Showing posts with label Juna Akhara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Juna Akhara. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Juna Akhara?

 Juna ("Old") Akhara - One of the seven subgroups of the Dashanami Sanyasis' Naga class of renunciant ascetics who are Shiva worshipers (bhakta).

The subgroups are called as akharas, and they are analogous to army regiments.

The Nagas were largely mercenary soldiers until the early nineteenth century, but they were also involved in mercantile trade; none of these qualities apply now.

The sage Dattatreya is revered as the Juna Akhara's "tutelary god," the principal deity from whom they learn; each of the akharas has a separate tutelary deity.

According to some reports, Bhairava was the Juna Akhara's patron god in the past, which would explain why the organization is also known as the Bhairava Akhara.

The present name's literal meaning and association with Bhairava suggest that it is quite ancient.

It is a vast organization that is only present in northern India nowadays.

It is assigned a low rank in certain regions because it admits members from poorer socioeconomic levels.

The Juna Akhara marched alongside the Niranjani Akhara in the bathing (snana) processions at the Kumbha Mela until the middle of the twentieth century, and was therefore regarded a minor portion of that akhara.

The Junas have been dissatisfied with their subordinate position for much of this century, despite having considerably more members than any other akhara.

The Junas first attempted to earn recognition as a distinct procession in 1903 during the Haridwar Kumbha Mela, but did not get it until 1962.

The akharas decided that the Junas would lead the Sanyasi processions during the Shivaratri bathing during a Haridwar Kumbha Mela.

However, on the other two main bathing days—the new moon in Chaitra and the Kumbha bath on April 14—the Niranjanis would be first.

This system fell apart at the 1998 Kumbha Mela in Haridwar, when the Junas asked that, as the biggest akhara, they be permitted to enter the Chaitra bath first.

This argument erupted into a full-fledged riot between ascetic groups and police on the day of the second bath, in which many people were injured.

The fear was that similar violence might return on the major bathing day, but when the Juna Akhara boycotted the bathing processions, the day passed without incident. 


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