Agra For the past 48 years, thousands of people with asthma and other breathing problems have been thronging Gurudwara Guru Ka Tal here on the night of Sharad Poornima, anticipating a cure. They stay awake during the night, guarding a bowl of ‘kheer’ (rice cooked in milk) given with medicine mixed in it and consume it the next morning before sunrise. They are then given roti and radish after which they have to walk for two kilometres in the Gurudwara before leaving.
“About 6,000-7,000 patients reached Gurudwara Guru Ka Tal last year and we expect a rise in the number this year. The tradition continues since 1971, when late Sant Baba Moni Singh began distributing medicine mixed in kheer. Sant Baba Niranjan Singh continued with the tradition and now Sant Baba Preetam Singh distributes the medicine to asthma patients at the gurudwara,” said Bunty Grover, media coordinator, Gurudwara Guru Ka Tal.
“The medicine is herbal and is dried and mashed before being mixed in kheer, all prepared at the gurudwara. Bowls of this kheer are handed over to the patients. They have to place the ‘kheer’ in direct moonlight with no shadow falling on it all through the night, before consuming it the next morning after religious recital. Thereafter roti and radish is served before a walk,” said Grover.
“Certain precautions are also advised. The patients are told not to eat spicy, oily and heavy food for at least 40 days and then the medicine works. The trust in the medicine continues and it is distributed only on Sharad Poornima when moonlight carries ‘amrit’ (divine nectar). That is why the ‘kheer’ is placed in moonlight for a magical impact,” said Grover.
Meanwhile, preparations are on for Sunday, the night of Sharad Poornima at Gurudwara Guru Ka Tal, with devotees of all faiths and from all parts of the state and nation queuing up to savour the magical ‘kheer’.
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