From the grand stage of Isha Mahashivratri, Sadhguru, Founder-Isha Foundation, launched a Missed Call campaign to press demand to free Tamil Nadu temples from government control. He asked people across the world to show support to the cause by giving a missed call on 8300083000. This came a week after he wrote open letters to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami as well as Opposition Leader MK Stalin, calling on them to declare “these intentions and plans” in their election manifestos to get the temples “out of government clutches”.
“Temples should be managed by devotees,” he said. “Ancient Temples of millennial antiquity are being vandalized and cannibalized for stones that are broken, used for other buildings or sold as artifacts. Heartlessness of the way temples are being managed is heartrending and painful,” he added.
“When the East India Company seized control of temples. They administered them through the Board of Revenue. It’s shameful that we talk about temples as “revenue”. It’s time to end the colonial hangover,” he added, urging people to participate in the Missed Call campaign and press this demand before the upcoming Tamil Nadu elections.
People who gathered to celebrate Mahashivratri at the venue, held placards to support the cause.
11,999 temples dying without a single pooja taking place. 34,000 temples struggling with less than Rs 10,000 a year. 37,000 temples have just one person for pooja, maintenance,security etc! Leave temples to devotees. Time to #FreeTNTemples -Sg @mkstalin @CMOTamilNadu @rajinikanth pic.twitter.com/cO8XxOmRpm— Sadhguru (@SadhguruJV) February 24, 2021
Every year, lakhs of people from across the world gather at the Isha Yoga Center during the night-long celebrations. However, due to Covid-19 protocols issued by the Central and State governments, the participants were encouraged to join the event online which was live streamed in 13 languages on Sadhguru’s Youtube, Facebook, Instagram channels, Sadhguru app, on website and over 100 major broadcasters around the world.
The event was held in adherence to government directives on social gatherings. All participants were required to produce a COVID-negative test report to be eligible to participate in person. In addition, temperature checks, medical screening, masks and social distancing were made mandatory for the event, which was open only to a very limited audience by pre-registration.
Millions of devotees from all over the globe were hooked to a night-long cultural extravaganza virtually. The night saw spectacular musical performances by distinguished artists – Kabir Cafe, Kutle Khan project, Sandeep Narayan, Mangli, Parthiv Gohil, Anthony Dasan, Sounds of Isha and dance performances by the students of Isha Samskriti.
The award-winning Adiyogi Divya Darshanam captivated the audience with a spectacular light and sound show showing the origin of Yoga. The participants also soaked into the blissful mid-night and Shambho meditation offered by Sadhguru, truly the highlight of the night.
Sadhguru also consecrated 3 million Rudraksha beads during Mahashivratri, that will be offered to people free of cost to their homes. The offering is being referred to as Rudraksha Diksha and millions have signed up for the same by filling a form online.
Mahashivaratri is significant because of the immense spiritual benefits it offers due to natural planetary positions. Sadhguru says that the planetary positions on the Mahashivratri night are such that there is a natural upsurge of energy in the human system. Thus, remaining awake, conscious and keeping the spine erect throughout the night enormously is beneficial for one’s physical and spiritual wellbeing. The Isha Mahashivratri festival offered the participants a unique opportunity to draw on the forces of nature and use it as a tool for well-being and spiritual growth.