The Anjana, also known as Anjana Chaudhary and Anjana Patel (Anjana Patidar), is a Hindu caste found in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states in India. The region in which they are found is Gujarat. They have the surnames Patel, especially in Gujarat and Rajasthan; and Jagirdar, Zamindar or Chudhary in Rajasthan.
According to the Bhat and Charan history books, the origin of the Anjana Chaudhary is related to the eight sons of Sahastraarjun. When Parashurama went out to kill the kshatriyas, he came to Sahastraarjun, who was a powerful kshatriya king. In this battle, Sahastrarjun and 92 of his sons were killed. The remaining eight sons came under the shelter of goddess Arbuda, on Mount Abu, who protected. Parshuram, would not hurt them on the condition that they give up their shastra (weapons). Goddess Arbuda assured Parashurama that the kshatriyas would never again wield a weapon but instead serve Mother Earth. They engaged in agriculture and are found in various parts of India to this day. The Goddess Arbuda is the kuldevi of Anjana Chaudhary.
It is believed that the origin of the caste’s name comes from the goddess Anjani Mata, the mother of Lord Hanuman, as the Anjana caste members were followers of the goddess. According to Anjana traditions the community originated in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, from there they spread to southern Rajasthan, and then to Gujarat.
In Rajasthan, the Anjana are divided into two broad territorial divisions: the Malvi and Gujarati. The Malvi Anjana are further divided into a number of exogamous clans such as the Fak, Shih, Kharon, Hun, Gardiya, Eit, Judar, Kuva, Kondli, Vagada, Kag, Bhuria, Mewar, Logar, Odh, Munji, Kawa, Tarak and United. The Anjana still speak the Malvi dialect of Hindi.
Customs and traditions of the Anjana community
As Hindus, Anjana observe important customs related to Simanta (pregnancy), Upanayana (thread ceremony), Vivaah (marriage), and Death. Birth-Simanta, which corresponds to the Vedic Samskara of Simantonnayana, is popularly known as Kholobharvo, and is performed at the husband’s house to celebrate the woman’s first pregnancy. On the birth of a child, the midwife cuts its naval-cord and buries it in the corner of the compound in front of the house. The naming ceremony takes place on the twelfth day, performed by an aunt (foi). Names, for which a Brahmin is consulted, are given according to the zodiac signs.
Marriage ceremonies among the Anjana are traditionally conducted in accordance with central Asian customs. These customs have evolved from tradition. Importance is attached to weddings: the ceremonies are very colorful and can go on for several days. The following steps are involved in a marriage engagement, Ganeshpujan, Varghoda, marriage, reception, etc.
Marriage is considered as a Samskara in the Hindu sastra, through which a person enters the Grahasthashrama (householder’s stage). The marriage proposal usually comes from the bride’s side, socioeconomic status and education chiefly being taken into consideration. In the Anjana community, the father of the girl presents a one rupee coin during the betrothal ceremony.
Caste guru Saint Shri Rajaram Ji Maharaj
Shikarpura Ashram is located about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away from Luni, a tehsil in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan. This Ashram was established by Saint Raja Ram Ji Maharaj in the nineteenth century.
The mahants of Shikarpura Ashram are: Saint Deva Ram Ji Maharaj, Saint Kishna Ram Ji Maharaj & Guru Sujaramji Maharaj, Saint Dayaram.
The ashram has served society from its establishment.
The Anjana people celebrate the following festivals with great fanfare:
- Raksha Bandhan (the bond of protection) celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Shraavana.
- Diwali is one of the most well-known festivals and is celebrated with great fanfare. Firecrackers and sweets accompany Diwali celebrations. Every house in the state is illuminated by electric bulbs or candles. The festival can go on for four days.
- Holi is the festival of colours or love. It is celebrated to denote the arrival of spring. Furthermore, it is celebrated to mark the victory of the faith of Prahlada over the evil doings of Hiranyakashipu and Holika, who both tried to kill Prahlada.
- Navratri is the festival of the nine nights in honor of the Goddess Ambaji. People—irrespective of gender, caste, or creed—congregate to perform the traditional dances called Garba and Dandiya Raas.
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- Chaudhary, Sagar (12 May 2014). "Chaudharys of Gujarat (Anjana)". wordpress.com. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- Agnihotri, Ajay Kumar (1985). गोहद के जाटों का इतिहास (1505-1947) (Gohad ke Jaton ka Itihas (1505-1947)) [History of the Jats of Gohad (1505-1947)]. राजनैतिक एवं सांस्कृतिक अध्ययन (Political and Cultural Studies) (in Hindi). New Delhi: Nav Sahitya Bhawan. pp. 63–71.