Jagrata is performed all through the night to thank the holy mother for her blessings and all the love she has bestowed upon us. It is believed that one who approaches the mother with a pure heart never returns empty handed.
All major relegions of the world have prayers written in praise of the almighty. Some prayers are meant to be whispered, some chanted aloud and some are to be sung. Hinduism has a vast category of devotional songs too. Most of these songs were written thousands of years ago by rishis, munis and prominent Indian philosophers of those times. The songs were mostly written on dried leaves and therefore were very difficult to preserve. Each century has contributed to
this vast array, although names of authors are mostly unkown. Surprisingly, most of their work has
traveled down the times by word of mouth and by their sheer popularity.
There are many distinct categories of singing styles prevalent in the diverse culture of India (Bharat).
Devotional songs in northern part of India fall into several popular categories like
Bhajan, Bhent, Mantra (snippets in sanskrit), Shlok (snippets in sanskrit and other popular languages), Kirtan etc. These are not to be confused with the classical Indian singing styles which are bound to discrete disciplines and are well defined. Although a bhajan may be based on a Raag, the relationship between the two is only loosely bound.
In a jagrata (also called jagran),
the holy mother is invoked by singing aloud the devotional songs (bhents) and invited to grace the gathering with her presence. It is believed that the mother visits in form of a jot (flame) which
is lit before the ceremony.
Please note that we perform a smaller version of the
jagrata called a chaunki that
normally lasts from 9 pm until midnight. This is because we understand that
most of the devotees (bhagats) travel very long distances, sometimes braving a harsh weather, to attend the jagrata and
many of them with little children. As per suggestions from a lot of our patrons, the time of 9 pm to midnight was agreed upon
to encourage maximum participation from everybody.