The nation is celebrating millennium year of leading saint, scholar and one of the greatest philosophers of Shaivism Acharya Abhinavgupta. In order to remind the people of his teachings and philosophy and their relevance today a number of functions are being organised across the country. Three nationwide Yatras were started from different locations which are going to conclude in Kashmir on June 10. The first Yatra began from Kanchi Math on March 31 with the blessing of Kanchi Acharya Swami Jayendra Saraswati. The second Yatra began from famous Shiv Mandir of Goa the same day with the blessings of Mahant Bhushan Neelkanth Bhave. The third Yatra began from famous Augharnath Temple of Meerut on May 27. The prime objective of the Yatras is to strengthen the unity and integrity of the nation. During the Yatras three different kalashas, containing holy soil from Kashmir, are being worshipped and offered Jalabhisheka at various temples with the holy water of various rivers.
The first Yatra began from Kanchi passed through Chennai, Tiruvarur, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bilaspur, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Jhansi, Faridabad, Delhi and will reach Jammu. This Yatra is being led by Shri Ajya Bharati, Shri Manish Chaudhary, Shri Ajay Pandita, Shri Manoj Bhan and Shri Dilip Kacharu. The second Yatra which began from Goa passed through Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Ujjain, Devas, Gwalior, Faridabad and will reach Jammu. This Yatra is being led by Smt Shaktimunshi, Dr Chandraprakash, Shri Avaneesh Rajput and Shri Ashok Pandita. The third Yatra, which began on May 27 from Meerut, is passing through Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and will enter Jammu on June 1.
Apart from Kalash Pujan in different temples, public functions are also being organised at different places.
In J&K, all these Yatras will divide into two groups and while passing through various parts of the State will conclude in Srinagar on June 10.
Many activities have been planned at the conclusion of the Yatras. In the morning of June 11, Kalash Pujan will be performed at the religious places related to Acharya Abhinavgupta and the Shaiv philosophy in Srinagar and surrounding areas. Prior to it on June 10, the Abhinav Sandesh Yatra will visit Kshir Bhavani Temple, where too the Kalash Pujan will be performed. All the groups will assemble at Jeshtha Devi Mandir at 11 am on June 11 for the main function, which will be addressed by Sri Sri Ravishankar. The Kalash being worshipped at various temples during the Yatras will be taken to Bhairav Cave in Kashmir where Acharya Abhinavgupta along with his thousands of disciples dedicated themselves to Lord Shiva on January 4, 1016.
Abhinavagupta was a brilliant scholar and philosopher who by combing various philosophies and sadhna methods presented a holistic philosophy, which led the society to a new path. He studied with many teachers and acquired eight great yogic powers. He wrote books not only on Kashmir Shaivism, but also on music, art, drama, and poetry. As an example of his work-ethic and dedication, he composed thirty-seven chapters of Tantraloka which is the master text of Kashmir Shaivism, in just thirty-seven days. The versatility of this genius was such that his works are even today being researched in over fifty countries worldwide. He created systems that were above caste, creed, sex and religion. The challenges that the society faced at that time are similar even today. Therefore, his teachings are equally relevant today also.