Despite Tragedy Pilgrims Pour Into Rajahmundry

  • Chief Minister keeps vigil at pushkarghats

RAJAHMUNDRY: The flow of pilgrims to Godavari Mahapushkarams on Wednesday, the second day of the 12-day river festival, was steady with many visiting the ghats to offer Pindapradanam to their forefathers on the auspicious Adhika Aashada Amavasya or Aadi Amavasya.

After the tragic stampede on the inaugural day resulting in 27 deaths, there seemed to be a lull albeit briefly on Tuesday. By evening, things were under control and several devotees, who were fasting during the day on the occasion of Maasa Sivarathri, the monthly event that occurs on the eve of Amavasya or New Moon every month, made a beeline during evening to take the holy dip and offer worship to Lord Siva. The rituals went into late in the night after which they broke the fast.

In the morning, they continued with more rituals on the occasion of Amavasya. Apart from Pindapradanam, devotees also offered prayers to Godavari River, Moosivayanam and Swayampakam offerings.

Pushkaram period is also auspicious for charity. While the first day is said to be auspicious for giving away suvarnarajatadhanya and Bhoodanam– gold, silver, grains and land, – the second day is significant for donating vastralavana, dhenu and ratnadanalu– clothes, salt, cows and gems. Some pilgrims were seen making these offerings with cows and calves, carried in mini vans.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, shaken by the tragedy, made it a point to go round every ghat till 1 AM as part of damage control exercise. He also closely examined the road points leading to the various ghats in the city and suggested removal of some barricades for creating thoroughfare for the convenience of pilgrims. The chief minister on Wednesday stationed himself in the Pushkaram control room and was seen closely monitoring the situation at every ghat with the help of CC cameras. Director General of Police Ramudu personally visited the ghats to inspect the security arrangements.

According to Hindu mythology, there lived a sage named Tundila. He performed penance to please Lord Siva, who crowned him king of three crore and 50-lakh punyatheerthas or water bodies on the earth. By virtue of this, he came to be known as Pushkara.

Pushkara also became Lord Siva himself,representing him in the form of water, so much so, Lord Brahma, the creator, had requested Lord Siva to send Pushkara to him to help in creation since three-fourths of human body comprises water. Lord Siva readily obliged Brahma.

When planet Jupiter enters the zodiac sign of Leo, all the 3.5 crore punyatheerthas would be present in the river Godavari. The Godavari river, brought by sage Gauthama to earth after Lord Siva took out a part of his locks of hair through which the sacred Ganga or the Ganges flows and hence also called Gauthami river, went to Heaven and appealed to Pushkara to be present in her during the holy event.

Pushkara had agreed to be present during the first 12 days and last 12 days during the year as also for four ghadiyas or auspicious hour during afternoon every day during the Pushkara year, which is why pilgrims make a beeline to take the holy dip during pushkarams or kumbhmela. (NSS)

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