10.1 C
Los Angeles
Friday, March 31, 2023

Religious rituals for results: Karnataka politicians chant the ‘RRR’ mantra in pursuit of electoral success | Bengaluru News

BENGALURU: Politics and religion make for intimate bedfellows and netas seeking divine intervention by performing religious rituals to turn the electoral tide in their favour is hardly uncommon.
Perhaps, they do not believe their work alone will see them through, but more than usual have been chanting the ‘RRR’ (religious rituals for results) mantra this election season. These rituals range from simple gana homas to esoteric and mystical tantric rituals bordering on sorcery and witchcraft.
Last week, former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy of JD(S), completed ‘Shatha Chandika Yaga’, a massive ritual involving 100 priests praying non-stop for nine days. They chant 700 ‘Sapthashathi’ mantras hundred times and offer oblation through 100 sacrificial fire pits (yagna kunda) to propitiate goddess Durga.
Kumaraswamy revealed the ritual was for the health and wellbeing of his father, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. But another ritual, ‘Lakshminarayana Hrudaya’, aimed at acquiring resources to fight elections and to ensure victory for JD(S), was performed simultaneously. The nine-day event also saw Kumaraswamy performing ‘Maharudra Yaga’, a ritualto gain a cloak that will shield him and his party from evil.
“Our family realises the only strength we can rely on is divine power and God’s grace, especially given our experience of surviving repeated challenges and reaching positions to govern the state even with small numbers,” Kumaraswamy told TOI. “That’s why we always turn to rituals like ‘Chandika Yaga’ when we face battlelike situations. ”
Kumaraswamy isn’t as ‘religious’ as others in the JD(S) first family but too often Gowda and his sons have been placed on the pedestalof power, and this has coincided with the observance of these rituals. It has only bolstered his belief in them.
The family performed ‘Shatha Chandika Yaga’ at Sringeri ahead of the 2018 assembly elections after which JD(S) formed a coalition government with Congress and Kumaraswamy became CM for the second time. Gowda is known to have performed ‘Ayuta Chandika Yaga’, a mega ritual involving 1,000 priests chanting the ‘Sapthashathi’ mantra 10,000 times for 10 days in 1996 before he became PM with only 16 MPs.
“How else do you explain JD(S) getting such opportunities having only a fraction of the required numbers? Only those who have experienced it, believe it,” says Kumaraswamy.
Bhanuprakash Sharma, a senior priest from Srirangapatna and an expert in the ritual, says two people who performed the ‘Ayutha ChandikaYaga’ before Gowda were former PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao also performed it in 2015.
DKS, a firm believer
Congress state president DK Shivakumar, a strong CM contender, appears to have taken a cue from the Gowdas. While he regularly visits shrines like Mahakaleshwar in Madhya Pradesh to perform various yagas, he recently visited Shani temple in Tamil Nadu’s Karaikal to ward off evil.
“I’m a believer,” said Shivakumar. “My belief in rituals comes from my faith in the Hindu religion and culture. ”
BS Dwarakanath, renowned astrologer and Shivakumar’s spiritual mentor, said: “I’ve been advising Shivakumar and SM Krishna are among many senior politicians. I’ve told Shivakumar it would be good to perform ‘Shatha Chandika Yaga’ and he is likely to do it soon. ”
Former chief minister BS Yediyurappa is also known for his staunch belief in astrology and his regime between 2008 and 2011 was awash with news about it.
“Politicians tend to surrender to astrology and rituals because of uncertainties about the future — the main attribute of politics. They find solace and gain confidence to go forward with challenges,” said noted astrologer Daivagna KN Somayaji.

Source link