BY AUTAR MOTA
Before the actual date of marriage or Lagan , the priest from Bride’s family visits the family of Bridegroom carrying the LAGAN-CHEER . LAGAN- CHEER is a photo cum written document . The LAGAN CHEER has images of Sri Rama and Sita or Shiva and Parvati apart from other details like the actual Date of LAGAN, Names of the Bride and Bridegroom , Names of the parents of the Bride and Bridegroom, Place of residence of both the families ,Auspicious time for start and end of the LAGAN Ceremony , Number of persons accompanying the bridegroom as Baraatis, Number of priests who shall perform the Lagan ceremony and Gotra of the Bride and the Bridegroom .
Family members of the Bridegroom invite their relatives for this function and make them sit comfortably in a spacious room where the priest from the bride’s family is supposed to sit and deliver the LAGAN-CHEER to the elders . The priest ( who is made to sit on a decorated seat with cushions ) reads everything written on the LAGAN-CHEER with recitation of Mantras wishing the would be couple a long and blissful married life. Women from the bridegroom’s family join together and sing the Traditional Vanvun (folk singing without any musical instrument ). i quote some lines …
Aaei’dd Aayii Vokhaeill Ta Aaei’dd *Ranga Naavun
Haavus Geer Aayi *Khraavun Pyaath….
( To Join this function , some guest traveled on foot
others came in Coloured Boats .
Some eager put wooden sleepers in their feet to travel )
Koh Tala Seeriyo Draakho Nonna’ye
Lagan Cheer Hyaathh Yendraaz hai Aav..
( As if the bright sun emerged from the hills ,
Behold ! Here comes Lord Indra with lagan Cheer )
Lagan cheer hyathh aayi krishen Bagvaanus,
Devaan khaanus burr mutchraav.
Paa’na Chhu’ss Raatchh Mahadeev shuer paanus,
Vaen Tche ishaanus kaar pushraav..
( Here comes the LAGAN CHEER for our Krishna ,
Now Open the door of the sitting room for guests..
Lord Shiva is himself the protector of our innocent bridegroom,
Now let us entrust this task to Almighty *Ishaan only.)
The family of the bridegroom also serves food to guests. The Priest is also given some DAKSHINA ( cash for performing the ritual ) apart from Naabad (sugar) , sweets and fruits .
This system of documenting marriages traces its origin to Vedic period when wife was known as *Bharaaya (Dharampatni ). She was a source of Strength in helping the husband uphold cultural, religious, and righteous principles which were the integral basis of a spiritually centred society. Further *Bhoj Patra ( Birch tree bark known as Burza Pattar In kashmiri ) and palm leaves were used in ancient times for writing and drawing images .Aryans also used Bhoj patra for medicinal purposes . Himalayan Bhoj Patra was also used by Kashmiri Pandits for writing their sacred Texts and drawing images of Gods or illustrating scriptures.
Autar Mota is a blogger and writes for local and national papers and journals