23/12/2010

THE 12 MASTA GODS OF JUMLA AREA NEPAL and THEIR 9 SISTERS NAU DURGA BHAWANI AND THE MATERNAL UNCLES: MAHDEV

thakuri damis humla CHRIS LOMBARDI.jpg

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS LOMBARDI

EATING THUKPA WEARING LUKPA

PART I

First noted by Tucci and Snellgrove the MASTA ARE THE MOST WELL KNOWN GODS OF JUMLA area linked with the AVATAR LINE DEVTA or incarnating gods, the  oracular religion associated with DHAMIS.

The primary sources of information about the gods individual life and histories is the

PARELI

recited by the DHAMI/ORACLES during the God's possession.

THE PARELIS ARE THE GOD'S AUTOBIOGRAPHIES.

Collectively the Masta gods are always spoken of as the

 BARA BHAI (twelve brothers)

in the sense of the fraternal relationship attributed to them.

According Gaborieau twelve is a 'nombre ideal plutot que reel'("Dieu Masta").
Despite most Jumlis are unable to list more than five or six Bara Bhai, a compilation of all the lists collected by different sholars results in 33 different Masta names, 14 of which are reported by more than one sources (Campbell).

Follow a list of the 33 reported Bara Bhai and the location of their principal shrines.

(G=GABORIEAU; P=P.R.SHARMA; D= DEVKOTA; H= HAMAL; S= BK SHRESTHA; C = CAPBELL).


MASTA                 LOCATION OF PRINCIPAL SHRINE

1. BUDU (GSDPC)       BUDU, SIJADARA, JUMLA
2.THARPA (GSDPC)      THARPA, BOMDARA,MUGU
3.KAVA,KAH,KAU,KA(DSPC) KAWA, KHATYAD, MUGU
4.BABIRO (GSDPC)      BABIRO, TATOPANI,JUMLA
5.UKHADI (PDC)        UKHADI, ASIDARA, JUMLA
6.SUNARGAON (DC)      SUNARGAON, TATOPANI, JUMLA
7.DADAR (DSC)         DADAR, BAJHANG
8.KALOSILTO,KALASILA(GDC) BINAYAK, KUNNA DARA, ACCHAM
9.BATPAL (GC)          DADAR, BAJHANG
1O.GURO is an anomalous God (P) Sorudara, Humla
11. BIJULI (PDC)       BIJULIDADO, JAJARKOT
12KHAPAR (PGC          SRINAGAR
13.DUDHASILTO          DAILEKH
14.KSATRITAL (GC)      DHADAR
15.LIUDI (S)           KHATYAD
16.KAMAL (S)kAMALE(C)  KHATYARD, SERIJAM
17.SIM (SC)
18.RAMAL (SC)
19.DHASAPANI (S)      PALANTA KHIN PANCHAYAT
20.KURMI (SP)         KALIKOTDARA
21.LAKHURO (C)         dADAR, sAJHANG
22.DHAULAPURA (C)     bAJURA (SIJA)
23.MAGE (C)           JUKU, PALANTADARA (KALIKOT)
24.LIGUNI (C)        
25.NIGUNIKO (C)
26.DANE (C)
27.LATA SILTO (C)       DADAR, BAJHANG
28.BACKOTCH (C)
29.KADARA (C)
30.BANTAPAL (P)        PAUNI, SIJADARA (DADAR)
31.LVACHARI (P) LAVASOR(C) TELPHI, CHAUDABISDARA
32BANJHKOT (P)         BANJHKOT, PALANTADARA
33.BADDAKOTI (P)       CHAUTO

The names of the Masta derives from two sources:

THE FIRST AND MORE COMMON SOURCE OF THE MASTA'S NAME IS THE NAME OF THE VILLAGE IN WHICH ITS PRINCIPAL SHRINE IS LOCATED.

 

IN ALMOST EVERY CASE THE NAME HAS A SEMANTIC MEANING DESCRIPTIVE OF THE GOD.

KALOSILA (GDC) for example refers to "black rock" a term used to mean "blood-accepting"

DUDHESILA refers to "milk rock" meaning "milk acceptating"


ACCORDING GABORIEAU THE DIFFERENTIATION OF THE MASTA GODS ON THE BASIS OF THE LOCATION OF THEIR MAIN SHRINES SUGGESTS THAT MASTA IS ONE GOD WHOSE INCARNATION IN DIFFERENT VILLAGES  AND DIFFERENT FORMS ARE IDEALLY REFERRED TO AS TWELVE BROTHERS; TO OTHER IT SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT MASTA IS A COLLECTION OF A NUMBER OF VILLAGE GODS WHOSE ORIGINS AND NATURES HAVE CONVERGED OVER THE YEARS.

According Campbell

 COMMON FEATURES SUPPORT AT LEAST THE PARTIAL IDENTITY OF THE VARIOUS SEPARATE INCARNATIONS.

These common features are found in the similarity with which the shrines are organized, the regular worship performed, in the origin stories and life-histories recounted by each brother in his PARELI.

THE SISTERS NAU DURGA BHAWANI

CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH THE TWELVE MASTA BROTHERS ARE THE NINE SISTERS THE

NAU DURGA BHAWANI.

SHARMA MENTION A LEGEND IN WHICH THE REASONS FOR THE MASTA INCARNATION WAS GIVEN AS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE VIRTUE OF THEIR SISTERS FROM DEMONS (RAKSAS). (SHARMA 'DIVINITIES').


ALSO HERE THE NUMBER OF 9 (sisters) IS LIKE THE NUMBER 12(brothers) MORE IDEAL THAN REAL.

(G=GABORIEAU; P=P.R.SHARMA; D= DEVKOTA; H= HAMAL; S= BK SHRESTHA; C = CAPBELL)

BAWANI       SOURCE        MAIN SHRINE LOCATION

1.BAWANI      SGPC          MANY LOCAION GIVEN
2.MALIKA      SGPC          JUMLA. DHARAL,
3.KALIKA      SPC           LITAKOT, MALIKA, LEKH,
4.KANAKASUNDARI SPGC        JUMLA-BAJURA, HADSIJA
5.TRIPURASUNDARI SPGC       SIJADARA, JUMLA-CHAUDA
6.PUGELNI       SHC         JUMLA-TIBRIKOT
7.JALPA       GPC           RAKALDARA, KHATYAR LEKH
8.THAGALNI     S     
KHESAMALLINI   SC           UKHADI, CHAUDABHISDARA.
9.HIMALINI      S
10.MAHAKALI     G
11.SARDA        G
12.DEURALI      G
13.AMBIKA       P
14.CANDIKA      P
15JALANDHARI    P
16. SETI        P

From an ethimological point of view most if the sister's names are puranic epithets of the brahamanical 'hidden' goddess Durga.

ACCORDING CAMPBELL THE IDENTIFICATION OF THESE GODDESSES WITH DURGA IS MADE BY ALL JUMLIS AND IS THE SOURCE OF THE CLASSICAL NUMBER 9.


MANY PURANIC ACCOUNTS MENTION NINE 9 DURGA FORMS.

AFTER JUMLIS HAVE LISTED THE FIRST  5 OR 6 SISTERS WHOSE SHRINES THEY KNOW, THEY COMPLETE THEIR LIST BY RECALLING CLASSICAL EPITHETS OF dURGA LEARNED THROUGH PURANIC ACCOUNTS.

THE MATERNAL UNCLES: MAHDEV

CLOSELY IDENTIFIED WITH THE BROTHERS MASTA AND THE SISTERS BHAWANI ARE A GROUP OF DEITIES CONSIDERED TO BE THEIR MATERNAL UNCLES MAMAS

1 MAHDEV,MAHADEV,MAHADEO     PC    MANY LOCATION
2.MAHARUDRA                  PC    PADMARA
3.KULDEV,KULDEO               C    MANY LOCATIONS
4.MAHABANI,MAHABHYA         PGHC   MABU (JUMLA/DAILEK)
 

PART TWO

COMING SOON

TKURI DAMIS HUMLA PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS LOMBARDI.jpg