Guru JambhoJi

The founder of Bishnoi sect Guru Jambhoji, a great Visionary Saint and the First Environmentalist of the World, was born in the Pipasar village, Nagaur District of Rajasthan on the day which is celebrated all over the country as Janamasthmi i.e. 8th day of the dark-half of the Lunar month Bhadrapad, S.1508 (1451 A.D.). The same is also celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna of the Mahabharata.

Guru Jambhoji was the only son of Lohat Ji Panwar and wife Hansa Devi. Thakur Lohat Ji was a Panwar (Rajput), who could conveniently trace his geneology from the famous Raja Vikramaditya of Ujjain, in the fourteenth degree descent whereas Hansa Devi was the daughter of Thakur Mohkam Singh, Bhatti Rajput of Chhaapar. The couple had to wait for long, for decades, before their wish to have a child was fulfilled. After a prolonged devotion by Lohat Ji in the forest, he was blessed by a Yogi for a son with a supreme divine. Similarly, on the same day, Mata Hansa Devi was also blessed with a son at their home.

Guru Jambhoji, in his childhood, spoke very little. On that account he earned the reputation of “Gahla” (who is deficient in thought and speech). This hurt his parents deeply. A Brahmin physician was hired by Lohat Ji with quite heavy fees for his son’s treatment. According to Vilhoji (famous Bishnoi saint), Lohat ji promised a good milk yielding cow to the Brahmin if he could make Jambhoji eat five times a day and perfect in his speech. At that time, Guru Jambhoji spoke his first Shabad (Guru Chinh Guru Chinh Purohit, Guru Mukh Dhrme Bhkhani,……) to the ibid Brahmin.

Many unusual things found in the Bishnoi literature about Guru Jambhoji are:

1. Immediately after his birth, Jambhoji refused to accept the customary Janamghunti, despite repeated attempts made in this behalf. Jambhoji was dead against every kind of ritualism since day one and, therefore, his defiance was to highlight this fact.

2. Jambhoji never slept on his back. Whenever an attempt was made to make him lie straight on the back he would immediately turn around and rest on his side.

3. Jambhoji many a times disappeared from his cradle and then again reappeared occupying a different position.

4. He never drank milk from his mother’s breasts.

Like Lord Krishna, Jambhoji also tended cattle for well over 27 years before he finally left his home and belongings at the age of 34 and moved to Samrathal Dhora, ten miles from village Pipasar. This was the place where Guru Jambhoji founded the Bishnoi sect in the year 1485 A.D.(S.1542, Krishna 8th of Kartik Month) by performing HAVAN at Samrathal Dhora. Here, the people from different religions, classes, caste and creed came and accepted Bishnoi sect by taking ‘Paahal’ (holy water which is made as a result of havan completion). Guru Jambhoji, by founding Bishnoi community, gave 29 commandments which covered the whole gamut of human life and its activities i.e. covering religious, social, physical and moral parts of human life. He mainly emphasized on maintaining internal and external cleanliness along with meditation and recitation of Lord Vishnu. In his life of 85 years, he travelled to many places throughout the world to teach people which also include various kings and people from across the world. Guru Jambhoji left the world at an age of 85 years in the year 1536 (Vikrami Samwat 1593, Krishna 9th of Margshirsh Month) at Lalasar and his body was buried at Muktidham Mukam. This place has been highly eulogized by the Bishnoi saints and poets like Keshoji, Surjanji, Parmanandji, Sahibramji etc. in their poetic compositions. Mukam is 80 kilometers South East of Bikaner and is connected only by road. It is believed that at some point of time, River Saraswati flew in this area, in its downward course towards Arabian Sea.

Regarding Bishnoi fests, two important fairs are organized every year at Mukam. First one and the biggest one is organized on the new-Moon day of Phalgun (Feb-March) whereas the smaller one, is organized on the new Moon day of Aasuj (September-October) every year.

Reference Material : The Bishnois By M. S. Chandla