Wednesday, April 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

15-day Chandi Mahayajna begins
from M.L. Kak
Tribune News Service

CHARAN PADUKA (KATRA), April 4 — Amid the chanting of mantras, the first 15-day Sahastra Chandi Mahayajna took off this morning at this holy place, which is the only place that still bears the footprints of Mata Vaishno Devi during her escape to the cave.

About 45 Brahmins from Benaras and Kanpur, ably assisted by the local scholars, performed the ‘bhoomi poojan’ and ‘shudi’ of the ‘agnikunds’ to herald the massive programme of reciting verses from holy scriptures to ensure peace in the world.

"This Mahayajna being performed here is not meant for the welfare of any individual but for the benefit of the people of the world," said Dr Anand Swami, who has been the main force behind this massive spiritual exercise.

Since Dr Anand Swami is a sanyasi he is not part of the group of learned scholars performing the Mahayajna. Instead, he is seen seated in a thatched cottage in one corner of the sprawling site where the Mahayajna is being performed, busy praying and blessing those who visit him.

  When‘bhoomi poojan’ and ‘shudi’ of the ‘agnikunds’ was started, several thousand pilgrims to the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi witnessed the holy exercise. Many of them were provided with ‘langar’, which the followers of Dr Swami and the International Shri Swami

Though several other religious leaders have started Sat Chandi Yajna at Katra, where controversial godman Chandraswami is likely to visit, the Mahayajna being performed by Dr Swami has been attracting large groups of pilgrims. Scores of NRIs, besides some foreigners from America, Canada and the West Indies have already reached here to participate in the Mahayajna and seek blessings from Dr Swami, who is a known spiritualist and a scholar in ayurveda.

Dr Swami said that when the incense would burn in the ‘agnikunds’ from tomorrow, the recitation of mantras would continue for 10 hours a day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In fact, the Mahayajna is being performed not to propitiate any one god or goddess but many so that it could herald the dawn of world peace in general and prosperity and serenity for the people of India in particular. Top

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