Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Randhal



By paying obeisance to Randhal Maa, most Gujarati families belonging to the Nagar Brahmin community usher in a new beginning whether it's in the form of a marriage between two people or the birth of a baby. 

Randhal was the wife of Suryanarayan, the Sun-God. According to the legend, Randhal's mother was getting very worried because her daughter had lost a lot of weight after she got married. Randhal explained to her mother that she had to wait long hours before her husband, Surya, would be back home for dinner. A real pativrata, she couldn't possibly eat a morsel before her husband ate. 

Her mother was worried and advised her to talk to her husband. When Randhal asked her husband to come back early, he said he couldn't because that would bring chaos into the world. She became very upset and told him that she would die of hunger if she were to go on this way. He scoffed at her. Right there, an ant climbed into a box. Randhal told Surya that the ant would die of starvation in the dark box. Surya told her that he would not let it die. Randhal shut the lid of the box tight. The next day, she found that the ant was still alive. She noticed that while closing the box, a grain of rice that was used to mark the red dot on her forehead had fallen into it. That was enough for the ant to survive. 

An embarassed Randhal turned into a white horse and ran out of her husband's house. Surya figured what had happened and he, in turn, also took on the avatar of a stallion and followed her. He danced before her and wooed her back. 

As with most Gujarati ceremonies, the puja of Randhal Maa is also celebrated by singing garbas (songs). Only, the women, after the ceremony, dance like horses in the honour of the Sun-God who loved his wife. They believe that if Randhal Maa is pleased, she will shower her blessings on the household.  

2 comments:

Devashree said...

It's been quite a number of times that my family has hosted this puja, but admittedly the story never sounded so interesting... Thanks.

Ramesh Narendrarai Desai said...

Thanks for the information on randhal (ma). I am a Nagar but so far i have not heard any of my relatives and friends worshipping Randhal (ma). May be a particular individual family is worshipping her but not the community as a whole. e.g. Nagars, as a whole, are Shiva bhaktas but my grandma was a vaishnavite. One can not generalize that all nagars are vaishnavites.