kawaris , kawaria,Bam

The person carrying the kawaris called kawaria.There are certain norms that the kawarias have to follow during the pilgrimage. Self-restraint is a basic characteristic. All the kawarias,male or female, are expected to put on simple clothes of orange color as a mark or reflection of sannyasa.A sannyasiis a person who relinquishes all worldly possessions and cultivates spirituality. While on pilgrimage, the kawariasare to develop a sense of wordly detachment and renunciation.

On the way to Baba Dham, each kawariacalls the other "Bam"which stands for Siva, or Shankar. It's an ancient name of Siva. All through the pilgrimage, the kawariaswalk barefooted. They hear about Siva, tell about Siva, write about Siva. Whatever they do, they do for Siva. The skies resound with slogans like "Bol Bam,"meaning, "Speak Siva;" "Age Bam, Pichhe Bam, Daye Bam, Baye Bam,""Siva is ahead, Siva is behind, Siva is on the right and Siva is on the left." Another common slogan is, "Baba Nagaria Dur Hai, Jana Jarur Hai,""Baba's place is far ahead, but we need to reach there." It is very pleasant to call out these slogans loudly or chant them as mantras.

The Bamshave to take strictly vegetarian, sattvicfood during the pilgrimage. Even garlic or onion is avoided. One has to bathe each time one goes to toilet. At the time one goes to toilet, he has to put the kawarat some sacred place. Before carrying the kawaragain, he has to worship it.

People visit Baba Dham all through the year. But most kawarias come during Magha (February) or Sravana (July-August). The kawariaswalk round the clock, though the intensity declines through the night, when the kawariasmust walk with the help of a torch. The pilgrim's route, with Sultangunj on the one side and Baba's temple on the other, is filled with the kawariasin orange-colored attire.

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