Sri Kaveri Pushkara Maha Kumba Mela is grand festival for Kaveri, one of the most sacred rivers of Bharat. Kaveri Pushkaram commences today (12/09/2017) and continues till 23/09/2017. It marks the time of the entry of Guru (Jupiter) into Tula rasi which takes place once for every 12 years. This year marks another special event which is addressed as Maha Pushkaram of Kaveri. It is a pushkaram which happens after 12 cycles of 12 years i.e., after 144 years. It must also be noted that this grand event which happens once in every century has coincided with the 1000th Birth Anniversary of the Great Saint Philosopher Social Reformer Jagadguru Sri Ramanujacharya.
Pushkaram is the festival dedicated to worshiping of rivers in our Sanatana Dharma. It is also a way of thanking & showing our gratitude to the mighty and holy rivers that have sustained civilization after civilization on it’s banks nurturing all forms of life. Pushkaram festival signifies when all the Brahmaadi Devathas, all the Sages, all the Pithru Devathas, all the Theerthas in this Bhoomandala including Ganga enters into that particular river along with Brihaspathi and Pushkara. This time of their entry into a particular river is considered highly sacred and celestial which has the power to diminish the ghastly and dreadful sins committed by a person. Having darshan, taking bath, touching and drinking the sacred waters of Pushkara is considered to be highly meritorious and soul cleansing. It is also believed that performing rites to forefathers on the banks of Pushkara River will help them attain salvation.
The Krishna Pushkaram grantha, provides the reference of all the sacred rivers and their associated pushkara sambhava rasi.
मेषे च गङ्गा, वृषभे च नर्मदा, युग्मे च वाणी, यमुना कुलीरे, गोदावरी सिंह गते च, कन्यांगतेदेवगुरौच कृष्णा, कावेरी तौल्यां, अलिताम्रपर्णी, चापे च सिंधु, मकरे च भद्रा, घटेगुरौ भीमरथी, प्रणीता मीनेगते, पुष्करमाहुरार्याः! इति कदा कस्याः पुष्करं संभव
River Kaveri begins her journey in a small kund at Talakaveri in the kodugu hills of Karnataka and gracefully unwinds along the plains of Tamilnadu before joining the Samudra at Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu. Along her banks are numerous holy shrines; most notable among them are the Pancha Ranga Shetras and 276 holy shrines worshipped by Azhawars and Nayanmars. Further the Azhwars and Nayanmars have also eulogized River Kaveri in their pasurams (compositions).
The Agnaeya Purana describes the sacredness of Kaveri by saying that those who are touched by the breeze blowing from Kaveri will be released from rebirth and reach the lotus feet of the Lord.
कावेरि त्रिजन्मानः कावेरि सलिलाप्लुता।
कावेरि वाताद्यै स्पृष्ठा यान्ति हरेःपद //
Our ancient seers have prescribed certain austerities to be observed during Pushkaram time known as Pushkara Vidhi. Most important are Pushkara Snaana, Pushkara Vaasa, Pushkara Darshana, Shiro Mundana, Vrata, Pushkara Pithru Karma, and Pushkara Daana.
Since time immemorial Hindus have considered rivers as sacred. The river worship in the form of Pushkaram, is performed to make the mankind realize the significance of water as the life sustaining force. Thus it is our ardent duty to respect and follow the traditions and culture pioneered by our elders with a great foresight and Pushkaram is one such sacred Hindu sampradaaya that has descended from Sages.
The Pushkaram of this year named ‘Hevilambi’ for our Glorious Kaveri River is a Great Blessing indeed to the entire mankind. The main bathing ghats of Kaveri in Tamil Nadu are Bhoolokha Vaikuntham (Srirangam) & Mayiladuthurai. The sacredness of these ghats are also mentioned in a song by Sri Tyagaraja paying tribute to River Kaveri, describing her gait and sanctity while she flows, paying obeisance to Sri Ranganadha and Panchanadeeswara. Hence we request every dharmika to visit Kaveri Pushkaram and experience divinity.
Note: This article was written by Madrasmami who tweets at @madrasmami23
(Feature Image Courtesy: gangatours.net)