S. Harpal Singh

The `deeksha' of Bajirao Baba makes them spiritual-minded even after the period of austerity

KAPRI (ADILABAD DT.): When social evils strike at the roots, spirituality takes over. At least this is what appears to have happened in the case of hundreds of `alcoholics' of Jainad and Bela mandal who are trying out the `deeksha' of Bajirao Baba to help them give up drinking.

The `deeksha' of Bajirao Baba is slowly taking the proportions of a cult, understandably so, because alcohol abuse among men has been a cause of concern. Adilabad district is one among those with highest liquor sales in Andhra Pradesh.

The Baba who resides at Suknegaon near Wani town of Yavatmal district in Maharashtra, an area contiguous with Jainad and Bela mandals, professes teetotalism through spirituality. The `deeksha' of Baba is of 41-day duration and is somewhat similar to Ayyappa `deeksha'. During this period also, people who take the `deeksha' shun social evils, eat only self-cooked food and sleep on the floor. The difference is continuation of spiritualism in the life of an alcoholic even after the `deeksha' is over and the chance for wife of the devotee also to opt for it. Men and women form into groups and sing `bhajans' in the praise of god one day in a week fixed by mutual consent. They voluntarily shun liquor, meat, debauchery and lying. They only sport only a `mala' made of wooden beads, which is often used like a rosary. Yelti Bhooma Reddy of Kapri village in Jainad mandal, who gave up alcohol six months ago, says spirituality keeps him going.

"My earlier efforts to give up boozing had never met with success," he revealed. "Baba's `deeksha' has brought peace into our lives. There are so many women who are now live peacefully," observes Laxmi Devi, wife of Bhooma Reddy. The Gyaneshwar saptah, which is a part of the Bajirao Baba style of devotion during which, devotees sing bhajans non-stop for one week, has started in Kouta of Jainad mandal.