Chennai: Anticipating the release of water from Kallanai dam to replenish the Cauvery river and with a prayer to rain god Varuna on their lips, organisers of the Cauvery Pushkaram 2017 have built a make-shift bathing ghat at Thula Kattam in Mayiladuthurai to enable pilgrims to at least collect water and sprinkle it on their heads. Also, the organisers anticipate five lakh pilgrims to throng the mega event from September 12- 24.
At least one lakh pilgrims are likely to visit on the first day and there is likely to be an increase of 25,000-50,000 footfalls as the festival gains momentum. “We have requested the Karnataka government to release water and ensure the festival is held on a grand scale. Already the excess water from reservoirs in Karnataka is flowing into the Hogenakkal, Srirangam and Kallanai. We have also pitched our hopes on the Tamil Nadu government to release the water from the Kallanai on either the night of September 10 or the following morning, just in time for the Pushkaram,” expresses Yogi Ganapathy Gajananda Saraswathi of Tiruvenkadu, coordinator of the Cauvery Pushkaram.
Karnataka’s reservoirs, he claims, would breach if the excess water is not released. “We hope the state government will come to our rescue and ensure plentiful supply of water otherwise the pilgrims will have to collect water in mugs and pour it on their heads,” he says.
Thanks to the initiative of the Acharyas of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamy and Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamy, not only the festival arrangements but also the Varuna Japams are held at 27 locations. Varuna japam would be held on all days of the festival at 2,000 places across the state. “The Maha Pushkaram celebrations are being sanctified and blessed by their Holiness the Kanchi Acharyas, Jeer Swamys, Vedic scholars and Aadheenams and several others,” says V. Subramanian, of Jan Kalyan.
“We hope Varuna Bhagwan will shower his mercy upon all of us… till date we have managed with the funds from three MLAs and a few others in arranging the Pushkaram,” says Yogi Ganapathy Gajananda Saraswathi. Interestingly, during the course of making arrangements for the event, the organisers have tumbled upon 12 among the 108 wells on the river bed. “Lord Brahma created 84 lakh atmas, which emerged from water. Not only humans, plants, animals and insects all need water. We can’t survive without water, so, that’s why we attach importance to worshiping water or rivers,” the Yogi adds.
What is special about the celebrations?
- Homams, japas and yajnas are performed by Vedic scholars by chanting mantras from the Vedas and Upanishads. Varuna Japam and
- Azhimazhaik Kanna Pasurams will be recited by Vedic pundits with devotees praying for copious rainfall and bountiful life.
- Cauvery Mahapushkaram rath was flagged off by Sri Sri Sri Ranganarayana Jeeyar swamy, Srirangam , to inform about the Cauvery Maha Pushkaram.
- It has been planned to show mangala arti to all waterbodies during the conduct of the Pushkaram, every evening.