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Goddess Possessing Women In Jagaranas - Khelna

In Hindu jagaranas, which are all-night vigils devoted to worship and singing in praise of deities, the story of Goddess Sheranvali, also known as Durga or Sherawali Mata, is often recounted through vibrant songs and rhythms. These devotional gatherings are filled with fervor and spiritual energy, drawing devotees into a deep state of worship and connection with the divine.

One of the most striking phenomena observed in jagaranas is the occurrence of "khelna," where the Goddess is believed to "play" or possess a woman from among the devotees. This divine possession is a profound spiritual event marked by noticeable physical and behavioral changes in the possessed woman.

The initial signs of possession often include glazed eyes, suggesting a trance-like state where the woman is no longer fully present in her usual consciousness. Her voice may undergo a transformation, taking on a different tone or resonance, which is believed to be the voice of the Goddess speaking through her. Additionally, the woman may start rotating her head in a distinctive manner, a motion that signifies the physical manifestation of the divine energy within her.

This state of possession is considered a temporary yet complete domination of the woman's body by the Goddess. During this time, the woman's own consciousness is said to be blotted out, replaced entirely by the power and presence of the deity. The community views this as a sacred and awe-inspiring moment, where the divine touches the mortal realm in a tangible way.

Such instances are not merely personal spiritual experiences but also communal events that reinforce the collective faith and devotion of the participants. The possessed woman becomes a vessel for the divine, and her actions, speech, and presence during this state are interpreted as direct communications from the Goddess. This reinforces the spiritual atmosphere of the jagarana, deepening the sense of divine presence and blessing among the gathered devotees.

Sometimes the possessed woman takes the role of an oracle and answers questions. The possessed women is worshipped by touching the feet by those participating.

The phenomenon of possession in jagaranas highlights the dynamic and interactive nature of Hindu worship practices, where the boundaries between the divine and human can become fluid, allowing for moments of direct, experiential connection with the divine. This event is a powerful testament to the living, vibrant nature of faith and spirituality in Hindu traditions, where the divine is not a distant entity but one that actively engages with and inhabits the lives of the faithful.