Kawad Rush is going on. It’s really a wonderful time. Schools and colleges of affected villages are off for at least a week. During this time, the Kawadiyas perform a ritual of walking from their hometown to Haridwar or any other place where River Ganga flows. There they fill their containers with Gangajal and offer it to either their Ishta Devta or Pura Mahadev in Baghpat from which the legend is associated.
Due to the teachers being busy with the admission procedure, classes are not going on in the college, so I’m at home for a week. Today, I decided to visit, Shiv Chowk, the busiest square of our city to see the hullabaloo of Kawad Rush. As it is usually crowded, taking my camera (Nikon D3200) there is not feasible. I’ve clicked all the pictures on my phone, i.e, Samsung Galaxy J8 which is also available on Amazon.
There are various aspects of this tradition which I want to discuss. Some have completely diverted from the mainstream culture.
|Kawads adorning Shiv Chowk, Muzaffarnagar. Shot on Samsung J8.|
Guidelines For Kawadiyes (People who carry Kawads)
1. Don’t Smoke Or Drink
Taking Kawad is basically a Tap or Sadhana, so if as a kawadiya, you’re smoking, you’re perhaps creating a hindrance in your Bhakti yourself. Your family is fasting and following rituals at home. Don’t make it just a holiday or vacation. It’s your devotional tour.
If possible, fast or live on a Sattvic diet.
2. Don’t Play Minor Arc
You must first of all know, what I’m talking about. There are two types of arcs in this regard, Major Arc and Minor Arc.
Major Arc produces soft music which is relaxing and soothing whereas Minor Arc is a music with unnecessary noise and is banned by most of the religious institutions of the world. It leads to restlessness.
So with your Kawad, be careful about what music are you playing. Provide ease to the people around you.
3. Daak Kawad
It’s my own opinion, decision is upon you. Daak Kawad is not a part of our mainstream culture. Moreover, many of them believe that vehicle shouldn’t be stopped. This becomes a cause of many accidents.
4. Behave Properly
Many Kawadiyes start fighting in the camps if they’re not satisfied with the service. This is really bad. Because of a selected few, the reputation of entire community of Kawadiyas comes at stake.
If you’re carrying a Kawad and take a break at a camp, you should show some gratitude to the benefactor for providing you those services. What would have happened if you found no camp to stop or stay? It would have been very difficult for you. If you’re capable, you can donate either in cash or kind to cheer them up to carry on the service unstoppably.
|Kawadiyas lying down on the road at Shiv Chowk, Muzaffarnagar. Shot on Samsung J8.|
Guidelines For Visitors
1. Don’t come in their way
If you come in their way, it would be quite inconvenient for them. They’re after all carrying Kawads which are indeed heavy. You’re just breaking their momentum with that kind of act.
2. Don’t Litter
Sometimes, because of no camp around, Kawadiyes have to sleep on roads; so if you litter on roads you’re creating trouble for them. Even if they’re not resting there and just passing from there, unhygienic environment is not impressive.
This one is optional. You can donate in cash or kind to a Kawad Camp or you can also organize one on your own.
|Shiv Mandir at Shiv Chowk, Muzaffarnagar. Shot on Samsung J8.|