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A legendary Rājpūt prince and hero (R.: bīr; Skt.: vīra). Throughout Rajasthan, parts of the Panjab, Haryana, and north-western Uttar Pradesh, he is worshipped at local shrines as a deity with power over snakes and the ability to cure those bitten by them; he is therefore particularly popular during the snake-infested rainy season. He is thought to derive his powers from Gorakhnātha, and, according to some, he is also an incarnation of Janamejaya, the auditor of the Mahābhārata. Guga's story is the subject of a sung epic, usually told over one night by Bhagats, the ritual specialists associated with his cult. Iconographically, he is represented with his horse and accompanied by blue and yellow standards. Some believe that he converted to Islam before his death, and in places he is worshipped by both Hindus and Muslims as a Muslim saint or pīr.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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