‘Varjyam’ casts its shadow on the commencement of the programme
The conferment of Bhavani deekshas began on a dull note in Vijayawada on Saturday. The Bhavani rush was very thin on first day of conferment compared to previous years.
The bhavani deeksha devotees thronged Indrakeeladri wearing red robes which marked the beginning of the deeksha.
Not much rush was also seen at Durga ghat where the devotees take a dip before taking the deeskha in early hours. The ‘varjyam’ played havoc in the commencement of the programme, and the devotees also took dip in the river after ‘varjyam’. After taking a dip in the Krishna and donning the sacred red robes, the devotees reached Bhavani Deeksha Mandapam near the temple chanting the various names of goddess Durga.
The temple priests expressed the view that the rush would catch up in days to come. The bhavani heavy rush was expected on Kartika pournami, November 28. The devotees, generally, prefer to take deeskha on Kartika pournami, they said.
The temple authorities staggered the deeksha conferment for five days following suggestions from the police. Earlier, the devotees used to take deeksha only on Kartika Pournami. It is also one of the reasons for poor turnout on first day, they explained.
The temple staff blamed it on poor publicity on deeksha schedule. They expressed the view that not many devotees were aware the deeksha conferment begins on Saturday.
The rituals began at quarter to eight with the bringing out of Utsava Murthulu, the processional deities of the goddess and her consort, to Bhavani Mandapam, and conducting of Vighneswara Puja, ‘Kalasa Sthapana' and ‘Punyahavachanam' indicated the beginning of the 41-day ‘deeksha’. As Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthaanam Executive Officer Vishnu Prasad was not present in the city, Assistant Executive Officers (AEOs) performed the rituals.
Later, the temple priests conferred deeksha on the devotees by chanting Vedic hymns. The Bhavanis, as they will now be called, went around the temples, including those of Kanaka Durga, Malleswara Swami, Nataraja, Vinayaka, Subrahmanya Swami and Anjaneya Swami, on the hillock.