New Delhi: Gone are the days, when urchins(group of young children) used to decorate their tesu-jhanjhi and roam around the neighbourhood humming songs and asking for goodies or donations.
However, till today, in a bid to keep the age old tradition alive, small children of the Vraja croon the tesu-jhanjhi song or geet:
“Tesu-Jhanjhi gaye bazaar, wahan se laaye aam ka achar;
mera tesu yahin adha, Khane ko mange dahi bada….”
(Tesu and Jhanjhi went to the bazaar, where they bought mango pickle,
My Tesu will stand here and he wants dahi bada to eat…)
Despite the tradition dying a slow death, Brajwasi children, through their songs, are keeping afloat a ritual that has been endangered by foreign cultural intrusion.
With the influx of western culture into the Indian society and Halloween getting popularized, the “Tesu-Jhanjhi” culture is gradually disappearing. Indian children staying glued to television and aping the western culture has further eclipsed the celebration.
Expressing nostalgia about tesu, Dhananjay Gautam, a Brajwasi , noted, “It is a lost culture which needs to be preserved.”
“The tradition of the tesu-jhanjhi is inspired by a story from Hindu epic Mahabharata”
What is the “Tesu”?
Tesu is a small toy made of sticks and clay head made by the small boys. The girls in turn have a small perforated clay pot with a lit earthen lamp inside it. They visit houses in their neighbourhood on the eve of the Navaratri and recite the traditional children’s song. Elated with the efforts they get rewarded with gifts and money.
On the day of Dusserra the children blindfold the Tesu-Jhanjhi and immerse them in a water body.
History of “Tesu”
“Tesu” has its origin embedded in the Mahabharata. Bhima’s grandson Barbarik chopped off his own head before the Mahabharata war at the request of Krishna. But he expressed his desire to witness the battle. Fulfilling his desire, Krishna placed Barbarik’s head atop a mountain overlooking the battlefield.
After vanquishing the Kauravas, the Pandavas argued on who made the greatest contribution in the war. Krishna came to the rescue and suggested that Barbarik’s head should judge the matter. Barbarik declared that Krishna with his strategy and his presence played the most crucial role in the battle. Pleased with Barbarik, Krishna blessed him that children would worship him in the Kaliyuga in the form of tesu. The tesu thus resembles the head of Barbarik and the jhanjhi resembles his body.
Hollywood vs Tesu
Fierce marketing by Hollywood has made Halloween popular in India. With metropolis in India celebrating Halloween, an age old tradition that has roots in our cultural history is getting sidelined. It is evident that the smart-phone generation is clearly turning a blind eye to our very own rituals. Halloween and “Tesu” are celebrated nearly at the same time. It is only because of marketing that Halloween elbowed out the latter.
It’s time for the the Indian youth to dig deep into the culture and start celebrating their own traditional festivals instead of Indianizing western festivals.
Once Lord Hanuman assumed a very rare form of Panch-Mukhi Hanuman to kill the demon Ahiravan
Hanuman was kind of a naughty kid in his childhood and he often used to tease the meditating sages in the forests
Agni blessed Lord Hanuman, Saying, “Fire will never burn you
Lord Hanuman was a passionate devotee of Lord Rama and one of the crucial characters in the various versions of the epic Ramayana found in the Indian subcontinent. The glorious tales of Lord Hanuman is also mentioned in several other texts, such as the Mahabharata, the Puranas, the Buddhist and Sikh texts.
As per several other texts, Lord Hanuman is also presented as an incarnation of Shiva. Hanuman is the son of Anjana and Kesari. He is also taken as the son of the wind-god Vayu, who according to several stories played a role in his birth.
The Hanuman Jayanti is also known as Hanuman Janam-Utsav. Hanuman Jayanti is a Hindu religious festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Sri Hanuman, who is immensely venerated throughout India and Nepal.
Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on different days in different parts of India. In many states, the festival is observed either in the day of Chaitra Pournimaa or in the month of Vaishakha. In a few states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated in the Hindu month of Margazhi.
The Hanuman Chalisa literally means forty Chaupais (chapter) on Lord Hanuman. It is a Hindu devotional hymn addressed to Lord Hanuman.
Traditionally, it was believed that Hanuman Chalisa was authored by 16th-century poet Tulsidas in the Awadhi language and is his best-known text apart from the Ramcharitmanas.
The word “Chalisa” is derived from “Chalis”, which means the number forty in Hindi. So does the Hanuman Chalisa has 40 verses.
Here, we have compiled some interesting facts about Lord Hanuman which will surely amaze you.
Lord Hanuman’s battle with Lord Rama
The sage Vishwamithra ordered Lord Rama to kill Yayati. Sensing the gravity of the situation, Yayathi pleaded Lord Hanuman for help. The Yayati was promised By Hanuman that he would save Yayati from any kind of danger.
In the battlefield, Lord Hanuman did not use any weapon. Hanuman stood chanting Rama’s name and the arrows from Lord Rama’s bow did not have any effect on him
Finally, Lord Rama had to give up and sage Vishwamithra relieved Rama of his word seeing the courage of Hanuman.
2. Hanuman’s hunger saga
Once Lord Hanuman visited Sita Mata in sage Valmiki’s cottage and expressed his desire to eat some food cooked by Sita. Sita Mata started cooking many dishes and started serving Hanuman.
But Hanuman’s hunger was unquenchable and the entire rations of the house were coming to an end and finally, Sita Mata had to pray Lord Rama. Then Lord Hanuman suggested Sita Mata serve a morsel with a Tulsi Leaf and then his hunger was finally satisfied.
Once Lord Hanuman assumed a very rare form of Panch-Mukhi Hanuman to kill the demon Ahiravan. Ahiravan was the younger brother of Ravan, who kidnapped Ram and Lakshman and took them to the Netherworld. The only way to kill Ahiravan was to extinguish 5 lamps in 5 different directions, which Lord Hanuman did with Panch-Mukhi form.
The other five faces of Hanuman, apart from himself are that of Narasimha, Garuda, Varaha and Hayagriva.
4. Demise of Rama
Lord Ram would have lived more only if Lord Hanuman wouldn’t have allowed Yama to enter Ayodhya to claim Ram.
Lord Ram diverted Hanuman’s attention by dropping his ring through a crack in the floor and asked Hanuman to fetch it back for him. Lord Hanuman immediately reached the land of serpents and asked their King for Ram’s ring and the king showed Hanuman a vault filled with rings all of which were Ram’s.
5. The curse on Hanuman
Hanuman was kind of a naughty kid in his childhood and he often used to tease the meditating sages in the forests. Finding Lord Hanuman’s unbearable acts, but realizing that he was but a child, the sages placed a mild curse on him by which he became unable to remember his own ability unless reminded by another person.
The curse of the sages is featured in Kishkindha Kanda and Sundara Kanda when Jambavantha reminds Hanuman of his abilities and encourages him to go and find Sita.
6. God’s blessing to Hanuman
After the birth of Lord Hanuman, Varuna blessed Lord Hanuman with a boon that he would always be protected from water and Agni blessed him, Saying, “Fire will never burn you.” Surya blessed him with two siddhis of yoga namely “Laghima” and “Garima”(“Laghima” could help him to attain the smallest form and with “Garima” the biggest form of life).
Vayu showered Lord Hanuman with more speed than he himself had and Yama (the God of Death) blessed him with a healthy life.
Hanuman is also appraised to be the brother of Bhima as they had the same father, Vayu. During the Pandavas’ exile, Hanuman masked as a weak and aged monkey to Bhima in order to subdue his arrogance.
Hanuman put his tail by blocking Bhima’s way. Bhima, unaware of his identity, tells him to move it out of the way but was refused by Lord Hanuman. Bhima wasn’t able to move the tail by himself, despite his great strength.
8. Mahabharata’s relevance
During the illustrious battle of Kurukshetra, Arjuna made his way into the battlefield with a flag displaying Hanuman on his chariot.
Earlier, after one of the encounters between Hanuman and Arjuna, Hanuman appeared as a small talking monkey before Arjuna at Rameshwaram, where Rama had built a bridge to cross over to Lanka.
Hanuman challenged Arjuna to build such a bridge alone when Lord Hanuman found out that Arjuna’s was wondering aloud at Rama’s taking the help of monkeys rather than building a bridge of arrows.