Gajan or Charak or Neel puja in Bengal of Chaitra month
The fastivals of Bengal, Gajan, Charak and Neel puja has a special place even in modern age. It is celebrated mainly in rural Bengal. The festival is tilled celebrated mainly in the districts of Burdwan, Bankura, Birbhum.
Gajan hindu festival
Gajan is a hindu festival celebrated mainly on the last two days of the month of Chaitra and it is known as Chaitra Sankranti. But, there are gajan spans around a week starting at the last week of Chaitra continuing till the end of the Bengali year.
It is impossible to determine the actual period when Gajan started. However, the most accepted story of Gajan relates to the conversion of the Buddhist Monks to Hindusism. This reason the Gajan Started as ‘Dharmer Gajan’ and slowly took its way to ‘Shiber Gajan’ in the later Period. Few centuries ago it was generally celebrated by the scheduled cast communities in the rural Bengal like Bauri, Bagdi, Hari, Dom etc. but now it has gradually transformed in to a festival of Lord Shiber Gajan- the god of gods. Persons who are involved in the festival become a Shiva devotee and are respected by all.
Shiva devotee respected by all
Gajan celebration is performed by the male forces of Shiva, Neel or Dharmaraj with their respective consorts the Gajan’s involved person divided few team. The teams travels from village to village and collect the necessary items like paddy, oil, sugar, salt, honey and money etc.
Male forces of Shiva
Cosmeatic Shiva and Parvati
This puja or worship is done mainly by married woman who fast throughout the day and pour milk over the ‘Shiva Lingam’ at a Nearby Shiva Temple. The puja is done to please the lord and get his blessings for her husband and children.
The most intriguing part of Gajan festival is Charak puja. The posses of Charak puja is all about worshipping the Charak tree and the several acts performed by Charak Sanyasis around on a tree. A Charak Tree is actually the trunk of a tree and the trunk to be straight. The trunk height is around 30 to 40 feet.
Sanyasi priests pierce sharp hooks bodies of participating Sannyasis
The most amazing part is how Sanyasi priests pierce sharp hooks bodies of participating Sannyasis almost without any cut or injury and the bloodless piercing of sharp metals in the human body by the practitioner priests looks like a magic act. The Charak Tree is worshipped by Charak Sanaysis and then erected inside hole and is balanced by bamboos and the hook held Sanayasi then fly in a circular path by the ropes fast end to the Charak Tree on one end and to the hook on the other. Then the Sanayasis perform their penance acts. After these acts the Charak Tree is immersed in to the river or pond.
Verious tipes of Worshipping Sanyasis