Vijayawada

Cow pujas organised at temples

TTD officials performing cow puja at TTD’s SV Gosamrakshanashala in Tirumala on Thursday.  

With a beef festival kicking up a controversy in Hyderabad, cow pujas were organised in all famous temples across Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, under instructions from the Hindu Dharmika Parishad (HDP) of the Endowments Department. While not explicitly acknowledging that this was a response to the controversy over beef, priests and executive officers (EOs) of major temples such as Tirumala, Arasavilli and Annavaram actively took part in the rituals.

Temple towns witnessed a surcharged atmosphere with several organisations coming forward to organise rituals of reverence for cows. The HDP had issued a circular a week ago that cow pujas should be performed on December 10 to protect the Hindu dharma. This circular was the result of a ‘dharmika sadassu’ organised at Tirumala 10 days ago where religious leaders from various denominations expressed concern about cow slaughter and beef festivals.

The dharmika sadassu was attended by seers from Kanchi, Pushpagiri and Sringeri and the Bharata Gou Samrakshana Sangham, HDP, TTD, Endowments Department and others participated in it. At Tirupati, TTD Board member G. Bhanuprakash Reddy said TTD is contemplating introducing a ‘Saptha Gou Puja’ at Alipiri. TTD joint executive officer P. Bhaskar announced a ‘Gou Puja’ in 500 temples on Kanuma, the third day of the forthcoming Sankranti festival. ISKCON also chipped in by offering special prayers to cows.

At Srikakulam, TTD Dharma Prachara Parishad leader Baratam Kameswara Rao expressed concern over the export of cows from the district to Hyderabad, Chennai and other places for slaughter.The government should take necessary steps for protection of cows, he said.

Srikakulam Brahaman Sangham president Gumma Nagesh, Uttarandhra Sadhu Parishad president Swami Srinivasananda said it had become fashion for some leaders to support beef festivals in the name of protection of 'food habits of a section of the people’. As part of the pujas, priests at the Tirumala temple offered harati to cows penned in the TTD’s cow pen. They had been given a ritual bath and their foreheads were daubed with turmeric and vermilion. Similar cow pujas were performed at the Kanakadurga temple in Vijayawada, and at the major pilgrimage centres of Srisailam, Srikalahasti, Arasavilli, Tripurantakam.

Endowments assistant commissioner V. Srinivasa Reddy said, “We organised celebrations in over 150 major temples administered by the Endowments Department.”

Cow puja was performed at the following temples in Visakhapatnam: Sri Jagannadhaswamy temple on the main road, Sri Sitaramachandraswamy temple at Ambika Baugh, Sri Uma Ramalingeswara Swamy temple at Ramakrishna Nagar, Shirdi Sai Baba temple at Dayal Nagar, and Sri Varahalakshminarasimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 1:13:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/cow-pujas-organised-at-temples/article7973074.ece

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