Holy Mace taken to Sharika-Bhawani Temple, no change in schedule: Mahant Deependra Giri

Yatris leaving Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas for their home States on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Yatris leaving Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas for their home States on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Yatris start return journey in view of Govt advisory
Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Aug 2: With Government issuing advisory to Shri Amarnath Ji Yatris and tourists to return to their home States in view of terrorists threat, majority of pilgrims have started their return journey to their home States today while the Mahant Deependra Giri Ji the custodian of holy Mace of Shri Amarnath Ji said that there will be no change in the annual pilgrimage of Chhari Mubarak which will perform the darshan at holy cave as per tradition on Sawan Purnima falling on August 15.
Some pilgrims who had come to have darshan of Himalayan cave for the first time were dejected and returned with a heavy heart saying perhaps ‘Bholey Baba’ wanted the same as they were not so fortunate to have the darshan.
“We are returning to our home’’ said Paro Devi of Jamshedpur, Jharkhand who along with her relatives and husband had come to have darshan of holy cave for the first time this year. She said it was not in her luck to visit holy cave this time so the conditions became same here, otherwise over 3.40 lakh pilgrims performed pilgrimage this year smoothly’’.
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What option we had before us instead of returning to our home states in view of Government not allowing yatra to continue, said Pankaj Jain a pilgrim from Ghaziabad, UP who had reached here along with family of six members four days back.
Jain said “it is not advisable to leave for holy cave under prevailing situation in the State so we are returning’’.
He, however, was critical of the Government which did not issue this advisory a week before so that pilgrims would have not come here by wasting their time and money. “We had a return ticket of August 6 but now we are returning today by bus to Delhi’’, he added.
Ram Gopal a pilgrim from Hissar, Haryana who had reached here with a group of 10 pilgrims from his hometown three days back said “ we were waiting with the hope that the pilgrimage will be allowed by August 4 but with the issuance of fresh advisory we decided to return’’. Gopal said there were 1800 pilgrims at Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas and about 700 have returned no fun of staying here now.
He said, however, some pilgrims intended to have the darshan of Mata Vaishno Devi and they left for holy township of Katra in the morning.
Officials at Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas said that there are about 1100 pilgrims inside the Yatri Niwas this evening while there were 1800 pilgrims staying inside yesterday. About 700 pilgrims returned to their home States today and rest may leave tomorrow as there is no option left for them.
Meanwhile, when contacted the Mahant Deependra Giri Ji Founder of True Trust told Excelsior that Chhari Mubarak will leave for holy cave as per schedule to perform all the rituals in traditional way and he has no doubt in his mind in this regard. He said Chhari Mubarak will reach holy cave on Shravan Purnima as per schedule and “we will perform all the traditional rituals there’’.
On the 33rd day of Darshan 704 pilgrims paid obeisance at holy cave today, an official spokesman said. He said the weather in the holy cave area was pleasant and yatra proceeded smoothly. He said no pilgrim will be allowed to leave for cave shrine tomorrow in view of Government’s directive. He said 250 pilgrims are staying at Baltal by this evening and they will be evacuated by tomorrow morning.
The holy Mace which was taken to historic Shankaracharya temple in Summer Capital, on the occasion of ‘Haryali-Amavasya’ (Shravan Amavasya), yesterday as per the age-old customs, connected with annual pilgrimage to the holy Amarnath cave shrine, was taken to Goddess Sharika Bhagwati temple at Hari Parbat today. Led by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji the holy mace was accompanied by Sadhus and other devotees.
Mahant Deependra Giri, custodian of the Chhari Mubarak, led the prayers on the occasion at ‘Sharika-Bhawani’ Temple.
The prayers are held every year, before rituals are performed for Chhari-Sthapana at Shri Amreshwar temple at Dashnami Akhara, near here tomorrow.
A spokesperson of the ‘The True Trust,’ founded by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji in 2004, said that in connection with Amarnath Yatra 2019, Chhari-Mubarak was taken to Sharika-Bhawani Temple. The Sadhus were chanting “Har Har Mahadev and Amarnath Swami Ki Jai’’enroute.
The sound of conch shell reverberated and charged the whole atmosphere. Pujan was performed, chanting Vedic hymn. A sizeable number of Sadhus and pilgrims, who had come from across the country, participated in the prayers. Collective prayers were also offered for peace and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mahant Ji while talking to reporters on the occasion said that puja was performed by chanting vedic hymns in a traditional way at Sharika Bhawani temple which is also known as Tripur Sundri and is the presiding deity of Srinagar city.
He said tomorrow Chhari Sathapana will be performed at Amreshwar temple Dashnami Akhara Srinagar in a traditional way and the holy Mace will proceed from Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar to cave shrine on August 10 and reach holy cave on Sawan Purnima falling on August 15.
The True Trust will make all the necessary arrangements like yesteryears, for Sadhus and pilgrims from across the country to join Chhari-Mubarak Yatra for their food, accommodation and transportation during the pilgrimage.
Mahant Giri has also advised Sadhus and members of civil society to get themselves registered, who intend to join Chhari-Mubarak Yatra and stated that only registered pilgrims with valid Yatra Permit shall be allowed to accompany Chhari-Mubarak during the pilgrimage.