Saturday, September 9, 2017

Dheere Dheere Se Meri Zindagi main aaya -Beautiful Babosa Bhajan

Please Visit Bhajan Sagar to listen this Soulful Bhajan

धीरे धीरे से मेरी जिंदगी में आया
धीरे धीरे से दीवाना बनाया
कैसे भूलूंगा मैं प्यार तुम्हारा
तुमने मुझ पर जो इतना लुटाया
धीरे धीरे से मेरी जिंदगी में आया
धीरे धीरे से दीवाना बनाया

जो कह  ना सका वह तूने करके दिखलाया
मैं खड़ा हूं यहां पर वह है प्रभु तेरी माया
जो कह ना सका वह तूने करके दिखलाया
मैं खड़ा हूं यहां पर वह है प्रभु तेरी माया
धीरे धीरे से मेरे दिल को दुखाया
धीरे धीरे से दीवाना बनाया

दिलदार कन्हेया जब से बसा दिल में मेरे
तुम बन गए मालिक हम हो गए चाकर तेरे
दिलदार कन्हेया जब से बसा दिल में मेरे
तुम बन गए मालिक हम हो गए चाकर तेरे
धीरे धीरे से सेवा में जो लगाया
धीरे धीरे से दीवाना बनाया

मुझको तो भरोसा केवल श्याम तुम्हारा है
इस श्याम ने सब कुछ अपना तुझसे वारा है
मुझको तो भरोसा केवल श्याम तुम्हारा है
इस श्याम ने सब कुछ अपना तुझसे वारा है

धीरे धीरे से सांसों में तू समाया
धीरे धीरे से दीवाना बनाया
कैसे भूलूंगा मैं प्यार तुम्हारा
तुमने मुझ पर जो इतना लुटाया
धीरे धीरे से मेरी जिंदगी में आया
धीरे धीरे से दीवाना बनाया

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Janmashtmi Celebrations at Babosa Dham

Krishna Janmashtami, usually called Janmashtami, is a holiday in the Hindu calendar that celebrates the birthday of Krishna, the god of love and compassion. It celebrated widely in India and it is observed on different dates each year.


Krishna Janmashtami is one of the biggest festivals in the Hindu world, paying homage to the birth of Krishna, who is one of the faith's most popular deities.It takes place over a 48-hour period in late summer.


On the first day of the event, called Krishan Ashtami, Hindus rise before dawn to engage in song and prayer in Krishna's honor. Some Hindus also celebrate with dances and dramatic rituals that tell the story of Krishna's birth and life, and many of them will fast in his honor.

Vigils are held until midnight when it is believed that the deity was born. Sometimes, Hindu faithful will also bathe and dress statues of the baby Krishna to commemorate his birth. On the second day, called Janam Ashtami, Hindus will break their fast of the previous day with elaborate meals that often contain milk or cheese curds, said to be two of Krishna's favorite foods.


Like other Hindu holy days and celebrations, Janmashtami's date is determined by the lunisolar cycle, rather than the Gregorian calendar used in the West.

The holiday occurs on the eighth day of the Hindu month of Bhadra or Bhadrapada, which typically falls between August and September. Bhadrapada is the sixth month in the 12-month Hindu calendar. Based on the lunisolar cycle, each month begins on the day of the full moon.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nanhe Babosa Official Movie

Nanhe Babosa is a comic Childhood image of Babosa

Nanhe Babosa Official Trailer of the animated series starting from this 15th August.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Rakshabandhan Celebration in Babosa Dham

India, festivals are the celebration of togetherness, of being one of the family. Raksha Bandhan is one such festival that is all about affection, fraternity and sublime sentiments. It is also known as Raksha Bandhan which means a 'bond of protection'. This is an occasion to flourish love, care, affection and sacred feeling of brotherhood.

Not a single festival in India is complete without the typical Indian festivities, the gatherings, celebrations, exchange of sweets and gifts, lots of noise, singing and dancing. Raksha Bandhan is a regional celebration to celebrate the sacred relation between brothers and sisters. Primarily, this festival belongs to north and western region of India but soon the world has started celebrating this festival with the same verse and spirit. Rakhi has become an integral part of those customs.

An insight of Rakhi Rituals
On the day of Rakhi, sisters prepares the pooja thali with diya, roli, chawal, rakhi thread and sweets. The ritual begins with a prayer in front of God, then the sister ties Rakhi to her brother and wishes for his happiness and well-being. In turn, the brother acknowledge the love with a promise to stand by his sister through all the good and bad times.

Sisters tie Rakhi on the wrist of their brothers amid chanting of mantras, put roli and rice on his forehead and pray for his well-being. She bestows him with gifts and blessings. In turn, brothers also wish her a good life and pledges to take care of her. He gives her a return gift. The gift symbolizes the physical acceptance of her love, reminder of their togetherness and his pledge. The legends and the reference in history repeated, the significance of the festival is emphasized.

nconditional Bond of Love
Raksha bandhan has been celebrated in the same way with the same traditions for many years. Only the means have changed with the changing lifestyle to make the celebration more elaborate and lively. This day has an inherent power that pulls the siblings together. The increasing distances evoke the desire to be together even more. All brothers and sisters try to reach out to each other on this auspicious day. The joyous meeting, the rare family get-together, that erstwhile feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood calls for a massive celebration.

For everyone, it is an opportunity to reunion and celebrate. People also share tasty dishes, wonderful sweets and exchange gifts. It is a time to share their past experiences also. For those who are not able to meet each other, rakhi cards and e-rakhis and rakhis through mails perform the part of communicating the rakhi messages. Hand made rakhis and self-made rakhi cards are just representation of the personal feelings of the siblings.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Arjun Ram Meghwal (Member of Parliament) in Babosa Dham

Shri Arjum Ram Meghwal visited Babosa Dham to address a seminar on GST and help the public with there queries on GST. After seminar Shri Arjum Ram Meghwal enjoyed the Evening Aarti with Prakash ji , Manju Baisa and all Babosa bhakts.

About - Arjun Ram Meghwal

Constituency : Bikaner (SC) (Rajasthan )
Party Name : Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)
Email Address :
Father's NameShri Lakhu Ram Meghwal
Mother's NameSmt. Hira Devi Meghwal
Date of Birth20 Dec 1953
Place of BirthVill. Kishmideshar, Distt. Bikaner (Rajasthan)
Marital StatusMarried
Date of Marriage12 May 1968
Spouse's NameSmt. Pana Devi
No. of Sons2
No.of Daughters2
Educational QualificationsM.A. (Pol. Science), LL.B., M.B.A Educated at Sri Dungar College, Bikaner and University of Phillipine, Phillipines
ProfessionSocial Worker Farmer
Permanent Address
Off: 165, North Block, New Delhi- 110001 Phone (o): 01123093132, 23093403
Delhi Resi : 5A Kamraj Marg, New Delhi Phone: 011-23011770/1771/1772 (Fax)
Sansad Sewa Kendra, C-65, K.K. Colony, Bikaner Rajasthan
Tel fax: 0151-2230260
Positions Held
31 August 2009
21 June 2010

Elected to 15th Lok Sabha
Member, Committee on Defence
Member, Committee on Science and Technology, Enviornment and Forest

Books Published

Chief Editor of saviors of religious, social and cultural organisation

Social And Cultural Activities 
Participated in many programmes for the development of the Rajasthani language; extended full cooperation in various capacities for recognition of Rajasthani as an Indian language in VIIIth Scheduled of the Indian Constituion; Worked as a Principal Advisor of Bhwana Meghwal Memorial Trust, which is committed to promote the talented and economically deprived students by providing scholarhsips etc.and guidance by various programmes; the trust has been conducting group marriage programmes of the weaker sections of the society and seminar, workshops to awaken the people about social issues

Special Interests
Singer-instrumental and vocal both specially spiritual Bhajan, morning walk, yoga and pranayam

Favourite Pastime and Recreation 
Visiting religious and spiritual places

Sports and Clubs

Countries Visited
Phillipines, Thailand, Belgium, Nepal, Nigeria, Mali and Kenya

Other Information 
Served as IAS officer in the various capacities in Rajasthan Cadre

Profile - Arjun Ram Meghwal

I was born in a middle class family of Kismidesar Village (Bikaner) to Mr. Lakhu Ram Meghwal and Mrs. Heeradevi on 20 December 1953. I got my primary education from the Government school of our village and secondary education from the Jawahar Jain Secondary School at Bheenasar. I got married to Panadevi on 12 May 1968 in the village Nal Badi, when I was studying in the 8th standard. After marriage, I continued my studies further and got the graduation degree in Arts (B.A.) & Law (L.L.B.) from the Sri Dungar College, Bikaner (Rajasthan). After that, I did post graduation from the same college and got the Masters Degree in Arts (M.A). Later, I did Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the Philippines University.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Poem and Prayer written by 6 years old Babosa Bhakt

Babosa you are my hero.
Babosa you are my hero.
Babosa you save the day.
Babosa you save the day.
Babosa you are my light.
Babosa you are my light.
Babosa you are my god.
Babosa you are my god.
Babosa you always  help me.
Babosa you always help me.
Babosa you love every one the same.
Babosa you love every one the same.

Lunch time pray
Bless us oh Babosa as we sit together bless the food we eat today bless the hands that make the food bless us oh Babosa. Amen.

Evening and morning pray
Dear Babosa help us to do anything and help us to love one another. Amen.

From Arika.

Babosa Commando Force presents Seminar on GST

Babosa Commando Force presents Seminar on GST. Inviting our chief guest Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal , Union minister of state, Finance and corporate affairs.

What is GST?

Goods & Services Tax Law in India is a comprehensivemulti-stagedestination-based tax that will be levied on every value addition.
To understand this, we need to understand the concepts under this definition. Let us start with the term ‘Multi-stage’. Now, there are multiple steps an item goes through from manufacture or production to the final sale. Buying of raw materials is the first stage. The second stage is production or manufacture. Then, there is the warehousing of materials. Next, comes the sale of the product to the retailer. And in the final stage, the retailer sells you – the end consumer – the product, completing its life cycle.
So, if we had to look at a pictorial description of the various stages, it would look like:
GST basics
Goods and Services Tax will be levied on each of these stages, which makes it a multi-stage tax. How? We will see that shortly, but before that, let us talk about ‘Value Addition’.
Let us assume that a manufacturer wants to make a shirt. For this he must buy yarn. This gets turned into a shirt after manufacture. So, the value of the yarn is increased when it gets woven into a shirt. Then, the manufacturer sells it to the warehousing agent who attaches labels and tags to each shirt. That is another addition of value after which the warehouse sells it to the retailer who packages each shirt separately and invests in marketing of the shirt thus increasing its value.
GST will be levied on these value additions – the monetary worth added at each stage to achieve the final sale to the end customer.
There is one more term we need to talk about in the definition – Destination-Based. Goods and Services Tax will be levied on all transactions happening during the entire manufacturing chain. Earlier, when a product was manufactured, the centre would levy an Excise Duty on the manufacture, and then the state will add a VAT tax when the item is sold to the next stage in the cycle. Then there would be a VAT at the next point of sale.
So, earlier the pattern of tax levy was like this:
ClearTax GST
Now, Goods and Services Tax will be levied at every point of sale. Assume that the entire manufacture process is happening in Rajasthan and the final point of sale is in Karnataka. Since Goods & Services Tax is levied at the point of consumption, so the state of Rajasthan will get revenue in the manufacturing and warehousing stages, but lose out on the revenue when the product moves out Rajasthan and reaches the end consumer in Karnataka. This means that Karnataka will earn that revenue on the final sale, because it is a destination-based tax and this revenue will be collected at the final point of sale/destination which is Karnataka.
Browse GST articles by Topic

Why is Goods and Services Tax so Important?

So, now that we have defined GST, let us talk about why it will play such a significant role in transforming the current tax structure, and therefore, the economy.
Currently, the Indian tax structure is divided into two – Direct and Indirect Taxes. Direct Taxes are levies where the liability cannot be passed on to someone else. An example of this is Income Tax where you earn the income and you alone are liable to pay the tax on it.
In the case of Indirect Taxes, the liability of the tax can be passed on to someone else. This means that when the shopkeeper must pay VAT on his sale, he can pass on the liability to the customer. So, in effect, the customer pays the price of the item as well as the VAT on it so the shopkeeper can deposit the VAT to the government. This means that the customer must pay not just the price of the product, but he also pays the tax liability, and therefore, he has a higher outlay when he buys an item.
This happens because the shopkeeper has paid a tax when he bought the item from the wholesaler. To recover that amount, as well as to make up for the VAT he must pay to the government, he passes the liability to the customer who has to pay the additional amount. There is currently no other way for the shopkeeper to recover whatever he pays from his own pocket during transactions and therefore, he has no choice but to pass on the liability to the customer.
Goods and Services Tax will address this issue after it is implemented. It has a system of Input Tax Credit which will allow sellers to claim the tax already paid, so that the final liability on the end consumer is decreased.

How does GST work?

A nationwide tax reform cannot function without strict guidelines and provisions. The GST Council has devised a fool proof method of implementing this new tax regime by dividing it into three categories. Wondering how they work? Let our experts explain this to you in detail.
When Goods and Services Tax is implemented, there will be 3 kinds of applicable Goods and Service Taxes: CGST, SGST & IGST.
CGST: where the revenue will be collected by the central government
SGST: where the revenue will be collected by the state governments for intra-state sales
IGST: where the revenue will be collected by the central government for inter-state sales
In most cases, the tax structure under the new regime will be as follows:
TransactionNew RegimeOld RegimeComments
Sale within the stateCGST + SGSTVAT + Central Excise/Service taxRevenue will now be shared between the Centre and the State
Sale to another StateIGSTCentral Sales Tax + Excise/Service TaxThere will only be one type of tax (central) now in case of inter-state sales.


A dealer in Maharashtra sold goods to a consumer in Maharashtra worth Rs. 10,000. The Goods and Services Tax rate is 18% comprising CGST rate of 9% and SGST rate of 9%. In such cases the dealer collects Rs. 1800 and of this amount, Rs. 900 will go to the central government and Rs. 900 will go to the Maharashtra government.
Now, let us assume the dealer in Maharashtra had sold goods to a dealer in Gujarat worth Rs. 10,000. The GST rate is 18% comprising of CGST rate of 9% and SGST rate of 9%. In such case the dealer has to charge Rs. 1800 as IGST. This IGST will go to the Centre. There will no longer be any need to pay CGST and SGST.

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How will GST help India and common man?

The basis of Goods and Services Tax is the seamless flow of Input Tax Credit (ITC) along the entire value addition chain. At every step of the manufacturing process, businesses will have the option to claim the tax already paid in the previous transaction. Understanding this process is crucial for businesses. A detailed explanation here.
To understand this, let us first understand what is Input Tax Credit. It is the credit an individual receives for the tax paid on the inputs used in manufacturing the product. So, if there is a 10% tax that the individual must submit to the government, he can subtract the amount he has paid in taxes at the time of purchase and submit the balance amount to the government.
Let us understand this with a hypothetical numerical example.
Say a shirt manufacturer pays Rs. 100 to buy raw materials. If the rate of taxes is set at 10%, and there is no profit or loss involved, then he has to pay Rs. 10 as tax. So, the final cost of the shirt now becomes Rs (100+10=) 110.
At the next stage, the wholesaler buys the shirt from the manufacturer at Rs. 110, and adds labels to it. When he is adding labels, he is adding value. Therefore, his cost increases by say Rs. 40. On top of this, he has to pay a 10% tax, and the final cost therefore becomes Rs. (110+40=) 150 + 10% tax = Rs. 165.
Now, the retailer pays Rs. 165 to buy the shirt from the wholesaler because the tax liability had passed on to him. He has to package the shirt, and when he does that, he is adding value again. This time, let’s say his value add is Rs. 30. Now when he sells the shirt, he adds this value (plus the VAT he has to pay the government) to the final cost. So, the cost of the shirt becomes Rs. 214.5 Let us see a breakup for this:
Cost = Rs. 165 + Value add = Rs. 30 + 10% tax = Rs. 195 + Rs. 19.5 = Rs. 214.5
So, the customer pays Rs. 214.5 for a shirt the cost price of which was basically only Rs. 170 (Rs 110 + Rs. 40 + Rs. 30). Along the way the tax liability was passed on at every stage of transaction and the final liability comes to rest with the customer. This is called the Cascading Effect of Taxes where a tax is paid on tax and the value of the item keeps increasing every time this happens.
ActionCost10% TaxTotal
Buys Raw Material @ 10010010110
Manufactures @ 4015015165
Adds value @ 3019519.5214.5

In the case of Goods and Services Tax, there is a way to claim credit for tax paid in acquiring input. What happens in this case is, the individual who has paid a tax already can claim credit for this tax when he submits his taxes.
In our example, when the wholesaler buys from the manufacturer, he pays a 10% tax on his cost price because the liability has been passed on to him. Then he adds value of Rs. 40 on his cost price of Rs. 100 and this brings up his cost to Rs. 140. Now he has to pay 10% of this price to the government as tax. But he has already paid one tax to the manufacturer. So, this time what he does is, instead of paying Rs (10% of 140=) 14 to the government as tax, he subtracts the amount he has paid already. So, he deducts the Rs. 10 he paid on his purchase from his new liability of Rs. 14, and pays only Rs. 4 to the government. So, the Rs. 10 becomes his input credit.
When he pays Rs. 4 to the government, he can pass on its liability to the retailer. So, the retailer pays Rs. (140+14=) 154 to him to buy the shirt. At the next stage, the retailer adds value of Rs. 30 to his cost price and has to pay a 10% tax on it to the government. When he adds value, his price becomes Rs. 170. Now, if he had to pay 10% tax on it, he would pass on the liability to the customer. But he already has input credit because he has paid Rs.14 to the wholesaler as the latter’s tax. So, now he reduces Rs. 14 from his tax liability of Rs. (10% of 170=) 17 and has to pay only Rs. 3 to the government. And therefore, he can now sell the shirt for Rs. (140+30+17) 187 to the customer.
ActionCost10% TaxActual LiabilityTotal
Buys Raw Material1001010110
Manufactures @ 40140144154
Adds Value @ 30170173187
In the end, every time an individual was able to claim input tax credit, the sale price for him reduced and the cost price for the person buying his product reduced because of a lower tax liability. The final value of the shirt also therefore reduced from Rs. 214.5 to Rs. 187, thus reducing the tax burden on the final customer.
So essentially, Goods & Services Tax is going to have a two-pronged benefit. One, it will reduce the cascading effect of taxes, and second, by allowing input tax credit, it will reduce the burden of taxes and, hopefully, prices. 

GST Law in India – A Detailed History

GST is not a new phenomenon. It was first implemented in France in 1954, and since then many countries have implemented this unified taxation system to become part of a global whole. Now that India is adopting this new tax regime, let us look back at the how and when of the Goods and Services Tax and its history in the nation.
France was the world’s first country to implement GST Law in the year 1954. Since then, 159 other countries have adopted the GST Law in some form or other. In many countries, VAT is the substitute for GST, but unlike the Indian VAT system, these countries have a single VAT tax which fulfills the same purpose as GST.
In India, the discussion on GST Law was flagged off in the year 2000, when the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee brought the issue to the table. 
History of GST in India – Year by Year Events


The idea behind having one consolidated indirect tax to subsume multiple currently existing indirect taxes is to benefit the Indian economy in a number of ways:
  • It will help the country’s businesses gain a level playing field
  • It will put us on par with foreign nations who have a more structured tax system
  • It will also translate into gains for the end consumer who not have to pay cascading taxes any more
  • There will now be a single tax on goods and services
In addition to the above,
  • The Goods and Services Tax Law aims at streamlining the indirect taxation regime. As mentioned above, GST will subsume all indirect taxes levied on goods and service, including State and Central level taxes. The GST mechanism is an advancement on the VAT system, the idea being that a unified GST Law will create a seamless nationwide market.
  • It is also expected that Goods and Services Tax will improve the collection of taxes as well as boost the development of Indian economy by removing the indirect tax barriers between states and integrating the country through a uniform tax rate.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Serving Babosa Bhandara to 400 Orphanage people

Bhandara is a kind of food joint venture where, food is distributed in no price and behaves as serving to humanity. Storage and preparation of Bhandara has started. It is not an easy task to serve thousands of people every day for a month, but the BCF Kolkatta has done the task and serve dovotees with food and earn virtue.

All needed elements required in preparation of food have already been stocked. Stocks are made of edible oils required in preparation of food. All other food products which could be stored has started its storing. Fresh vegetables will be purchased as soon as event starts and will be served as different kind of cuisine in Bhandara. A high camp will be made for sitting area for devotees to take their food. They will be seated in a row on earth and served the cuisines prepared in Bhandara. Tight security will be always cautious at the time of food distribution to avoid any kind of conflicts.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Today's Quote - Babosa Bhagwan

हे प्रिये बाबोसा!
ना वादा है और ना कोई क़समें है,
फिर भी यह दिल तेरी ही नजरो के बस में है !!
 !!...... बहुत सौदे होते हैं संसार में परन्तु, ,,,,सुख बेचने वाले और दु:ख खरीदने वाले मेरे प्यारे चूरू के सेठ ही हैं ......!!

!!.............. बाबोसा रे...!!
"सितंबर" के बाद "आओगे" तो
                  ये "बरसातें" कहाँ होगी...!!
अभी "आ" जाओ के "सावन" है
                 फिर ये "मुलाक़ातें" कहाँ होंगी...!!

*A simple and beautiful prayer.*

When you wake up say:
       BABOSA, love you.
When leaving the house say:
  BABOSA come with me.
When you feel like crying, say:
    BABOSA  hug me.
When you feel happy say:
    BABOSA adore you.
When you do something, say:
     BABOSA , help me.
When you make a mistake, say:
    BABOSA , forgive me.
When you go to sleep say:
     Thank you  BABOSA and cover me with your holy mantle.

Send this prayer to the people you care about  ...

🙏🏻BABOSA loves you 🙏🏻

एक 👁नज़र इनायत की इधर भी कर बाबोसा प्यारे.....
हम कौन सा तेरा चूरू लूट लेंगे......

*बाबोसा प्रभु संग मेरी प्रीत*
*हे प्रभु*
*13 / 7  है  तो, हमसबको क्या कमी है*
 *अंधेरो  में भी मिल रही रोशनी है*

"कर लेता हूँ बरदाश्त हर दर्द
इसी आस के साथ.......
बाबोसा नूर भी बरसाता हैं... आज़माइशों के बाद....

💐 दया तू इतनी कर दे बाबोसा🌹
कभी भरोसा टूटे ना🌹
हाथ रहे तेरा सर पे सदा🌹
तू कभी मुझसे रूठे ना!!🌹
🙏🏻 प्यारे बाबोसा दो रोज़ तुम मेरे पास रहो दो रोज़ मैं तुम्हारे पास रहुं....
चार दिन की ज़िन्दगी है, ना तुम  उदास रहो ना मैं उदास रहुं...

मेरे चूरू वाले💆💆💆🙌🙌💖💖🌹🌹🙏nb


झलक जाता है नूर चेहरे पर
मेरे बाबोसा का नाम सुनकर

शाँति मिलती है मन को मेरे
अपने बाबोसा को अपना कहकर

आस्तिक हूँ मैं या नास्तिक
ये मैं नही जनता

पर इतना जरूर जनता हूँ
वो मेरा बाबोसा ही है
जो चला रहा है मुझे
मेरी ऊँगली पकड़कर

   जय जय श्री बाबोसा


श्री बाबोसा प्यारे ओ चूरू के बासी
बिना तेरे छायी है चाहूँ दिशा उदासी🌺
 बाबोसा प्यारे..........
बहारों में तो सब आते हैं,
तुम पतझड़ में आ कर मुझे बसंत कर दो.......
ये मौसम , ये हवा का मिजाज़ और ये खिले हुए फूल .......
तुम आज मत पुछो कि दिल तुम बिन कितना उदास है ......
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 सच्चा तेरा साथ है सच्ची तेरी हर बात है
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निश्चिंत है मन मेरा की मेरे सर पे तेरा हाथ है

Friday, July 14, 2017

Miracle Shrines in Northwestern India - JAI SHREE BABOSA

Rufin Jamey Saul’s dissertation, Gods for the Modern Era, offers a wealth of insights into the ways that neo-liberal economic conditions of the past twenty years have shaped Hindu religiosity in northeast Rajasthan and beyond.  Focusing on two very different major temples dedicated to local forms of the Hindu god Hanuman, each receiving over one million visitors per year, he examines why one (Mehndipur Balaji) has been the subject of numerous academic books and studies, whereas the other (Salasar Balaji) has been practically ignored until now. According to Saul, the answer is not only the different attitudes toward possession attributed to each of these extremely popular gods, but is also (and more importantly) rooted in the socio-economic dynamics of the patrons and religious officiants who orchestrate the business and infrastructure of each site.
Thankfully, Saul does not limit himself to any single theoretical lens. He approaches the topic with a solid understanding of South Asian religions and cultures, and mediates between a variety of theoretical explanations alongside letting his informants speak for themselves. The emphasis on economic factors shaping these new religious movements might have been reductive, where it not also a major explanation of numerous subjects themselves. Rural or urban, rich or poor, the subjects self-consciously sought, in the author’s words, “a fast-track to the good life” (p. xx) via the most successful deities, in a neo-liberal marketplace of miracles.

The first chapter introduces the major temples, social groups, and histories at play in the dissertation. India’s economic liberalism has led many to quickly rise to affluence, and just as many to struggle not to be left behind.  In the face of widespread corruption and other bureaucratic obstacles, many Indians (including Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs) have turned to Hanuman’s local form Balaji as a legitimate spiritual alternative to get things done.  In such a religious marketplace, the currency for obtaining the god’s favor is faith, which Saul, following Larry Witham, posits as a form of investment against future benefits. Responding to Michael Taussig’s work on capitalism as a degradation of pre-capitalist society, he argues that, “these Marwari-patronized gods are not just antidotes for the modern era; they are also creations of it” (p. 15). Saul theorizes that Salasar Balaji is both a moral index for the wealthy Marwaris who patronize the deity, and an inside connection for young Jat men who use pilgrimage on foot as an outlet for their career ambitions.
Chapter 2, “Making a ‘VIP’ Shrine,” focuses on Salasar Balaji and his special connection with the diasporic Marwari community of businessmen. This connection “influenced the spread of tales that Salasar Balaji assists his devotees in attaining wealth and other desires” (p. 46). In addition to the widespread trend of middle- and high-class interests reconnecting with their rural religious roots, Saul frankly points to the financial advantages of religious donations and investments in pilgrim resthouses (dharmśālā), which act as tax havens and mechanisms for money laundering.  Without dwelling too long on this sensitive issue, he goes on to analyze the relationship between the Marwari VIPs who view Salasar as their lineage deity (kuldev), and the Brahmin pujaris who manage the temple with their support.
The third chapter, “The Brahmin’s Inheritance,” continues Saul’s thick description of Salasar Balaji’s social and religious context. He explores Salasar’s outright ban on exorcism activities and faith healers, reflecting a respondent’s view that Mehndipur Balaji represents Salasar’s sinister shadow. The orthodox and Sanskritic nature of Salasar Balaji extends to the more limited types of miracles that he will grant; devotees know that they cannot ask for anything too extravagant, and rather seek to meet the god halfway in their quest for success. This rational character is contrasted, in the discourse of respondents, to the free-for-all marketplace of Mehndipur Balaji’s faith healers and possession performances. They recognize that Hanuman, as an enemy of demons in the Ramayana, has the power to punish demons as part of his repertoire, however the pujaris and patrons of Salasar have taken pains to delineate their Balaji as separate from such dangerous and impure activities associated with lower castes. Saul’s keen analysis of the production of new religious literature is particularly fascinating; it illustrates the role of profit-seeking businesses in shaping the supposed character of popular deities.
Chapter 4 focuses on the very recent phenomenon of foot pilgrimage to Salasar Balaji, its attendant youth culture, and the socio-economic changes and infrastructure developments of the last twenty years that have led to this spike in the pilgrimage’s popularity. It especially explores the Jat caste’s special, if recent, relationship with Hanuman.  Saul draws on and criticizes a variety of major academic thinkers—including Max Weber, Victor Turner, Alan Morinis, or Kathleen Erndl—to theorize this pilgrimage and its rise.

With chapter 5, Saul takes us to the other major Balaji temple in Rajasthan, Mehndipur, and theorizes its demonic possession and exorcism traditions from a variety of viewpoints. Here he responds to Sudhir Kakar, Antti Pakaslahti, Graham Dwyer, Frederick Smith, and Philip Lutgendorf. The author’s superb photographs interspersed throughout the dissertation are a real asset, and some in this chapter are remarkably evocative of the intense experiences undergone by medical pilgrims visiting Mehndipur. The chapter closes with a long series of case studies of individual faith healers connected to Mehndipur’s Balaji.

Chapter 6 leaves the rural shrines and pilgrimage traditions behind, taking us into the urban devotional communities (maṇḍal) that promote them. Saul uses this space to further explore and theorize the interaction between rural and urban. He pushes against the received wisdom that urbanization implies movement away from the “little tradition” of rural India and toward the “Great Tradition” of pan-Indian Sanskritic Hinduism; he rather highlights the recent trend toward connecting with one’s roots in the competitive sphere of the urban diaspora within India. A major section in this chapter describes the very elaborate annual urban devotional events called Jāgraṇ, and contrasts these with rural versions. Surprisingly (to this reviewer), a majority of some such groups consist of Jain merchants who expressed a lack of faith in Jain temples as a reason for turning to Balaji. The chapter also includes several sections on individual gurus who lead urban groups devoted to Balaji. Saul observes: “it is not simply that these urban devotional communities are outposts of devotional culture centered on Salasar and Mehndipur, but that the shrines are equally outposts of urban devotional culture” (p. 456).

The final chapter of the dissertation explains the recent reification of Rajasthan as a sacred land of miracles. To some extent, Saul sees this as a type of “branding” that goes hand-in-hand with the larger economic forces that have shaped these devotional movements in the past twenty years. A prime example is the rise of Babosa, a very popular new deity linked to Hanuman who started as a little-known ancestor spirit. Babosa draws not only Hindus, but also Sikh and Jain devotees seeking to benefit from his miraculous powers channeled through the female medium Manjubai. This popular modern guru makes herself accessible to her devotees in a variety of ways, and is even on Facebook. Her followers have produced a television serial on Babosa, which they hope will supersede the popularity of the Ramayan and Mahabharat serials of Ramand Sagar and Ravi Chopra.

In short, Gods for the Modern Era sheds much light on a variety of issues. Anyone interested in local vs. national religions, new religious movements, pilgrimage, healing, possession and exorcism, gender dynamics, urban vs. rural dynamics, the economics of religion, and contemporary Hinduism will benefit by reading this exciting and erudite new work when it is published as a book.
Michael Slouber
Assistant Professor of South Asia
Western Washington University
Primary Sources
Ethnographic research in northeast Rajasthan, surrounding areas, and major cities in India
Religious literature in Hindi
Dissertation Information
University of Michigan. 2013. 564pp. Primary Advisor: Arvind-Pal Mandair.

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