The Umbrella Yaga!
Posted: Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 | Posted by: Narendra Nayak | Views: 17013
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Since there has been no rain in Dakshina Kannada for the past several days Baba Narendra Dev, decided to go on a severe fast unto death between breakfast and lunch. As it was approaching lunch time, Devendra, the god in charge of rain appeared and told him that he would have been glad to give rain, but there were some 81 students of Gandhi Nagar Higher Primary school in Mangalore who would suffer as they had no umbrellas! Said Devendra - O my son, supply umbrellas to 81 of them and I shall give you rain.  So, it was decided to hold a yagna called as Chatri Yagna in other words the Umbrella Ritual! In the state of Karnataka or probably anywhere in India it is not considered as strange to marry frogs, donkeys, dig up dead bodies and perform prayers for rain. The Chief Minister Sri B.S.Yeddiyurappa has gone on record that it was he who prayed and got rain for the state last year. But when floods resulted he blamed dams in Andhra Pradesh for them. Recently he and an ex Chief Minister of Karnataka had a dispute which they wanted to settle in the presence of a temple deity by taking oaths!

But of course the young children of the Gandhi Nagar Higher primary school would have none of that. Before handing over umbrellas to them we asked them whether it would rain if they were given umbrellas- they said no. When we asked them, whether performing marriages between frogs or donkeys causes rain they said no. When asked whether performing pujas would bring rains they gave a derisive laugh. So, it is the prerogative of the adults particularly the political class to bring superstitions into every aspect of life! It was a group of happy children who received their umbrellas. In the past week we had given them note books which we have been doing since a decade. The help from us rationalists come without strings- we do not ask them to sing songs of worship to any god, we donít want our photos to be put up in their premises but we ask them only one thing - to put things to the test of reason before you accept them!

We know that this is no great aid but a small deed for us who have to use our hard earned money for such work. The Gandhi Nagar govt. higher primary school has been a recipient of such help from us. This school has students from the socially and economically back ward sections and we try our best to help them. Dr. Srinivas Kakkilaya an active member of our movement and an old student of the school was also present.

Narendra Nayak
President, Federation Indian rationalist Associations
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