Shri Gogaji Maharaj (Jaharveer goga ji)
Also known as Gugga, Gogaji is the folk deity of Rajasthan, the state of India. With the blessing of Gorakhnath, the Guru, Gogaji was born in Dadrewa in Churu. Goga maharaj was born after his mother Bachchal worshipped the Guru Gorakhnath for 12 years for a child. Gogaji is rightly proclaimed as the eminent warrior hero of Rajasthan and not only Hindus, Muslims also honor him.
Being venerated as the saint or the ‘snake-God,’ Gogaji is called ‘Jaharveer/Jahar Peer’ among the Muslims and Hindus address him as ‘Goga.’ He is worshipped as the snake-God in Rajasthan and almost all the regions of Rajasthan has a special place or a sacred zone for worshipping him. Not only in Rajastha, but also the devotees may be found in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It is great to learn how an annual procession takes place in Gujarat just to honour the warrior God.
The Birth of goga maharaj
Goga maharaj was born to King Zewar and Queen Bachchal in the Churu district, Rajasthan. His earliest life was spent in Dadrewa village located on the Hissar-Bikaner Highway. Born as the member of Chauhan Clan, Gogaji was a real blessing to ‘Rani,’ who prayed to her Guru, day and night. The twin sister of ‘Rani’ decided to deceive Bachhal by usurping the blessing from Gorakhnath. She wore the clothes of Bachhchal and wished for the fruit from Guru. When the Queen came to know about this, she rushed to Gorakhnath and told him that she did not receive anything. To this, Guru replied that he has already given his blessings and informed the Queen how his sister was trying to deceive her. The Guru finally gave two Gugal candies to be given away to childless women. When Guru gave blessings to Rani, he clearly stated that her son would be very powerful and rule the two sons of Aunt, Rani Kachal.
Also Read: Kaila Devi: Maha-yogini-maha-maya
The powerful ruler jaharveer goga ji
Gogaji married to Shreeyal Roz, the daughter of King Sindha Singh. But then, it was unfortunate to learn that Gogaji’s two cousin brothers, Sarjan and Arjan were getting attracted towards Shreeyal. Finally, he killed them both and told this to Rani Bachchal, who got very angry. She decided never to see her son’s face again.
Another story surrounds Gogaji’s cousins and much is said about them. They were totally against Gogaji from before. Goga maharaj became the part of the conspiracy when the two cousins joined King Anganpal of Delhi. King Anganpal attacked Bagad with his two cousins and ultimately the two got killed. Jahaveer Gogaji killed them both, and finally, Gogaji spared the king. The territory of goga maharaj extended from Garra to Hansin and the capital of the Kingdom was Mahera.
Also Read: Jeen Mata
Gogaji: the most popular ‘Lok devta’
Gogaji is the most renowned ‘devta,’ who protects his worshippers from snakes and various other evils. All the villages of Rajasthan have ‘Than’ or ‘sacred place’ for worshiping him. The shrine of goga maharaj is referred to as ‘Gogamedi’ and comprises of one room building with the minaret on every corner and a grave carrying a symbol made up of bamboo featuring coconut, peacock plumes, coloured threads, hand fans, etc. On the 9th Bhadra, the symbol of Gogaji is worshipped. The symbol carries black snake painted on the walls. Worshippers take a ‘chhari’ or fly-flap round the village. Devotees pay too much respect to the image and offer ‘churma’ as ‘prasad.’ Savayians sing ‘Pir ke Solle,’ the devotional song in the honor of Gogaji. The Savayian community beat the deroos as an exclusive privilege reserved for the entire community.
The popular belief
When the Savayinans beat the deroos, it is believed that the spirit of Guggaji takes abode in the dancer, who can be seen lashing himself with the iron chains. On this very day of worship, that is, on the 9th of Bhadra, people open their rakhis. The rakhis are offered to Gogaji. Gogaji is offered ‘mithi puri’ and sweets and Gogaji blesses the devotees.
The Gogaji fair held at Gogamedi
In the Gogamedi, a grand fair is held to honor Gogaji. Gogamedi is around 359 km from Jaipur and is situated in the Hanumangarh district. The fair takes place in the month of August and is celebrated with great pomp. It is a popular belief that Gogaji went to Samadhi only in Gogamedi. One can see thousands of devotees paying homage to goga maharaj in the Bhadrapada month. The Gogaji fair lasts for 3 long days and commences from the ninth day of Bhadrapada and continues till the eleventh day of dark half of Bhadrapada. People during the procession or fair sing and dance while beating the drums and displaying multicolored flags or ‘nishans.’ It is a great sight to see people singing and dancing with multicolored beautiful flags in their hands to celebrate the occasion. People may also be seen lying with snakes around their necks. Jaharveer goga ji protects them from the snakes and various other troubles.
Also Read: Karni Mata: Incarnation of Goddess Durga
The annual ‘mela’ to worship Gogaji
Gogamedi is the site where Gogaji was cremated. To commemorate the famous ‘Devta’, an annual ‘mela’ is held during the Bhadrapad between August and September. Millions of devotees take part in the fair. Gogaji Temple is near to Fatehabad, Hisar.
Popular temples where Gogaji is worshipped
‘Mandir Shri Gogaji’ is the popular temple which is 950 years old. Being prepared and restored by Shri Ganga Singhji, the temple was meant to commemorate the local deity Shri Gogaji, who influenced the lives of people greatly. The temple, ‘Mandir Shri Gogaji,’ is the happy combination of both Muslim and Hindu style of architecture. Inside the temple, you can find the shrine and engraved statue of Gogaji. The statue of Jaharveer goga ji can be seen riding a horse with the snake around the neck and having a lance in hand.
Jaharveer goga ji, the Snake-God, is one of the five valiant martyrs or renowned peers, having great supernatural powers. The highly venerated God is capable of removing snake venom and curses. Not only in Rajasthan, in fact almost all the states and cities of India worship Shri Gogaji Maharaj. All your wishes can get fulfilled by praying to Gogaji.