Tapovan temple in Ranchi on Monday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
If you’re a Tam Bram in Ranchi, keep a ‘Mumbai Express’ ready.
The occasion of the full moon on Tuesday will see Brahmins originally from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and now settled in Ranchi observing the Yajurveda upakarma or ritual changing of the sacred thread with full piety.
And, this year, the priest who will guide the ceremony has been “imported” from Mumbai.
“Even last year, we got a priest from Jamshedpur, but the gentleman has now shifted base. Though his younger siblings are still in the steel city, they are all engaged in similar religious functions. We had no option but to get a priest from Mumbai,” Sunder Subramaniam, an organiser of Yajurveda upakarma and an HEC official, told The Telegraph.
Currently, there are around 10 south Indian Brahmin families in Ranchi. Even a decade ago, numbers were above 40, but most have gone back south or migrated elsewhere.
“The annual upakarma is organised for the past 40 years at the Tapovan mandir near Railway Overbridge area,” Subramaniam said. “But as our numbers are dwindling, the non-availability of South Indian priests in Ranchi is a problem,” he added.
Getting a priest from Mumbai adds transport to the cost of the ceremony.
“The entire expense is borne equally by all participating families. But since numbers are less, cost is way up,” Subramaniam said.
On the ceremony, he added that it was essential for the followers of Rig and Yajur Veda.
“We will assemble at 9am at Tapovan mandir and observe the upakarma enunciated by ancient scriptures under the guidance of the priest from Mumbai. The main activities will be changing the yajnopavita or the sacred thread and tarpanam. On this day, we offer water to ancestors to whom we owe our birth,” Subramaniam said, adding they were trying to garner as much as publicity possible for the event.