What is Mata ka Jagran?
Mata ka Jagran is an event held by devotees of Durga Mata to sing her praises through the night. The word Jagran literally means "waking". It is usually led by one person who sings and then has a chorus to lead the crowd in singing and chanting along. Praises of "Jai Mata Di" (victory to the Goddess) and "Jaikara Sherawali Da, Bole Sache Darbar ki Jai!" are heard throughout the evening. A Jagran is usually hosted by an individual family or a religious organization and the preparations can range from very simple to extremely elaborate depending on the organizer's means.
|Example of elaborate Jagran|
An altar with an image of Durga is adorned with flowers, chuni (red and gold shawl), and jewelry. Traditional prasad (offerings) of fruit, puri, halwa and channa are offered to Mata and then distributed to the devotees after the Aarti. The most important part of the altar is the jyot (flame). The jyot symbolizes Mata's shakti (energy or power). Many devotees bring chunnis (shawls) to offer to the Goddess.
|Exampe of Mata ki Jyot|
|Mata ki Chuni|
What makes Jagran different from a regular puja or satsang? The songs sung are in a style called bhent. These are high energy songs that are sung in a very unique manner, non-stop, through the night. The bhent tell various stories about Mata in different forms. The Jagran, like all pujas, start with prayer and bhent to Ganesha before invocations to Mata. Though most bhent are dedicated to Durga Mata, there are many bhent dedicated to other dieties as well.
The most popular Jagran singer of this age is Narendra Chanchal. Here's a clip of him performing live:
(He also wrote a very interesting biography called The Midnight Singer.)
The Jagran ends with aarti (waving of the sacred flame) followed by prasad of puri (fried bread), halwa (semolina pudding) and chana (spiced chick peas).
|Puri, chana, halwa|
After putting up this picture, I think I know what I'm making for dinner tonight! It will be perfect to have while we listen to the online Jagran from 6:00 PM - Midnight on www.sattvicradio.com
Jai mata di