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Garba is a festival of the young generation dancing with reverence and devotion –

Prabha Pareek

Chaitra and Ashwin Navratri across India is for the worship of Shakti – be it in the form of Goddess Durga, Lord Rama or Lord Shiva. There are variations in every province. In these days, the Garba dance of Gujarat represents the rich art of spirituality, song, dance and drama of India. Like in the state of Gujarat, Navratri of Ashwin month is the festival of worship of Mata Amba. By fasting or fasting for nine days, the character of Ram is praised, worshiped and worshiped in the form of Garba, Goddess Durga and Radha Krishna in the form of Dandiya Raas. According to the famous writer Avinash Vyas, when humans gave voice to the music produced by nature, the song was born and the voice automatically became rhythmic. Whenever the rhythm came together, someone gave tune with strings and someone with musical instruments, and gradually folk music was born. Let us tell you that Navratri festival has special significance in Hindu religion. According to the Hindu calendar, there are four Navratras in a year – two Daiva Navratras fall in the month of Chaitra and Ashwin, while there are also two Gupta Navratras.

Gujarat’s supernatural garba

During the holy nine days of Navratri, we worship the Mother Goddess, who was born from the power of all the Gods, who killed Chand-Munda in a jiffy, who killed Mahishasura, who is rightly worshiped in the hearts of the Gods. He is fierce and also worshiped in a romantic form. Kali is the form for the destruction of demons. People believe that Tripur Sundari, worshiped with the affection of the devotees, comes to Arasur Chowk in her invisible form to play Garba among the devotees, acknowledging the call of the devotees. In fact, during the holy days of Navratri, when women dance in traditional attire with sixteen adornments, the dust rising from their footsteps covers the sky and their form actually appears to be like the graceful and gentle Amba. Gujarati women playing Garba pray to Dholi that ‘Dholida Dhol Dheemo Dheemo Bagad Maa, Rathiani Ratdi No Jo Jo Rang Jaye Na’ i.e. Dholi, you play the drum slowly, so that the color of this beautiful night does not fade away.

Combination of spirituality, music and dance

The Garba of Navratri of Aso month removes the monotony of life and inspires joy. The light of the lamp drives away darkness and despair. This festival of dancing and singing of Gujaratis, devotees of Maa Amba, attracts the whole world due to its colourful, fun and song-dance. Navratri is a festival of Gujarat whose festival Garba is celebrated separately in each district. The word Garba is a corruption of the Sanskrit word Garbhadeep. Although Garba is a popular dance style of Gujarat but Garba is not just the name of the dance, Garba is established, Garba is danced and Garba is also sung i.e. Garba is the coordination of spirituality, music and dance.

Deep Ghat with 27 holes

The actual form of Garba is Chchidra Deep Ghat which is called Garbhadeep. Which is established on the first day of Navratri. It can be of clay, brass or any metal. Within which four lights (Chaumukhi) are lit. There are 27 holes made in this Ghat which are considered as 27 Nakshatras. This porous womb is called Garba. Along with this, five mango leaves along with water are placed in a container made of copper, brass and bronze and quince (one-sided coconut is considered the best) is decorated with a beautiful chunri and it is installed on a heap of wheat. At the time of establishment, Panch paddy is grown in soil along with water in an earthen vessel. Which is called growing mother’s tide. Their development every day is seen as the happiness and prosperity of the Goddess, which is called Garba Sthapana.

amazing spiritual feeling

The women of Gujarat worship the Goddess rigorously for nine days by fasting or fasting. Then Akhand Deep is kept in the house. The light that comes from the holes of the lamp destroys viruses. It produces wonderful spiritual feelings that lead to positivity. If outside the house, the dance is performed around this established ghat. Garbha songs full of devotion to Mother Shakti are sung with harmony and rhythm. In fact, the women revolving around the lamp are revolving around the power which Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh themselves worship. This divine feeling seems to assure the end of the troubles – as if the real power is rotating, day and night, birth and death and happiness and sorrow are rotating. This is our life force communication.

raga based lyrics and rhythm

The lyrics and rhythm of Garba are based on raga. Even the famous aarti of Ambe Maa ‘Jai Ambe Gori, Maiya Jai ​​Shyama Gori’ sung daily is based on Raga Khamas. The raga that pleases Amba by making three claps during the Aarti is elegance. Which is written by the medieval Gujarat poet Vallabh Bhatt. The famous Anand Ka Garba of total 118 episodes is also his composition which is sung in every house. This singing can be done solo or in a group. In the words of Garbe, there is praise about Mataji’s places situated in Gujarat like Gabbar, Chachar Chowk, Arasur, Shankhalpur etc. Ancient poets have composed beautiful Garbhas to praise these places and Mother Ambe.

Along with musical instruments, the dress is also special

While dancing, clap, chutki, khanjari, danda, manjira etc. are used. Playing dholak, tabla and flute along with singing makes it more melodious. Garba of two claps is called Heench and Garba of three claps is called Hamchi or Ulaniyo. The clothes worn while performing Garba are specially made with Gujarati embroidery like Kachhi Bharat, Abhala Bharat, Rabari Bharat, Reshmi Bharat etc. Jewelery made of beads, beads, glass, shells and black thread and wool has made its mark across the world. At the time of Garba dance, men, women and children all participate wearing traditional attire like saree, chaniya choni (lehenga), Odhani, kediyu, dhoti, kurta, jacket, dodo. Garba songs have been divided according to time into ancient Garba and modern Garba.

social norms

Garba is a social festival as well as a family festival. The elders of the house are also present there. On this occasion in Saurashtra, all the brides of the house are seen enjoying it even while wearing a veil on their faces. The Nagar Brahmin community of Jamnagar has a tradition of performing divine marriage during Navratri, which is called Shiva-Parvati marriage. On this occasion, ‘Baitha Garba’ is organized in every house in which women set up Garba at one place and worship the Goddess by sitting and singing Garba with devotion.

Garba on all auspicious occasions

This Garba of Gujarat is performed with the same grandeur in Gujarati society on every auspicious occasion apart from Navratri. Garba is organized in Madvani on the occasions of birth of children, marriage etc. It is a symbol of the temple of Madvani Mata. The women of the house dance with this Madvani on their heads. Madvani means decorating a platform by giving it the shape of a house in a triangular shape and installing Garba inside it. According to the belief of Mother’s Sthanak, Madvani is prepared. Dancing with the head on while singing Garba. This grand form of Garba which is seen today was not like that earlier. Instead of this, Shari Garba i.e. Mohalla Garba was performed. In the big square of the village or locality, the courtyard would be plastered with cow dung and decorated by painting with chalk and ochre. The atmosphere was given a spiritual form by tying Ashopalav’s pylons all around. On the beat of dholak, manjire and khartal and applause, men, women and children all used to sing and dance together. One woman would sing in a loud voice and the others would follow her and support her in voice. This bright night drenched in devotion seemed as if God himself was present among them. Its form changed with time. In fact, the beautiful coordination of raga, voice, rhythm, dance and costume, this Garba of Gujaratis is the jewel of Gujarat state.

Where did Garba come from?

According to a story from the Mahabharata period, the demon named Banasur had a beautiful and bright daughter, Usha, who was married to Pradyumna, the grandson of Shri Krishna. It is believed that Usha learned Lasya dance from Mother Parvati during her pregnancy. Let us tell you that one style of dance is Roudra and another is Lasya. When Usha came to Dwarka after marrying Pradyumna. Then on the occasion of some festival she performed this Lasya style dance which she also taught to her friends. This is the Garba dance which later spread throughout Gujarat. After getting time, the women of Gujarat spread this dance style full of beauty, tune and rhythm throughout the country. Later, this Garba dance was appreciated and accepted all over the world. Just as Lord Krishna fascinated everyone with the tune of his flute, in the same way this Garba of Gujarat has made the young men and women all over the world crazy about this dance.

Changing form of Garba of Gujarat

Today Garba has moved out of home and village and has reached halls and parties. Musical parties (orchestras) have replaced solo and group singing or groups. DJs have come in place of dholak-harmonium. Ear-splitting music. The bright light of lamps has been replaced by harsh digital lights. Change the type of decoration. Advertisements have commercialized Garba. Instead of worship and devotion to Maa Durga, Garbe has now become a festival of colors for the young generation who dances and sings with joy. The surprising and good thing is that our brothers and sisters settled abroad still do it with devotion. Perhaps the reason for this may be that by the time he left this country, the real form of Garba had settled in his mind. Now the attire of this youth Garba festival has changed, the steps have changed. Now it is not necessary to move around in a circle because there is no Garba established anywhere, nor is it necessary to clap. Garba’s sweet words filled with the worship of Mother Goddess have now included topics like Panghat, fairs, river banks, adornment and separation.

But it is also true that modern Garba has attracted the youth of the entire world. Now in every country, the Garba of Navratri is definitely seen for a few days, in which foreigners along with Indians participate enthusiastically. In the present era of change in Garba, the initiative of the Nagar caste people of Jamnagar is commendable. The society of these people, descendants of Narsingh Mehta, still follows the principle of Kanku Kanya on the marriage of daughters. These people are maintaining the original traditions of Baitha Garba. Devotees of the Goddess, these people are the bearers of the priceless tradition of Gujarat.

more positive aspects

The form of Garba changed. When technology changed, makeup tools etc. everything changed. The worshipers are doing the same in their own way. But due to this Garba, many people are getting recognition, employment and culture is being spread well. This colorful, smiling face of the Vishwa Guru is also present in front of the world. Especially after the Corona period, Garba brought new enthusiasm and enthusiasm. The singers decided to give something good and new to the society by practicing better. Now the markets are filled with dresses. There is also an abundance of new accessories and jewelery this year. Now men have also started becoming conscious about makeup. Busy in experimenting with new steps. Apart from Garba, puja items, decoration of temples and the beauty of Mata’s colorful Gotedar Chunar are also visible in the markets. It is expected that this year’s Garba Mahotsav will have new enthusiasm and new colours.

The author is a litterateur.

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