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Aastha hai yeah Andhvishwas

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Swar_Raj

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Swar_Raj

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Posted: 14 September 2007 at 12:51pm | IP Logged
Most of us have seen them and I always wondered if this is really a aastha. When these Kanwaris reach Gomukh, the whole area becomes a disater while they are there. Donot know about Haridwar but in Gangotri they really do a lot of pollution and too much fight with local people there. it is really impossible to handle such a crowd by such a small place who is always trying hard to survive in such climatic condition. One of their attitude is here. Was it necessary to stop the traina nd now crate all this violence Gonda/Gorakhpur, September 13
At least 16 kanwariyas (devotees of Lord Shiva) were crushed to death by an Express train near Saryu Ghat Railway Station of Uttar Pradesh tonight, triggering arson and violent protests. The mishap occurred on the Lucknow-Gorakhpur section when the Lucknow-Gonda passenger train slowed down on the bridge over Saryu river ahead of the station and a large number of kanwariyas got off the train in a bid to take water from the river for offerings at a temple at Karnelganj, Northern Railway divisional magistrate Ashima Singh said. At this point, the Gorakhpur-bound Intercity Express pulled up on the adjacent track and crushed the kanwariyas to death, she said. The death toll could go up further as several kanwariyas jumped into the river to avoid the train, superintendent of police N.K. Srivastva said. Soon after the incident, a group of Kanwariyas set on fire one of the cabins of the railway station, some kiosks there and a fire tender, Srivastva said.

A relief train had left for the site. Movement of trains on the section came to a halt following the incident. PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2007/20070914/nation.htm#34



Edited by Swar_Raj - 14 September 2007 at 12:56pm

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Swar_Raj

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Posted: 14 September 2007 at 12:52pm | IP Logged

Some info for those who are not aware of this tradition

Come July-August and most Delhi roads are dotted with orange-clad men carrying decorated paraphernalia on their shoulders. While certainly arousing curiosity with their unique outfits, group formations and chats, one almost never finds out where and what they're headed for.

Kanwariyas march along on Delhi streets. Pic: Varupi Jain.

Kanwarias, as they're popularly called, are devotees of Shiva. Dressed in orange coloured clothes, they carry holy water (kanwar) of river Ganga from Neelkanth, Gomukh or Haridwar to be poured on the Shivlinga in their hometown on the occasion of Shivratri. This journey on foot, when completed, is supposed to fulfil their wishes and endear them to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that at the time of 'samudra manthan' (turning of the seas upside-down) both ambrosia and poison surfaced. While many gods and goddesses eagerly tasted amrit, no one wanted to have poison. Yet, consuming poison was crucial or else it would have caused enormous destruction had it touched the Earth. It was then that the 'God of Gods' - Shiva put the poison in his throat which caused tremendous heat in his body. It is to pacify this heat that gangajal (water of the Ganga) is poured over Shivlingas -- a process known as Jalabhishek. Shiva devotees in most cities who do not travel to Haridwar organise camps along the route followed by kanwarias to serve them food and water. Shiv Shakti Sewa Sangh, Punjabi Bagh (the camp is on the Upper Ridge Road, New Delhi) is one among 45 organisations in Delhi dedicated to serving the kanwarias on their return journey from Haridwar. These organisations typically run on voluntary contributions and provide the kanwarias walking back home with food, drinks, night shelter, medical-aid and bathing facilities. At this camp alone, around 30 40,000 kanwarias stop by for food, medicine etc. However, as Ram Niwas, a worker of the organization points out, "during the one month preceding Shivratri the number of devotees visiting Gomukh and Haridwar could be anywhere around 20 25 lakhs. Devotees come from as far as Nepal and Tamilnadu. Once the kanwaria stops for rest at any camp situated along the roadside then he has to take bath as well as wash his clothes before moving on. He is not supposed to even think of any wrongdoings". A kanwar typically comprises a long bamboo stick with small containers carrying gangajal tied to either end. It is decorated with red and orange cloth strips and other glitzy material and is balanced on the shoulder of the person carrying it. There can be many types of kanwars: the 'standing kanwar' need not run with someone continuously the only condition is that until reaches its destination, the water has to be continuously carried on someone's shoulder, even if the person carrying it is only standing and not walking. The 'hanging kanwar' also need not run continuously; in fact it can be placed on a stand while the owner rests or bathes. The 'sitting kanwar' can even be placed on floor while the owner does something else. "The 'mail' or 'dak kanwar' has to keep running like an Olympic torch," says Ram Niwas. "Someone walks along with the person actually carrying the kanwar in order to make the run of the kanwar continuous. A 'dak kanwar' takes about 12 15 hrs to reach Delhi from Haridwar," he says.
The government, the devotee community, voluntary donors and scores of others all come together to organise and support this religious tradition. It is a reminder of an associativeness that seems to work.
According to Om Prakash, who carried gangajal form Haridwar to his hometown Jaipur, "true devotees want to practice japna (chanting of holy mantras), tapna (developing will-power by making the body tolerant to pain) and vrat (fasting). Our walk from Haridwar to the hometown gives pain to our body which helps us practice tapna." One wonders if everyone who carries holy water from Haridwar also reaches their destination. "Even if someone gets sick or too tired on the way, that person is free to break his journey and passes on his kanwar to others from his group also going to the same city. These devotees usually travel in groups and even if they start their journey alone, they're 'adopted' into one of the many groups," says Om Prakash. Are the kanwarias a particular community? "Anyone can be a kanwaria. However, relatively few women and children opt to walk down from Haridwar," says Satish Kumar Gupta, another devotee. "We are indirect devotees of Shiva. By serving the kanwarias who walk all the way to pour gangajal on the Shivlinga in their hometown, we are indirectly serving Shiva," he says.

The Delhi city government pitches in by providing doctors and medical-aid, water and all the tents, chairs and tables. But the voluntary organisations take care of all other organizational aspects like securing cooks, workers etc. The government also contributes by making separate lanes on at least some of the roads for the kanwarias. "However, still, on their long journey which totally drains them out, once in a while they do get injured in traffic accidents," says Gupta.

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continue reading article ...


 
p.s.:

Every year there are reports about friction and accidents along the roads that the kanwarias follow. According to media reports, this year traffic police met with kanwarias and religious organisations to suggest that they take an alternative route to avoid main city roads. But the alternatives were rejected by the devotees. Some traffic concerns and congestion problems are bound to be there because of any special movement, more so on streets as choked as Delhi's, says Sunil Bhisht, a devotee from Kanpur. "But why single out the kanwarias? Have the traffic police been able to rectify similar situations caused by other religious processions or by the massive construction projects going on in Delhi?" asks Bhisht. But he adds that in any case, devotees were satisfied with the support of the traffic police.

The support that the kanwarias' journey finds is a reminder of how religion still fosters solidarity and unity, besides of course (sometimes unintentionally) creating divisions. That the government, the community, voluntary donors and others all come together to organise and support this tradition is indicative of an associativeness that seems to work. If only these values mutual support, solidarity, purity, sense of community and service were to extend beyond the roads leading back from Haridwar, to seep into government daftars, post offices, community centres, traffic signals, public toilets and community parks, Lord Shiva would surely have an added reason to smile.

http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/aug/soc-kanwarias.htm



Edited by Swar_Raj - 14 September 2007 at 1:04pm

Swar_Raj

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Swar_Raj

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Posted: 14 September 2007 at 1:02pm | IP Logged
My Question is, being a relegous country, are we better off converting these sacred places into some tourism beneficials. One example is Kailash Parvat, where only about a thousand devotees per year are allowed. On that basis,the place becomes manageable. Some what concept like Haj.

Now in India we have char dham and several sacred places. Places which are small like Gangotri/Badrinath etc and currently cannot manage big crowds, will it be worthwhile to make it prosperous thinking on tourism line too?
This as per me would boost tourism even during non peak times and will also help boost economy of these neglected villages.

mermaid_QT

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Posted: 14 September 2007 at 1:27pm | IP Logged
Excellent idea but could unfortunately hurt religious beliefs.

Some few are just waiting to be hurt the way i see things and they do hamper growth, since judicial system is slow. IMO, justice DELAYED is justice DENIED.. I'd love to see Priya's response here :)

So anyway,
1. some people could move court against infrastructure development in these places aimed at enhancing tourism

2. Even if religious sentiments are not hurt, somehow, I don't have much confidence in the common man the reason being-
Banaras, Hrishikesh, Kashi up-North, Alandi/ Pandharpur / Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Jyotirlingam in MP, Meenaskhsi temple-Madurai, beautiful beaches of Konkan-  I sadly see that locals as well as tourists did not fail trash them Dead
We need to learn to respect our own manuments and places of worship first and reduce dirt/ pollution there.  On a little positive note, though, I admit I finally see good things happening to TAJ, which is a struture in a city as opposed to rather removed mountain areas.



Edited by mermaid_QT - 14 September 2007 at 7:08pm

raj5000

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raj5000

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Posted: 14 September 2007 at 5:57pm | IP Logged
Lataji, I like the title, Aastha hai yaa AndhVishwas - AndhVishwas bhi apaar aastha ka sey peyda hotta hai.

Topic:
You are saying that making teerth sthals, tourists spot with restricted admission based on some pre application or booking? if thats right then IMO this sounds very beneficial and planned approach to tackle hazards/stampede at holy places due to execess crowds and help organisation manage the crowd. Every one gets a fair chance / time for darshans, enjoying the beauti of peacefull surrounding. Sorry, but it's gonna hurt feeling of masses who seek it like no one can stop them visiting a mandirs, no matter what...won't be accepted / agreed upon by majority... eventhough folks will understand the value of such a setup.

IdeaQueen

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Posted: 15 September 2007 at 3:41am | IP Logged
Lataji!
Nice topic as usualClap
I fail to understand these type of Bhakts..traditions and rituals....these type of blind worshipping and worshippers...exist from centuries...and will exist for the centuries.....OuchDead
I will not write more..as my views may hurt anyone....
Wishes,
Mythili

Vinzy

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Posted: 15 September 2007 at 4:34am | IP Logged

Originally posted by Swar_Raj

My Question is, being a relegous country, are we better off converting these sacred places into some tourism beneficials. One example is Kailash Parvat, where only about a thousand devotees per year are allowed. On that basis,the place becomes manageable. Some what concept like Haj.

Now in India we have char dham and several sacred places. Places which are small like Gangotri/Badrinath etc and currently cannot manage big crowds, will it be worthwhile to make it prosperous thinking on tourism line too?
This as per me would boost tourism even during non peak times and will also help boost economy of these neglected villages.

Tourism and Devotion is totaly different concept na swarji???

About Hajj everyone cant do..Now Saudi Govt itself make a new rules control the visitors....and Hajji's not Doing TOURISM,Embarrassed indian Govt doing the gr8 things is that they finacily support the Haji's.....by giving hajj sabsidy. what about majority???

I got your points n intension......In big n famous temples Govt or Temple trust should control the visitors by checking the ID card or something like that....Smile

 

Swar_Raj

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Swar_Raj

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Posted: 15 September 2007 at 1:40pm | IP Logged
Of course Vinu ji LOL tourism and devotion are entirely different, but can be tied together too if done diplomatically Embarrassed
Yes Raj Too much Aastha is AAndvishwas and Myth, QT I do agree that it will not be taken lighty.
ALthough I still think if it is properly prepared and presented as a suggestion to our people, then they may see a benefit to it.It is for us all. Not too much rush we have to see, plus much cleaner sacred places. As such no one goes everyyear so now they can plan it better way.
After all we accepted kings like Aurungzeb too and accepted all mosque that are purposely built by destroying the main temple's entrances.

Yes, hindus are very tolerant and if the points are presented in view of current environmet, then any educated person will accept it.

FOr above incidence, why could these people not see their fault of stopping train in the middle of a bridge?????? Yes person loosing a loved one looses all senses. I have felt that myself too. Mishaps like these cannot be avided till we all follow the rules made for our safety. We all know stopping a train for no reason caused un neccesary delay. hard for me to beleive that no one in that group realises that. For such things all I can say is spread education to every part of India. May be they can differentiate between Aastha and aandvishwas.

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