1,500 widows offer Lakshmi pooja at Kudroli temple

1,500 widows offer Lakshmi pooja at Kudroli temple

Kudroli Gokarnanatheswara temple trust which has been initiating a slew of social reformation measures, allowed a large number of widows to perform Lakshmi Pooja to the Goddess on the occasion of Lakshmi Pooja, at temple premises on Thursday.

Nearly 1,500 widows from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts arrived at the temple to offer Lakshmi Pooja, on one of the rare occasions. They were welcomed with the beating of drums and a pooja was offered to the idol of social reformer Brahmashri Narayana Guru.

Later, three priestesses of the temple, Indira Shanthi, Lakshmi Shanthi and Chandravathi Shanthi, accompanied by male priests Lakshman Shanthi and Lokesh Shanthi offered Ashtothara Archane to Goddess Lakshmi, while other widows joined the chorus. Soon, Lakshmi pooja was offered and widows were given an opportunity to offer Arthi to the deities - Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu.

After the pooja, a large number of widows joined their hands together to pull the silver chariot in which the deities were placed. Then saris, blouse pieces, vermillion and bangles were distributed to all the widows as ‘prasadam.’

While for a few widows, the experience was new, for some other widows it was not. Shakunthala from Padil told Deccan Herald that she had taken part in the previous social reformation movement taken up by the temple. “I had participated in Chandika Homa and I knew the significance of today’s pooja. I wanted to offer prayers to the Goddess and be a part of this moment, that is why I have come here,” she said.

Another devotee, Devaki had come along with her mother Girija to take part in the prayers. “It is not often that we, widows get an opportunity like this to perform pooja to the God. Most of the times we are kept away from auspicious ceremonies. I am glad that I got a chance to be a part of this initiative,” she said.

However, Pushpa, a widow from Urva Store, said that she did not want to offer pooja, but would only take prasadam and leave.

Speaking to reporters, former union minister B Janardhan Poojary who has mooted the reformation said that the social reforms were implemented in the temple in tune with the principles laid down by social reformer Narayana Guru who had built the temple at Kudroli.

“We choose this day for the programme as Lord Lakshmi is born today and it will be more appropriate to strengthen widows on the day of Lakshmi Pooja. Our basic idea is to reach out to all those who have been kept away from the society due to various beliefs that are practiced in society. We are trying to build the morale of those women who have lost their husbands,” he said.

Mangalore Mayor Mahabala Marla, MLA J R Lobo were present on the occasion.

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