Ugadi Shiva Bhakta Seva is an annual seva activity by Ashraya Trust to reach out to the needs of devotees who walk from various parts of Karnataka to Srisailam.
This is, sometimes, a month long walkathon to reach the abode of Shiva at Srisailam by foot. They all generally come in groups for this journey that involves walking miles and they carry bare minimum essentials. They walk with cut wounds, oozing blood & puss, swelling in their legs, aching bodies and hunger driving them nuts. None of this stops them from walking towards their destination. They get to pass through a particular route a week before Ugadi (Telugu & Kannada New Year day). It generally falls in the last weeks of March to first few weeks of April. Ashraya Trust treats this as an opportunity to serve these divine souls in various ways. While the preparation for the seva begins as early as two months in advance, it gets divided into various wings.
- Oil Massage
Oil Massage to male and female devotees in separate sheds by respective male and female volunteers.
The oil used for this massage is specially prepared by Guruji on a specific day with specific nakshatra at Brahma muhurtha in a siddha medicine formula as received from their ancestors. There are many miracle stories for the past 8 years of how it helped the devotees get relieved of their pain and helped them gain energy post the massage.
- Food Counter
All the enroute devotees are served hot, fresh and nutritious food along with buttermilk for 24 hours. Additionally, drinking water, tea, biscuits, snack and fruits to carry through further journey are provided.
- Wound Cleaning
Volunteers are trained by certified doctors on cleaning the wounds and wrapping bandages for all the cuts & wounds on their feet. Special ointments, antiseptic powders etc. are provided for further care.
- Medical Wing
Doctors are available for all the 24 hours in reaching out to the yatris for any of their ailments. There are cases when serious injuries are treated at the camp. Both Homeo and Allopathic medicines are provided at free of cost for these yatris.
Volunteers are provided accommodation at the camp premises with food and basic amenities.
Points to be noted:
- Neither are we doing any seva nor are we gaining any other results. What we are doing is Pooja to the walking Shivas. They walk thousands of kilometres from different parts of South India to reach the eternal abode of Shiva at Srisailam, known as second Jyotirlinga.
- The concept of Seva to walking Shivas is to connect with the eternal Shiva.
- When we wash their feet, it is with Ganapati Bhaavam (as a son pouring water to his father's tired feet after a long walk to put him at ease)
Oil massage and pressing leg is with Paravati Bhaavam (as a wife presses the legs of her husband when he comes tired after a long walk)
Feeding is Annapoorna Bhaavam (as a hungry Shiva standing at the doorstep of Annapoorna just as a mother feeds a tired child.)
All other sevas in Sishya Bhaavam because they are the Shivas in Dakshina Murthy Bhaava.
- Unconditional surrendering to any form of Seva is a must.
- Always, chant OM NAMAH SHIVAYA throughout the seva.
- Avoid gossips and complaints.
- Service to humanity is service to Shiva. Be with Shiva, Be a Shiva.
- To do seva, let us forget our ego dominated complexes.