KULLU: In an attempt to spread message of rivers and environment protection, Kullu administration on Tuesday late evening organized “maha aarti” of Beas (Vipasha) river in the presence of thousands of people.
The bank of Beas river echoed with vedic mantras and religious folk music and illuminated with thousands of earthen lamps. The mantras were chanted by 121 Brahmins and music was played by over 200 musicians. The aarti started at 5:30pm after sacrificing a coconut and it ended at about 7pm after releasing of diyas into the flowing waters of Beas. The ceremony was organized by Kullu administration at Mohal village of Kullu with help of Devi Devta Pujari Sangh, Kardar Sangh, Bajantri Sangh and many other organizations.
The purpose of the aarti is to sensitize people to protect holy Beas river and the environment. Beas, earlier known as Vipasha river, was so pure until few decades back when people used to drink its water. As water from many holy places meet with Beas, it was considered most auspicious river of Himachal where residents used to take holy dip. Now, very few people and palanquins of some deities take holy dip in the Beas. People are throwing garbage by its banks and its water has turned gray.
“Hopefully Beas will get its sanctity and purity back. The event has been successful and large number of residents took part in it. Everything used in the ceremony was eco-friendly. We used earthen and wheat flour diyas that were released in the water. The plates were made of leaves. Such aarti is generally held by the bank of Ganga at Haridwar and Banaras. Beas is equally important river and I am sure people will cooperate with us in our mission to protect water and environment,” Kullu deputy commissioner Yunus said.
The religious ceremony was performed by forest and transport minister Govind Singh Thakur. He said Beas is revered by people of Kullu similar to Ganga. “Himachal is land of Gods and Goddesses. Large numbers of sages like Vashisht and Vyas meditated by the bank of Beas. The maha aarti will be performed every year to spread message of protection of rivers and environment and for the world peace. And I request everyone to keep this river neat and clean and worship it like Ganga.”