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

Hinduism - What Is The Niranjani Akhara?


Niranjani Akhara  is the name of a subgroup of the Dashanami Sanyasis' Naga class; a specific sort of renunciant ascetic.

The Dashanami Sanyasis are Shiva worshippers (bhakta) who are divided into akharas or regiments in the manner of an army.

The Dashanami Sanyasis' major occupation until the beginning of the nineteenth century was as mercenary warriors, while they also had significant trading interests; both of these have virtually vanished in modern times.

The Niranjani Akhara is one of the seven primary Dashanami Sanyasi akharas, and it is one of the most powerful, along with the Mahanirvani Akhara.

Their contrasting positions in the bathing (snana) processions during the Kumbha Mela festivals demonstrate this power: at Haridwar, the Niranjani Akhara goes first, followed by the Mahanirvani; in Allahabad, the sequence is reversed.

The Juna Akhara, rather than being a subsidiary of the Niranjani Akhara, became a distinct procession in 1962.

The Juna Akhara will lead the Sanyasi processions for bathing on the Shivaratri festival, followed by the Niranjani and Mahanirvani Akharas, according to the provisions of the 1962 agreement.

For the other two important bathing days, the Niranjanis would be first, followed by the Juna and Mahanirvani Akharas.

The Niranjani Akhara's ability to hold the top spot is mostly due to their local power: the Niranjani Akhara was formerly highly strong in Haridwar, where it still controls major land.

However, the Mahanirvani Akhara was located in Allahabad.

Another indication of the Niranjani Akhara's standing is that it has the Ananda Akhara as a subsidiary organisation.

Each akhara has distinct characteristics that determine its organizational identity, particularly distinctive tutelary deities.

Skanda, the son of Shiva and Parvati and the heavenly general leading Shiva's supernatural army, is the tutelary god of the Niranjani Akhara.

The choice of a heavenly warrior shows the akhara's power and previous military prowess, in addition to functioning as an identifying marking.


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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. 


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.