Special prayers, rituals held in Karnataka to please rain god
BENGALURU: With Karnataka reeling under drought and facing an acute shortage of drinking water, special prayers and rituals were conducted at several temples across the state on Thursday. Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar and Muzrai Minister PT Parameshwar Naik offered special ‘puja’ and performed ‘Parjanya Japa’ at Sri Rishya Shringeshwara Temple in Sringeri. Shivakumar told reporters that special puja was conducted for rain in the state. “It is believed that prayers at Sri Rishya Shringeshwara temple bring sufficient rains,” the minister said.
The Muzrai department organised the special pujas at the temples administered by the department across the state. Shivakumar said that the state, which was badly hit by drought last year, may face a similar situation this year too. “As a precautionary measure, the government is organising puja. We prayed in the wee hours after taking blessings from the pontiff of Sringeri mutt. I have faith that there will be good rain thanks to the blessings of Lord Sri Rishya Shringeshwara.
We also offered prayers at Sharadamba temple,” the minister said. Various religious rituals were performed at different temples in Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Mandya districts. Parjanya homa, followed by kalashabhisheka and panchamrita abhisheka were conducted at Srikanteshwara Swamy temple in Nanjangud, Goddess Chamundeshwari temple at Chamundi Hills, Trineshwara Swamy temple at Palace, Vaidyanatheswara temple at Talakad and Mallikarjuna Swamy temple at Mudukuthore. The chief priest of Chamundeshwari temple Shashishekar Dixit led the prayers along with a group of priests. Tahsildar (Muzrai), Mysuru, Yatiraj S told The New Indian Express: “Apart from the prominent temples, authorities at the temples in taluk headquarters have been told to follow the suit.”
At Chamarajanagar too, similar rituals were conducted at Chamarajeshwara Swamy temple, Himavad Gopalaswamy temple in Gopalaswamy Hill and Mahadeshwara temple at Male Mahadeshwara Hills. In Mandya, prayers were offered at Ranganatha Swamy temple at Srirangapatna and Eshwara Temple at Arakere. Meanwhile, a group of rationalists, including E Basavaraju, staged a demonstration in Bengaluru protesting against the government decision to direct temples to conduct special pujas. They accused the government of resorting to such measures instead of making efforts to provide relief to people hit by drought.