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Three women die in stampede at Khatu Shyam temple in Rajasthan
A large number of devotees had gathered for darshan at Khatu Shyam Ji temple in Sikar in Rajasthan on Monday on the auspicious occasion of ‘Gyaras’ on Putrada Ekadashi. There was a one km long queue. At 5 am, as one would have expected, when suddenly the gate was opened, there was lot of sudden pushing and jostling at the entrance. When one woman fell in the melee of people blindly rushing towards the sanctum sanctorum, a few others also fell one upon other and a massive stampede followed. A tragedy that was waiting to happen!

JAIPUR, Aug 9: Three women were killed in a stampede at a temple in Sikar, about 100 km north of Jaipur, in Rajasthan early on Monday morning. Two of the four injured have been shifted to a hospital in Jaipur for treatment.

A large number of devotees had gathered on the occasion of ‘Gyaras’ mela', an auspicious day for the Hindus, at the Khatu Shyam Ji temple. Three women, including a 63-year old, collapsed standing in the crushing queue at 5 in the morning.

There was lot of pushing and jostling at the entrance as soon as the temple gate was opened. When the old woman fell, a few others also fell one upon other and a stampede followed. The queue was a km long.

Khatu Shyam Ji is a famous temple and pilgrim centre in Rajasthan. Devotees were flocking the temple for ‘Gyaras’ paksha (or 'Gaura', a corrupted version of 'gyarah' meaning 11 in Hindi ), August 8, Monday, the 11th day of the lunar calendar, which is Shravana Putrada Ekadashi, the Ekadashi observed to be blessed with sons. The day is considered auspicious for darshan of Khatu Shyam Ji who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Krishna.

Earlier, a stampede had occurred on 30 September 2008, at the Chamunda Devi temple in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, in which 224 people were killed and more than 425 injured.

What is an Ekadashi?

A story goes that King Suketuman of Bhadravati kingdom was blessed with a son after observing the Putra Ekadashi. According to scrptures a son is born to those who are credited with good deeds in previous lives. 'Suputra' is a blessing that some say he can liquidate your debts, of this life or the previous?

All Ekadashis are marked by fasting, from sunrise to sunrise. A strict regimen on food consumption, of what to take and what not, is observed. Rice and other cereals are a No, No. Lord Vishnu/Krishna is worshipped on these days.

Ekadashi is the 11th lunar day of each of the two lunar phases - Shukla Paksha (fortnight) and Krishna Paksha - of a lunar month as per Hindu calendar. So there are two Ekadashis falling in a month. That is, 11th both from the Purnima (full moon) day and from the Amavasya (new moon) day. The former is mainly observed by ordinary people. The devotees visit Krishna/ Vishnu temples. Scientifically, fasting to an extent reduces the fat content in the body and also the toxins, preventing major health hazards. The scriptures say the malefic influence of planets will get reduced and moksha is also attained.

The following are the names of Ekadashis: -

Putrada Ekadashi, Satilla Ekadashi, Jaya Ekadashi, Vijaya Ekadashi, Amalaki Ekadashi, Papmochani Ekadashi, Kamada Ekadashi, Varuthini Ekadashi, Gauna Mohini Ekadashi, Apara Ekadashi, Nirjala Ekadashi, Yogini Ekadashi, Padma/Devashyani Ekadashi, Kamika Ekadashi, Aja Ekadashi, Parsva Ekadashi, Indira Ekadashi, Padmini Ekadashi, Parama Ekadashi, Papankusha Ekadashi, Rama Ekadashi, Devathuna Ekadashi, Utapanna Ekadashi, Mokshada Ekadashi, Uthana Ekadashi, Annada Ekadashi, Pavitropana Ekadashi, Shayana Ekadashi, Mohini Ekadashi, Bhaimi Ekadashi, Saphala Ekadashi

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