Chhari Mubarak reaches Sheshnag, to head for Panchtarni today

Holy mace led by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji Maharaj and Sadhus on way to Sheshnag from Chandanwari on Wednesday.
Holy mace led by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji Maharaj and Sadhus on way to Sheshnag from Chandanwari on Wednesday.

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Aug 10: The Chhari Mubarak (Silver mace of Lord Shiva) which is on last leg of its journey will leave for Panchtarni from Sheshnag early tomorrow morning under tight security arrangements.
Earlier, holy mace led by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji Maharaj its sole custodian and Sadhus reached Sheshnag in the day from Chandanwari. After reaching Sheshnag the Sadhus and other devotees besides, the jawans of security forces led by Mahant Ji performed traditional Chhari Pujan by chanting Vedic hymns and reciting bhajan -Kirtan.
Speaking to the gathering, Mahant Ji highlighted the religious significance of Shri Amarnath Ji yatra and said that it is the symbol of secular values of Kashmir from times immemorial. He said it is the unique example of its kind in the country that Muslims of Kashmir especially those living in Pahalgam and its adjoining areas also make lot of contribution and cooperation in making this historic yatra successful every year.
He said the yatra is a symbol of Hindu -Muslim cooperation and brotherhood from times immemorial. He quoted the Bringeshwar Puran saying the description and significance of the yatra has been described by the Bringeshwar Rishi in the Puran. Mahant Ji said all places enroute to holy cave of Shri Amarnath Ji right from Pahalgam are linked to holy pilgrimage and Lord Shiva including Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni.
He said at holy cave Lord Shiva narrated the Amarkatha to Goddess Parvati which relieves human beings from the bondage of life and death.
He said earlier the Chhari Mubarak right from its abode Dashnami Akhara used to come on foot by staying at different places enroute like Pampore, Bijbehara, Anantnag , Mattan and Pahalgam. But after the turmoil this practice was stopped and the holy mace comes in a cavalcade of vehicles to Pahalgam after paying obeisance at temples of Pampore, Bijbehara and Mattan.
However, after Pahalgam it starts its journey by foot to cave shrine situated at an altitude of 3880 meters in snow bound Himalayas, he said. Mahant Ji showed his optimism that the number of pilgrims coming to annual pilgrimage can increase over six lakh provided some more facilities are created enroute. He, however, showed utmost pleasure over the elaborate measures and arrangements made by LG administration and Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) led by Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha this year.
He also reiterated that the yatra officers must be deputed for over seven to eight years so that the experience gained by them can be utilised for bettering the arrangements in future.
He prayed for the peace and prosperity of the J&K as well as entire country.
The holy mace will leave for darshan of Ice Lingam from Panchtarni during the night of August 11 and 12 to reach the holy cave in the wee hours of August 12 i.e on Shravan Purnima to perform Puja there in a traditional way. Later it will return towards Panchtarni in the evening of August 12 and after a night halt at Panchtarni it will leave for Pahalgam next day. This way the 43 day long annual Amarnath yatra will culminate. At Pahalgam the immersion ceremony of relics will be held and the traditional Prashad of Karri -Pakora will be served to Sadhus before the Chhari Mubarak leaves for its abode Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar in Kashmir valley.