Chennai: Vedic hymns to propitiate Lord Varuna, the rain God, are reverberating in major temples across Tamil Nadu with the Jayalalithaa government seeking to invoke divine blessings for bountiful showers in the drought-hit state.
With the state facing acute scarcity of water for drinking and irrigation and the short-term kuruvai paddy crop cultivation coming under a cloud in view of poor storage in the Mettur Dam across Cauvery river, the government has asked temples to conduct special prayers and yagnams for rains.
The special prayers are being organized since June 18 in major temples under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR and CE) department, a top official said today.
"For want of rains, we have been organizing the special prayers in over 200 temples across Tamil Nadu since June 18. This will go on till July 1," HR and CE Commissioner P Dhanapal told PTI.
In the city, the special prayers have been held in the temples of Gangadeeswarar in Purasawalkam, Kalikambal in George Town, Vadivudaiamman in Tiruvottiyur and Kapaleeswarar in Mylapore.
Dhanapal said special prayers would be offered in various forms since every temple follow its own tradition. "Some go for yagnams alone, some would offer Gayathri Japams or Varuna japams. It depends on the tradition of these temples."
A report from Rameswaram said 'Varuna japam' was conducted by the priests of famous Sri Ramanathaswamy temple at Sethumathavar sub-temple by standing in knee-deep water and reciting mantras.
Temple joint commissioner A Selvaraj said varuna japam was being organised in big temples on the instructions from HR and CE commissioner.