Community website for the Vanza Society of Canada
History of Vanza
Wanza are commonly known as "Darji" (ie.Tailors).
They were Kshatriya warriors (is the title of the princely military order in the Vedic society) and worshipped "Shakti" - Mataji - Mata Hingraj.
About 175 years ago Shree Gopal Lal Maharaj (fourth generation of Shree Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharyaji) visited Saurashtra and with subsequent visits of his son Gopendranathji, Wanza turned to "vaishnav panth" - "pushit maarg" as propounded by Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharyaji he intended to promote culture and education to the wanza or vanza community and to relieve poverty and sickness among the wanza community members. They accepted Gopal Lal Maharaj as their guru.
Story of Hingraj Mataji (Hinglaj)
Hinglaj Mataji is the goddess of healing and virtue. She is the Kuldevi of the Kshtriya (warrior) caste of Gujarat. Although being a warrior goddess, Hinglaj Mataji is cherished and adored by her devotees, who consider her to be a manifestation of the great goddess Amba. Hinglaj Mataji is worshipped on Tuesdays and Sundays, which are days auspicious to most goddesses. Her main shrine is located in Pakistan. Hinglaj Mataji is situated in Pakistan on top of the Hingol Mountain. Devotees come from all around the world to this temple of her.
According to mythology, Sati demolished herself in the fire sacrifice of her father, because she could not hear him insult her and her husband (Shiva). When Shiva was informed about this he was angered and from his third eye cam out a demon that slew Sati's father. Shiva intoxicated in wine then picked up sati's body and started dancing in grief. Vishnu then was cutting pieces of her body, which then were scattered around the world. Her vermillion is said to have fallen in Hinglaj.
People that experience possessions by the goddess Hinglaj are said to sprinkle vermillion (red powder) from their hands. That is believed to be the miracle of Maa Hinglaj. They say that she cures all diseases and relieves the distressed. Hinglaj Mataji, is not very well known of or herd about because of her temple being situated in Pakistan however, she has helped many devotees overcome challenges and follow the path of righteousness. There are many myths of Hinglaj Mataji; however one seems most interesting to her personality.
In a small village is India once lived three brothers. Each of them carried out a different occupation. One was a tailor (Dirji) one was a warrior (Kshtriya) and one was a goldsmith (Soni). They all worshipped Hinglaj maa and asked for her blessings before starting each day. The brothers were happy with their lives and content with their earnings. However, one night a conversation erupted and they began to fight about who worked the hardest and longest. They began discussing who earned the most money and who the best was. They began to boast that whoever earned the most money was the favorite of the goddess Hinglaj. The Kshtriya did not earn as much as the others and was hence laughed on and humiliated.
He spent the night in the goddess' temple crying and thinking that the goddess didn't like him. The following morning Hinglaj maa herself appeared at their doorstep. She had vermillion (Kanku) in her hand and said that who ever I apply this first on will be my most favorite.
The Dirji rushed off, to wash his forehead while the goldsmith rushed off to bring a garland of flowers to offer the goddess. The Kshtriya walked to the goddess, and she applied the vermillion on his forehead first. Then the goldsmith arrived, she applied it on his forehead second, and third she applied it on the Dirji.
Hence she was declared Kuldevi of the Kshtriya Samaj, Isth Devi of the Soni Samaj and Kutum Devi of the Wanza Dirji Samaj. Each brother got a blessing from the goddess and each was happy with his blessing.