Accepted paper:

Jayakara (Slogans) Evoking Emotions: Worship of Mother Goddesses in Northwest India


Abha Chauhan (University of Jammu)

Paper short abstract:

The jayakara (slogans) are echoed during worship of the mother goddesses throughout India including the northwest part of the country evoking and generating several different emotions.

Paper long abstract:

Throughout the year thousands of pilgrims visit various shrines of the divine mother goddesses in India. The inception of the very idea of visiting the mata (mother) for worship or having her darshan (seeing her idol) is believed to be her bulawa (call). No one can visit and worship Her until she calls, and when she calls no one can stop that person from visiting Her. Such is the faith in the shakti (power) of the mother goddess. On the way to her temple or abode or during pilgrimage, various callings or reciting of Her name called jayakara are echoed evoking a variety of emotions like happiness, peace, craziness', anxiousness etc. Some of these mean that she calls Herself, fulfils all wishes, nobody gives like Her, and is all benevolent, compassionate and caring for Her children. The jayakara also urges people to recite the slogans collectively and people greet each other individually or in groups on the way to Her darshan. Many times, the abode of the mata is situated amidst mountains following arduous and difficult track. People climb many kilometres despite their age, health or transport facility. The paper attempts to understand the concept of jayakara and its significance in conveying myriad emotions in the performance of the worship of the divine mother goddesses in Jammu region in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in northwest India.

panel WMW04
Anthropology of emotions and senses in religious performances