Known for his penchant for astrology, rituals and Vaastu, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao will soon embark on what is being billed as “mother of all yagams”, at the expense of the taxpayers’ money.
The mega ritual, Maha Sudharshana Yagam, which will involve 4,000 priests, will be performed near the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple at Yadagirigutta, about 60 kms from Hyderabad.
The date and time for the mega ritual will be finalised soon. According to sources in the Chief Minister’s Office, a yagna vaatika is being prepared over a 100-acre site near the popular hill shrine. As many as 1,048 yagna kundas (small pyres made of bricks where rituals are performed) are also being constructed.
Galaxy of invitees
The Chief Minister will extend personal invitation to all Peethadhipathis of the Vaishnava Peethams (Mutts) from across the country, besides other seers, for the event. Invitations will also be sent to all Chief Ministers, Governors and Union ministers.
“The government is contemplating to throw it open to common people as well. So, lakhs of devotees are expected to witness the yagam and all necessary arrangements will be made,” said officials.
Brushing aside criticism from various quarters, KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, had performed a similar yagam during his first tenure, in December, 2015.
The five-day ‘Ayutha Maha Chandi Yagam’ was performed at his farmhouse in Erravelli village of Siddipet district. Over 2,500 priests participated in the yagam that was conducted in 101 homa kundams in the sprawling 40-acre yagasala.
Several seers including the Shankaracharyas, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and a horde of VIPs and politicians had attended the ritual.
Blessings of Chinna Jeeyar Swamy
Ahead of ‘Maha Sudarshana Yagam’, the Chief Minister drove to the ashram of Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar Swamy in Hyderabad to seek his blessings. He also discussed with him the arrangements required for the mega ritual.
“More than 1,000 rithviks (Vedic pundits who perform yagams) and another 3,000 assistants would conduct the one-day ritual,” a CMO official said.
Unlike the previous yagams, which were performed by KCR in his personal capacity, the upcoming ritual will be at the government’s expense.
Soon after coming to power in the Assembly elections held in December 2018, KCR performed a similar mega homam, Maha Rudhra Sahitha Sahasra Maha Chandi Yagam, at the same farmhouse in the last week of January under Vishaka Sri Sarada Peetham seer Swamy Swaroopanandendra.
The Chief Minister had performed several such yagams in the past as well. This June, he had performed rituals on the banks of Godavari River on the day of the inauguration of the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project.
Love for Vaastu
The Chief Minister’s belief in astrology is well known. Be it the muhurat (timing) for the premature dissolution of the Assembly on September 6 last year and go for early Assembly polls or his oath taking ceremony on December 13 last year – KCR has taken key decisions of his political career based on the advice of astrologers.
Further, his love for Vaastu had prompted him to opt for demolition of the present Secretariat complex and build a new Vaastu-compliant one.
He has faced major criticism for avoiding the Secretariat and working from his official bungalow “Pragati Bhavan”. All his official review meetings and media interactions, which rarely take place, are held at his bungalow.
The Chief Minister feels that the Secretariat, a 25-acre complex overlooking the picturesque Hussain Sagar Lake in the heart of Hyderabad, is not Vaastu-compliant and must be demolished to make it free from “Vaastu dosham”.
Following the recommendations from Vaastu advisers, his government has now drawn up plans to bring down all the 10 blocks in the Secretariat and build a new complex at an estimated cost of ₹400 crore.
Similarly, a new Assembly complex is also being planned after the demolition of a 150-year-old Nizam-era palace at a cost of ₹100 crore.
The foundation stones for both the complexes were laid on June 27. “There is no auspicious muhurtam after this till December,” the Chief Minister had said while unveiling the designs for the two complexes.