Kanwar to be kept in the temple premises. Every time during Basant Panchami, the Kanwariyas keep the Kanwar in the Baba temple premises till the water offering is done. In view of the difficulty that common people are facing in going from one temple to another because of Kanwar, the temple administration has discussed the arrangement of not allowing Kanwar to be kept in the temple. Preparations are also going on for this. According to the information received, a decision in this regard will be taken only at the last moment.
Devotees not only of Mithila but of entire Bihar have special attachment to Baba Mandir. There is maximum crowd of devotees coming here from Bihar during the 12 months. But, the celebration of Basant Panchami in Baba Nagari is different. These people come for Tilak Puja and stay outside. They inform us about their arrival and while leaving they give Dakshina together.
Munna Mishra, Priest
Tilakharuas come every year on Basant Panchami. These people are definitely in ordinary clothes, but most of them are educated and come to Deoghar on Basant Panchami to follow the tradition of their ancestors. There is no family whose members are not participating in this yatra.
Our family is the Panda of Mithilanchal. We are completely busy in this fair every year. My entire house is full of these Kanwariyas. The people who came with them live in Saraf School. After worshiping, these people call their Panda at the time of Bhairav Puja and after taking blessings, give Dakshina there. At present these people live as Baba’s brothers-in-law. Gajanand Panda
Those who come to this fair are not Kanwariyas but Baba’s Tilakharuas. He has a family connection with the fair. In this, most of the Kanwariyas contact the priests and inform about their arrival only after performing the puja themselves. Finally, at the time of leaving, after giving donations to the priest, he invites him to come to his house. Jayanand Khawade, Dani Panda
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