‘Jhulelal’ is the Patron Saint of the Sindhis.
His story is based on some historical events. A lot has come down to us by word of mouth. What is important to imbibe, is that He propagated the Unity of religions and Mankind.
One astrologer called the child ‘Amarlal’ and claimed that his memory would be immortal as his name suggested. Once while the child lay on his cradle, it started to swing of its own accord, hence the child was also called ‘Julelal’ which means one who swings to and fro. The Divine child was born on ‘Cheti Chand’ to Devaki and Rattanchand of Nasarpur. Upon opening the baby’s mouth, the parents ‘saw’ the River Sindhu flowing, and an old man with a white beard sitting on a ‘pala’ fish, whose peculiarity is that it swims against the tide.
Jhulelal was born during turbulent times. During the 10th century Sindh came under the rule of Sumras, who were tolerant to all other religions. But there was one exception. ‘Mirkshah’, who was a tyrant, was threatening the Hindus to either embrace Islam or die. The frightened and helpless Sindhi Hindus prayed. It is believed that on the 40th day, the River God spoke to them. He promised that a Divine Child would take birth in Nasarpur to save them. Mirkshah tried various means to do away with Jhulelal but the latter was always saved by miraculous interventions. When Mirkshah finally confronted Jhulelal, he ‘heard’ a sermon which proclaimed that the whole of Creation was propagated by only One God, who Muslims called ‘Allah’ and Hindus ‘Ishwar’. Jhulelal claimed that had the Lord desired He would have ordained Hindus to be born Muslims!
As the Muslim priests continued to persecute ‘Jhulelal’ ferocious waves encircled Mirkshah and his companions. Defeated, they cried out for forgiveness. The persecution of the Hindus stopped. Jhulelal promised to come to the aid of his devotees whenever he would be called upon.
During and after the partition, Sindhis forgot that promise. We were reminded of our Patron Saint, by Shri Ram Panjwani. Shall we remember to call upon Jhulelal, this ‘Cheti-chand’.
Because Sindhis were a business community and traveled often, crossing the waters of the Indus, the Sindhi women would pray to the River God, Jhulelal for the safe return of their loved ones.
They would prepare a Behrano, Rice with condiments, spices which would be offered to the River.
Behr means ‘water’ Behrano means an offering to the water.
To learn how to prepare the Behraano, Do click:
My TV recording for the Sindhi New Year (Cheti Chand) went well…so many personalities recorded for a a short time slot…so it will be edited…but it was a great experience…I went to Kirat Babani’s house…a Sindhi pioneer…That was the Highlight for me. He is now 86 tears old and I was told that he is the last surviving member of ‘Trimurti, the three main pillars of Sidhiyat). KIRAT BABANI is Writer of short, stories, essays, plays, criticisms, autobiography, travelogues and other articles Kirat Babani is a multifaceted personality who is seen with reverence both in the social and literary field. His collection of short stories ‘Awaheen Sabh Nanga Ahiyo’ won him a literary award. His plays highlighting the freedom struggle have been performed by Sindhi youth all over. The program will be aired the weekend after Cheti Chand (It falls on the 20th of March 2007) on DD Sahyadri (Sundays: 10.30 pm and repeat show Mondays at 9 am. I spoke very briefly about Jhulelal, why we Sindhis consider Him an Avtaar…a Saviour…