Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oneness Temple Consecration/Inaguration Function Called Off - Postponed

Chennai, April 22nd 2008: Oneness Temple consecration ceremony commenced today at the Golden City near Tada (vardarajaihpalem) with over 6 lakhs people visiting the temple on day one (today); while the temple organizers expected about 10 Lakh people to visit the Temple over the next 7 days.

The overwhelming response (with over 6 lakhs people visiting the temple today) has caused the organizers to temporarily stop the function keeping in mind the safety of the visiting people to the site, because today the unexpected crowd surge resulted in damage to the barricades and other structures which leads to the main Temple structure

The organizers have taken the extreme precaution of calling off the function and are informing all concerned about the postponement of the consecration ceremony till further notice.

The organizers through this announcement wants to reach out to the millions of followers of the Oneness Movement who had been intimated of the function not to come to the temple from today till further information from the organizers; we will get back with alternate arrangement to continue the function shortly

There is no confirmation of any kind of causalities through any reliable sources at the Temple site.

For Any further clarifications:

Ramasubramaniyan @ 098840 14765

Ajay Padmanabahan @ 098403 98904

Dhananjay Kulkarni @ 098862 22271

Local News source

A forest range officer, Srinivasa Rao, 48, of Jangareddygudem in West Godavari district, Govindaiah, 63, of Vijayanagaram, and Subramanyam Satirlingam, 58, from Jaffna in Sri Lanka, were killed in the stampede. Several people were seriously injured and have been admitted at the government hospital at Tada.

The Chittoor collector, Mr M. Ravichandra, who said the Kalki ashram had been advised to avoid hosting a large number of devotees, directed the Tahsildar of the area (A Revenue Official) to the site of the incident to provide help to the injured.

Eyewitnesses said there was complete chaos ... after the massive throng of devotees who had turned up for a darshan of the couple broke a long queue and tried to find their way out. The devotees, who were made to wait for hours without water in stifling heat, panicked when they could not find any exit, leading to a melee in the temple garden near the university.

They said VIPs were given darshan immediately. Other devotees waited for a long time only to be told, at around 1 pm, that the Kalki Bhagwan and Bhagvati Amma had stopped giving darshan. The Chittoor Superintendent of Police, Mr K. Lakshmi Reddy, said several devotees suffered sunstroke because the ashram management did not supply drinking water to them.

The Varadayapalem Inspector, Mr Venkata Narayana, ruled out the possibility of more casualties and said the situation is under control. The police has stopped all buses from entering the ashram and the ashram authorities have decided to cut the inaugural to a one-day event.


Stifling heat, traffic jams, lack of food/water or toilet ( sometimes even medical facilities for those who are ill) at proper times along the route or during long waits, expectation driven people entering the temple but wanting to remain there for a long time (some to meditate for hours as they wish to be healed or enlightened then and there, hoping some extra time in the Temple would help better their human conditions), the multiple languages and native tongues in India that may make uniform communication impossible in massive crowds, added to the human faults and foibles could contribute to such incidents.

Let us all pray for all those adversely impacted including the peace and comfort for those who died, their bereaved families and friends, the safety and well being all who are there now, and will be reaching there shortly!

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Contemplative Questions

Here is a set of questions that would provoke you and put you through some soul searching. They are not about religion nor about ethics. They are merely about you.

They are not meant to serve as solutions nor are they meant to lead you anywhere. These questions are meant to serve as tools to discovering yourself.

1) Do you perceive the Presence of a benevolent force guiding, protecting and shaping your life? What name do you give that Presence? When did you best feel this Presence?

2) What is your opinion of God? Is your opinion drawn from religion, books, parents and or your personal experience of life?

3) Do you pray? Do they get answered? How often?

4) Do you think it is possible to relate to the Divine? What relationship would you opt?

5) Here is a story for you - Two fierce enemies once did a penance to placate god and receive boons vying with each other. God appeared to the first man and asked what he wanted. He said "give me twice of whatever you give my enemy". Then God appeared to the second one. Even before God could say anything he asked, "God, would you please tell me what my enemy asked for? On knowing his prayer request, he said, "then God, blind me in one eye."
Now what would you wish for yourself, your best friend and your worst enemy if God gave you a chance?

6) Have you ever experienced a coincidence or chance that seems to have involved so many people and factors that you can't stop wondering if a mastermind was behind this operation? If yes, do you savour the experience often and have you shared it with someone close to you?