BUM BUM BOL BUM !!
BUM BUM BHOLE BUM !!!
According to Hindu mythology, there is a trinity of the Hindu Gods: Brahma-the creator, Vishnu-protector and Mahesh or Shiva-the destroyer.
To worship Almighty Shiva one has to practice in many hard ways. Shiva gets pleased with his worshipper only after the worshipper passes through the many painstaking phases.
One such form of worship is carrying pious water from Neelkanth/Haridwar or Gomukh and transporting it by foot to the individual’s hometown.
The Kanvar Yatra or Kavad Yatra (काँवर यात्रा or कांवड़ यात्रा) is annual pilgrimage of devotees of Shiva, known as Kānvarias, to Hindu pilgrimage places of Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand to fetch holy waters of Ganges River, Ganga Jal, which is later offered at their local Shiva temples.
The Yatra takes place during the sacred month of Shravan (Saawan) (July -August), according to the Hindu calendar.
Kanwar Yatra is named after the kānvar (काँवर), a single pole (usually made of bamboo) with two roughly equal loads fastened or dangling from opposite ends. The kānvar is carried by balancing the middle of the pole on one or both shoulders. Kanvar-carrying pilgrims, called Kānvarias, carry covered water-pots in kanvars slung across their shoulders. This practice of carrying Kavad as a part of religious pilgrimage, especially by devotees of Lord Shiva, is widely followed throughout India.
There the individual offers it to holy Shivling on the auspicious day of Maha Shivratri. Only after doing this one can get what one desires in his mind.
The person who has brought the water offers it to Almighty Lord Shiva all the way from either Haridwar or Gomukh by foot on the day of Maha Shivratri.
The name Kanwarias comes from the pole the yatris carry called ‘Kanwar’ on their shoulders. Pots with Ganga Water hang from the two sides of the pole.
While most pilgrims are men, a few women also participate in Yatra. Most travel the distance on foot, a few also travel on bicycles, motor cycles, scooters, mini trucks or jeeps. Numerous Hindu organizations and other voluntary organizations like local Kanwar Sanghs, the Rashtryia Swayam Sewak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. setup camps along the National Highways during the Yatra,
Each and every member of the society is involved in this practice in order to serve the cause of KANWARIAS. These services include free medicines and boarding & lodging arrangement during day and night for rest.
This helps the KANWARIA a lot on fulfilling his desires.
When a Kanwaria stops at any camp situated along the roadside for rest then on his continuation of his journey he has to take bath as well as wash his clothes.
He does not even think of any wrongdoings. This is also applicable to his family members as they are fully devoted to religious things and do not indulge in any sort of malpractices, not even in words.
People travel on foot from far away places sometimes even 500 – 800 kilometers.
Kanwarias approach the Kanwar Yatra differently. Some prefer to walk the entire stretch from there home to the River Ganges silently chanting prayers.
Some go in groups singing praise of Lord Shiva.Some devotees create a Mela atmosphere by traveling on trucks and carts with loudspeakers playing different types of music.
Then there are the relay marthon runners called ‘dak kanwarias.’ In it each yatri runs a certain distance and is then taken over by another yatri.
During the course of journey the individual practices religious feeling and he does not smoke, drink alcohol or eat non-vegetarian food etc. and also he does not keep the container, in which the holy water is being carried, on the floor.
Another story that is related -
Shravan Kumar belonged to the time when King Dashratha ruled Ayodhya. He was born of poor and blind parents, but they had brought him up remarkably well. He was strong healthy and honest, and he had a good character. He bore sincere love and respect for his parents. He was also a great devotee of God. Everyday he worked hard to make his parents as comfortable and happy. In his leisure time he prayed to God and attended to his poor, blind and aging parents.
One day his parents told him that they had be- come quite aged. They, therefore, wanted him to take them to the various places of pilgrimage : this could make them fully satisfied and give them abundant peace of mind. It is a typical Hindu belief that a pilgrimage to the various shrines and holy places under- taken in old age, purifies the soul and takes one nearer to one's Maker ere the icy hand of Death touches one. To a Hindu mind nothing is more precious, than becoming one with the great Maker of this Universe.
In those days means of transport were scarce and costly, and Shravan Kumar could not afford to hire- them. He, therefore, decided to place his parents in two baskets and carry the baskets on his shoulder to the places of pilgrimage. He took a strong bamboo- stick, at its two ends he tied the two baskets with strong ropes, and placed his father in one of the baskets and his mother in the other. Carrying on his shoulder this bamboo stick with a basket at either end, Shravan started on the pilgrimage.
After having visited a few places of pilgrimage, he found himself on the banks of the sacred river Sharayu. Pleased with the beautiful scenery around. he decided to take a little rest there, with his parents. Shravan then placed the baskets in the shade of a tree.
And after describing the beauties of the scene to his blind parents, he told them that he wanted to take a dip in the river Sharayu- The bath was sure to re- fresh him. His parents asked Sharavan to take his bath leisurely: they also asked him to fetch them pitcher of water from the river, for they were feeling thirsty.
Shravan went to the river and had his dip. Now he had to fetch drinking water for his parents, and so he dipped a pitcher into the water. As the pitcher was getting filled, there was that peculiar bubbling sound caused by the air escaping from within.
At that precise time. King Dashratha of Ayodhya. who was on a hunting expedition, happened to be near the spot. Hearing the bubbling sound, the King thought that it was caused by a deer drinking water in the river. Dashratha stood silent for a while and only with the bubbling sound to guide him carefully took aim and shot his arrow. Indeed the arrow hit the target with precision, but the King was astonished to hear the pain-stricken screams of a human being instead of the painful cry of a dying deer. Shravan had become the target of the King's arrow. Injured fatally, he lay screaming in a pool of blood.
The King came to the spot and saw the ghastly mistake he had committed. He repented for his hasty action, but it was too late. He then placed Shravan's head on his lap, and tried to elicit some information about himself. Shravan Kumar told him that he would be dying in a few minutes, but he felt sorry for his blind parents, who were resting in the shade of the tree, waiting for him to quench their thirst. He. Therefore, requested the King to attend to his old, blind parents. Soon Shravan breathed his last.
Now the King; had to perform the duties of Shravan. He lifted the pitcher and brought it to Shravan's parents and raised it up to the lips of the blind old man. The King did not utter a single word for fear of revealing the stark reality. But the parents would not take water till they heard the familiar voice of their beloved son.
So they asked:
"0 dear son. why do you not speak today? Are you angry with us because you have to toil so much to serve up?"
At last King Dashratha had to tell them all that had happened. The parents were unable to bear the grief as their beloved son was no more. They told Dashratha that they could not live in this world with- out their son. They cursed the King that he, too would meet his death caused by the sorrow of separation from his son just as what had happened to them.
Shortly afterwards both the parents passed away.
Many years passed, and Dashratha had four sons. The eldest son was Rama. In due course. Dashratha began preparing to crown Rama as the King of Ayodhya so that he could retire to the jungles and live there a peaceful life praying to God. Now Dashratha had given two boons in the past to his wife Kaikeyi. Rama's step-mother. She insisted that the King grant her the boons before crowning Rama. The King hesitated, but had to concede in the end. She demanded that Rama be sent to the forest for fourteen years and her son Bharat be crowned as the king of Ayodhya. The shock of the thought of fourteen years' separation from his son, Rama was so great that Dashratha instantly collapsed and died. And thus the curse of Shravun Kumar's parents came true.
Each wrong is avenged, and each labour rewarded in the grand scheme of things. The story of Shravan bears this out, even as it underlines another great truth, that none, not even the king who rules over the land can escape the consequences of his action.