Tamilnadu was experiencing the hottest sun, a couple of years back. Water became a rare commodity. The Gramakkovil Poojarigal Peravai convened a meeting of Panchayat Organisers, and conducted a practical class on Varuna Pooja and Japa.
About 300 Poojaris attended the meeting. All of them repeated Varuna Gayathri ten times. How could Varuna keep quiet? Just five minutes back the sky was clear, no cloud, not even white clouds! But, Varuna was pleased by the prayers of Poojaris. He did shower His blessings. We had a dew-pour (not a downpour!) for three minutes immediately after chanting.
No doubt, the mantras are still efficacious! Poojaris returned to their villages with confidence. Yes, they could bring rain, at their will. They did Varuna Pooja and Japa and the villages had showers.
Similar case is Ganesha Chathurthi. 25,000 copies of Ganesha Pooja, prepared and printed in Tamil, were sent to all the members. The feedback was very encouraging. Our Poojaris chanted Ganesha Gayathri, performed simple havans with Ganapathi Moola Mantra. (Om Gam Ganapathaya Namaha Swaha).
The villagers were quite astonished at the sudden change of Poojaris!
Gramak Kovil Poojarigal Peravai
The Poojaris are economically and socially most backward without regular income and lacking in social status. When Vishva Hindu Parishad came in close contact with the Poojaris, the appalling conditions of Poojaris came to its knowledge. Parishad felt the need for organising the Poojaris and knit them into an organisation to fight for their rights.
The Tamilnadu Government had been paying a monthly pension of Rs.300/- to all the aged Ulemas of Muslim community. Vishva Hindu Parishad wanted a similar gesture to be extended to Poojaris also.
State Level Conferences
With a view to bring all the Poojaris under one umbrella and place their demands before the Government, Parishad thought of organising the First State Level Conference of the Poojaris in February 1995 at Tiruchirappaili.
Swami Namanandji Hoisting the Flag at the Ist State Conference
5300 Poojaris hailing from almost all Panchayat Unions attended this conference and it was a grand success. His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Sankaracharya Swamigal of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt, His Holiness Sired Andean Swamigal of Periyashramam, Srirangam and Srilasri Shanmukha Desika Paramacharya Swamigal of Dharmapura Adheenam participated in the conference and blessed the venture. This was beginning for the formation of Gramakkovil Poojarigal Peravai,
Issues relating to the appalling conditions of Poojaris were discussed in the conference. Suitable resolutions were passed and -sent to the Government.
Shri Ashok Singhal Addressing the Pujaris in the Ist State Conference
To consolidate the success of this conference, to carry the message and the significance of the unity of Poojaris, to explain the resolutions passed at the conference and to bring the entire Poojari Community of Tamilnadu to the fold of the Parishad, 21 District conferences were organised within a span of 6 months.
Thousands of Poojaris came to these conferences. Every conference was a milestone in the progressive march of Poojari movement in Tamilnadu. Not only male Poojaris but female Poojaris also attended these conferences in great numbers.
Emboldened by the success of the conference and the massive support extended by Poojaris, an ambitious Second State Level Conference was planned in Chennai in March 1996.
2nd State Conference – Chief Minister Houners the Pujaris
Just prior to this conference Gramakkovil Poojarigal Peravi, was registered.
The then Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Selvi J. Jayalalitha was invited to inaugurate the conference. Chief Minister came to the conference after confirming the vote potentiality of the Poojaris in Tamilnadu and made official announcement accepting all the 9 major demands of Poojaris.
Moment of Ecstasy
Shri Ashok Singhal and H.H. Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal at the 2nd State Conference. This was flashed in all newspapers prominently.
His Holiness Shankaracharya Shri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal and Shri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamigal participated in the conference and blessed the Pujaris.