Folk Tales of Gujarat (and Jhaverchand Meghani)

by Vandana P. Soni | 2014 | 98,532 words

This study represents an English translation of the Gujarat Folk tales composed by Gujarati poet Jhaverchand Meghani (1896-1947). Meghani was born in Chotila and left an important landmark on the history of Saurashtra and Gujarat folklore, Indian poetry, journalism and other literary sciences....

Chapter 27 - Bhe Baras—[Abhay Baras]

At the end part of the shravan month, on the eleventh day of the darker part of the lunar month, mother of a daughter cooks dhebra.On the second day it is baras. That day is called Bhe Baras. A mother of a son observes this ritual. After taking bath she worships the bank. Which shore is worshipped?

The bank of a lake, the border wall of a big well which has a steps leading to its level, the bank of water well etc. is worshipped. They worship any water form like a river, a pond etc situated at the border of the village.

Why do they worship?

They worship for the welfare of the water form of their village or their city.

The first time this ritual of worshiping a water form of a village was observed by one mother of a son. There was one Vevariyo Vaniyo.

Vevariyo Vaniyo used to get the lake cleaned but there was no rainfall. The lake never got filled up with water. People of the village, animals of the village and birds of the village were getting unhappy without water.

Vevariyo Vaniya summoned many astrologers. ‘Astrologers please do astrological reading and predict how and when the water will flow in the water forms.’

The astrologer said, ‘offer Batriso’.

‘Who is Batriso?’

He is your son. He is your own grand son.

Vevariyo Vaniyo shuddered on hearing this suggestion. One year passed, three and four years passed. Vevariyo Vaniyo got very anxious, his mind and heart had no courage to do so.

During the fourth year the daughter-in-law went to her own parents‘home. She had a four year old son. She left the four year child under the care of a grand father.

During night, he made preparations for going. He made the boy sleep in the bag. He kept the full plate of sukhdi and also put one burning divo of pure ghee in the bag.

He carried the bag and buried into the lake. When he returned after burying the bag, soon the sky turned cloudy and black. Thunder and lightening started. Torrential rain was poured in. The lake of VevariyVaniyo miraculously over flowed with water on all the four sides.

In the morning, people of entire village reached at the spot enthusiastically. ‘Let’ s go brother, let us go, the lake of Vevario Vaniyo has brimmed over with water. Let us go to take bath.‘

The news that the lake of Vevariyo Vaniyo has over flowed with water spread in many villages.

The daughter -in -law came to knew at her parents‘home. ‘Lady, the lake of your in-laws’ house is over flowed with water. Most of people went to take bath into it.‘

‘Has the Lake of my father-in-law over flowed with water? I will go to take bath in it.’ She ran happily. She reached near the lake. The place was over crowded. ‘Side please, side please. Please give me place to bath into it. My in-laws’ lake has overflowed with water.‘

‘Oh, brother, see one bag is floating and it is coming here!’

One person said, ‘I saw the bag, so that bag is mine.’ The second one said, ‘It is mine.’ Everyone claimed for it. The daughter-in-law said, ‘Side please, the bag belongs to me as it comes out of the lake of my in-laws.’

‘Oh, brother, it belongs to no one. It will belong to that person near whom the bag will floatingly reach.’

‘True, brother, it is true.’

The bag floatingly came where the daughter-in-law was standing. ‘The bag belongs to a daughter-in-law; the bag belongs to a daughter-in-law!’

The daughter in-law opened the bag. Son was sitting inside the bag. The plate of Sukhdi was lying. The Lamp of pure ghee was burning.

The son jumped and gave a big hug to his son.

‘Son, how come you sat inside the bag?’

‘Mother, mother my grand father made me sleep in this. I do not know; what happened later on.’

The daughter-in-law happily went home by holding hand of her son. After reaching home, she saw that all the doors were shut.

Standing near the door she shouted, ‘Oh lady! Why are you sitting inside by keeping all doors shut? Our lake is overflowed with water. The whole human crowd has gathered there to take bath and why are you sitting by keeping all doors shut? Open the door, open the door.’

There was a pin drop silence in the house. ‘The daughter-in-law came, what answer shall we give her? We have killed her son.’

‘Open the door, baiji, you please open the door. Father-in-law, you please open the door.’

There was a small daughter in the house. ‘Daughter, please go and see through the crack in the door and check, is there a daughter-in-law or someone else?’

Daughter comes back after peeping through the crack. ‘Mother, grand father, sister-in law has come. Even son is also standing with her.’

They opened the door with surprise. Both son and daughter-in-law were seen. Tears rolled down from the eyes of Vevariya Vaniya .

‘Dear Daughter-in-law, we had committed a detestable act of killing your son. But due to power of your truth the lake got filled with water and due to your power of truth the son got the boon of life.’

Vevariyo Vaniyo touched the feet of his daughter-in-law.

Women who observe the ritual vow of Bhe Baras tell this story after taking their meal.

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