Part 11- Sant Sri Sevalal Maharaj History

But the people of Ruigad would not listen. Then, the assembled people of the Samaj came to a compromise. Who ever lifts the doli of body of Sevabhaya may take the body to their place and perform the last rites. First, Ruigad people tried to lift the doli but they were not able to lift the body. Then the people of Pohragad tried to lift the body. Immediately, the body was lifted easily. According to agreement the body of Sevabhaya was taken to Pohragad According to another version the doli of body of Sevabhaya started to move automatically and reached Pohragad without any assistance

“Limb chandaneri doli bhandana
Laye Pohragadena, lakh lakh vora sobatena”

According to tradition of Banjaras unmarried person to be buried and married person should be burnt. Hence the body of Sevabhaya was buried in Pohragad and last rites were done there.
Thus Sevabhaya left the banjaras in dark and disappeared from mother earth (pruthvi) and attained the heaven. His favourite horse, tolaram and garasiya bull cried loudly and bitterly and died. They were also buried in Pohragad.

There is a controversy about the date of death of Sevabhaya. Gurban Singh Rathod says that he died on 2-1-1773. and lived 33 years, 10 months and 16 days (Banjaras Dharma Patrika 14-2-2006). It is unlikely that Sevabhaya died at such an young age and travelled such long distances. Harilal Pawar says that Sevabhaya died on 12-4-1806 at the age of 67 years. This is unlikely because Shri Jagadamba asked Sevabhaya to marry at such an advanced age of 67 years Kalyan Naik and other elder persons tell that Sevabhaya died in his middle age (probably in 1783). This has to be confirmed by further research.
At Pohragad there are temples of Sri Mariamma and Sevabhaya. Daily poojas are done here. Santh Sri Rama Rao Maharaj is a living saint of fifth generation of the family of Sevabhaya. He is a brahmachari and is an ancestor of Sri Hapabhai, brother of Sri Sevabhaya. He is living in Pohragad and is the priest and santh of Sri Sevalal-Jagadamba temples. He is looking after the temple complex of Sevabhaya and Mariamma at Pohragad. He is revered by banjara community. He travels through out India to look after the banjaras.

In India, especialy in Kamataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra every thanda without exception will have a math (mandir, temple) of Sevabhaya and Sri Mariyamma (Sri Jagadamba). In front or on the top of the temple there will be a white flag of Sevabhaya and a saffron flag of Sri Mariamma. Every year there will be poojas and Jathras of Sevabhaya and Sri Mariamma.
Sevabhaya will be offered sweet dish (lapsi in banjara language, gorboli) rice cooked in jaggery and ghee which will be offered in the form of a homa. Sri Mariamma will be offered nonvegetarian dish. The uniqueness of pooja is that population assembled infront of the temple pray to Sevabhaya and Sri Mariamma. The offerings brought from each house will be distributed to assembled people as a prasad after the pooja.
continue…Part 12


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