Mathura 2017.31.01 (TOI): In the run-up to the assembly elections in the state, candidates belonging to various parties are seeking divine intervention by invoking gods and supernatural powers through pujas, yagyas, sacrifices, tantric rituals, and so on for victory. One priest told TOI that a poll candidate had spent Rs. 60 lakhs (six million rupees) to organise tantric rituals at Pitambara Peeth, Datia (MP), and at Vindhyavasini Devi temple in Vindhyachal, Mirzapur, recently. There are others who are opting for sacrifices that cost anywhere between Rs 25,000 and Rs 4 lakh.
In the temples and peeths of Vrindavan, Mathura, and surrounding towns of the region, election candidates have opened their purse strings to organise yagyas and sacrifices for divine intervention. Kamakhya temple in Guwahati (Assam) has also become a favourite for political aspirants for conducting tantric rituals, sources said.
According to authorities at a temple in Vrindavan, over twelve bookings have been received for conducting anusthans (chanting of mantras) from February 1st, and four are already underway. Talking to TOI, pundit Mridul Kant Shastri, convenor of Shree Radha Kant temple, Vrindavan, said he had received nearly 12 bookings and that the anusthans would begin from February 1 and continue till February 11.
Shastri said the candidates have made bookings for Aprajita Strota Anusthan (a ritual for achieving victory). He said, “This anusthan is organised with recitations ranging between 11,000 and 1.25 lakh (125,000) times.” Anusthans are held according to the demands of the individuals, who can chose the duration and the number of days that these should continue.
Shastri told TOI that the BJP tops the list for these bookings, with six of the party’s candidates making such requests. Three candidates from BSP and one each from Congress and SP have also made bookings, Shastri claimed. He said none of these candidates are from Mathura, adding that “the sants usually avoid local leaders, and sometimes they are selective of the political leaders as well.”
Pundit Avdhesh Kumar Badal, convenor of Radha Mukund Consultancy who also conducts anusthans for some election candidates, said currently four such events are underway. Badal said usually they check the kundali (horoscope) of a candidate to predict the election result and depending on his or her chances of winning, the anusthan is conducted.
While sants and other priests refused to comment on the cost of conducting such rituals, locals say these can cost anywhere between Rs 25,000 and Rs 4 lakh per candidate.
Acharya Sandeep of Ujjain Mahakaleshwar, who organises rudhrabhishek and uses pure ghee for prayers to invoke Lord Shiva, said candidates from all political parties visit him for conducting the ritual. Acharya Avinash Chaturvedi, from Maa Bhagwati Bhagyodya Kendram, Varanasi, told TOI that prayers to achieve success are organised and the choice of deity depends on the candidate.
Aghori Baba, who is famous for tantric anusthans, confirmed that 150 candidates from UP have approached him to conduct such events. The baba claimed that these are being organised at Pitambara Peeth, Datia, Vindyavasni, Vindhyachal and Kamakhya (Guwahati). He said donations depend on the person organising it, with some even willing to pay several lakhs of rupees for it.
One candidate from UP is spending around Rs 60 lakh on tantric anusthans. A close source told TOI on condition of anonymity that these are being organised in Pitambara peeth and Vindhyavasini in Mirzapur.
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