The chowka is a symbolical ritual prescribed by Kabir Saheb to his followers. The association holds an annual chowka ceremony on the Pragtya Divas. The Pragatya Divas falls on the full moon of the jyesht (also jeth i.e. June) month of the Hindu (Vikram Samvat) calendar and marks the appearance of Satguru Kabir Saheb. Many devotees also host chowka ceremonies at their homes which the Association undertakes to perform.
The ceremony involves the preparation of a Bedi, an elevated platform on which the ritual is performed. Above the Bedi hangs the Chandni, a canopy hung over the Bedi. Various items needed to complete the ceremony are placed on the Bedi. Throughout the ceremony, various bhajans and mangals are sung, and offerings are made to the Bedi.
Four types of Chowkas are performed within the Panth, these are:
Aanandee Chowka – As the name would suggest, the aanandee chowka is held for the celebration of auspicious occasions (Hindi: aanand, lit. bliss, happiness); most notably, on bright fortnights and full moon days (shukla paksh/purnima) and for the event of initiation into the Panth. Aanandee Chowkas are also held for housewarmings and any other milestones. If you wish to have an aanadee chowka performed, please contact us.
Chalaawaa (or Bilaasee) Chowka – Chalaawaa chowkas are an important part of the Kabir Panthi mourning process after the death of loved ones. After the funerary rites are performed and the body is disposed of, the mourning period begins and can last for up to 40 days until a chalaawaa chowka is performed; marking the end of the mourning period. If you wish to have a chalaawa chowka performed, please contact us.
Janamautee (or Solah Sut/Putra) Chowka – The janamautee chowka is a chowka held in celebration of a birth. Traditionally, in Indian culture, post-natal festivities are held only for the birth of sons; however, the janamautee chowka can be held for the birth of any child. This chowka commemorates the creation of the universe as described by Kabir Panthi mythology, beginning with the 16 manifestations of the Sattpurush (Hindi: solah sut/putra, lit. sixteen/16 children/sons).
Ekotaree Chowka – Ekotaree chowkas are grand community events officiated by 101 mahants (Hindi: ekotar, lit: one-hundred and 0ne/101), each representing one of the 101 holy names/titles of the Sattpurush. Such grand ceremonies are often organized and held in India by temples and maths or ashrams (monasteries/hermitages).