Tue. Jul 27th, 2021

Unique initiative: Mankameshwar Temple distributing saplings as ‘prasad’

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PRAYAGRAJ, July 19 (HS): The temple management of Mankameshwar Temple, one of the city’s most prominent Shiva temples located on the banks of the Yamuna, has chosen to gift a sapling to each devotee as ‘prasad’ in order to link religious sentiments with enhancing the city’s “green cover.” All worshippers who do Rudra-abhishek at this ancient temple are offered this exquisite prasad (saplings). The Mankameshwar temple has been around for generations, and it is said that Lord Ram personally installed the Shivling there in the Treta Yuga. This temple-related belief is well-known not only in the district or country, but also internationally.

A big number of devotees will perform Rudra-abhishek in the temple during the Shravan month. The priests of the temple performed the Abhishekam virtually during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic (2020), and live streaming was established for some worshippers, notably those from other nations. This year, however, worshippers are relieved that the temples are finally open, allowing them to perform Abhishekam at the temple. The temple management’s initiative to offer a sapling, which is associated with Lord Shiva and is known for increasing the level of oxygen in the atmosphere, adds to their joy.

Furthermore, when the saplings are distributed as prasad, the devotees take cautious care of the newly planted sapling, and the priest has the devotees swear to safeguard the tree as Purnaahuti (last offering). Due to the wet season, the practice has only been tried on a small scale, but the temple authorities aim to expand it in the next Shravan month.

?By planting saplings, a person’s present and future become prosperous, while at the same time, the ancestors gain satisfaction, explains Brahmachari Sridharanand of the temple. However, the current generation is unaware of this information. As a result, pandemics like Covid-19 have occurred, claiming lives. No one likes to plant seedlings, but everyone talks about environmental protection.? As a result, those performing ceremonies in the temple are given a free plant as a gift from Bholenath. This immediately reawakens the person’s confidence in the plant. He will plant the sapling and take care of it with full devotion, he added. Peepal, Banyan, Pakad, Neem, Sycamore, Jamun, and other oxygen-enhancing trees are among the saplings given to worshippers. Plants such as Navagraha, Tulsi, Bel, Shami, Mango, and others are also provided.