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29 Infantry Division / Silver Mace

The gada, the mace, is a sign of strength, and also the power to rule. It's a real Indian weapon.

It is a special occasion for the devotees to show their abiding faith in Lord Shiva, the Supreme Creator, by paying a visit to the Holy Cave in the higher reaches of Kashmir. Devotees perform pooja to the silver mace "Chhari Mubarak" of Lord Shiva at Dashnami Akhara in Srinagar on the occasion of Naag Panchmi. The Chhari Mubarak is taken to the holy shrine cave of Amarnath, where pooja was held on Rakhsha Bandhan day to culminate the annual yatra. The tradition of Amarnath Yatra dates back to ancient times. According to legend the cave is situated at the place where Lord Shiva had given amrit (nectar) to the gods of the Hindu pantheon who wished to attain immortality. The Yatra was abandoned for a long time due to devastating floods and other natural calamities in the valley. In those years it was impossible to even locate the sacred cave.

According to another legend, Rishi Bringesh was once approached by people who were desperate to seek the path of salvation. The sage instructed them to undertake a pilgrimage to the Holy Cave for their salvation. But the pilgrims were harassed by Rakshasas, the demons. Thereupon, Rishi Bhringesh prayed to Lord Shiva and with his grace a spectre was bestowed upon him to ensure safe pilgrimage to the Cave. Since then this has been the symbol of protection to the caravans of pilgrims and has now taken the form of Chhari Mubarak (silver mace) which leads the yatra in the traditional manner after the pooja at the famous Raghunath Temple in Jammu.

Every year Chhari Mubarak (Holy Mace), on Raksha Bandan, is taken from this place to Swami Budha Amarnath Ji temple at Mandi (Poonch). A large number of people go along with Chhari Mubarak which is taken by Swami Ji of this temple. A religious congregation is held at Dashnami Akhara Poonch for performing Havan and Pooja of Chhari Mubarak. In this congregation people from all walks of life come and pay tributes to the sacred mace after bhajan, kirtan and prevachans (speech) of the Mahant of the Akhara. The procession of Chhari Mubarak starts from Akhara.A guard is offered to Chhari Mubarak at the gate of the Akhara. The Mahant Ji is being carried in a palki by the devotees alongwith the sacred mace. Thousands of devotees and Sadhus accompany the procession which leads towards Swami Budha Amarnath Ji mandir at Mandi on foot. The first and main halt is at Chandak. While on way from Poonch to Mandi, a number of stalls are being erected for welcoming the Chhari Mubarak and yatries and free langer and other eatable items are provided to them. The stalls are being managed by muslims also and they welcome the yatries and Chhari Mubarak by providing them refreshment enroute Poonch to Mandi. The procession reaches at Rajpura on the same day in the afternoon where it is received by the district administration , local people, sadhus and workers of the trust after guard of honour by the BSF contingents at the gate of Swami Budha Amarnath Ji mandir and the chhari Mubarak is taken to the main shrine in between the traditional rituals followed by the Aarti of Lord Shiva.

Hanuman is the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is a great devotee of Lord Rama. He helped to Rama in the war with Ravan. Mace (Gada in Hindi) is the weapon of this God. In Hindu mythology the described bravery and prowess of Lord Hanuman is trusted and worshiped by the Hindus with the recitation of the couplets of Hanuman Chalisa, "Mahavir Vikram Bajrangi" - With Limbs as sturdy as Vajra (The mace of God Indra). Hanuman is the monkey deity renowned for his courage, power and faithful, selfless service. The Life of Hanuman is related below in the form of short numbered and illustrated accounts of some of the most important parts of his life. Hanuman is a monkey god. He is a noble hero and great devotee of Lord Rama of the Ramayana. This deity is a provider of courage, hope, knowledge, intellect and devotion. He is pictured as a robust monkey holding a mace (gada) which is a sign of bravery.

As one travels along the highways in our northern plains, hills roads or the dusty tracts in Thar desert, the sight that emerges is of barrenness and denuded countryside. Impregnable jungles of North-East and tribal districts of Chhatisgarh have all disappeared. Gone with this tremendous loss of forest cover is the precious indigenous fauna and plant life. We suddenly have woken to this catastrophe but donot seem sufficiently shocked. Resolve to redeem this monumental damage is only lukewarm and no integrated and comprehensive approach seems to be in sight. Agencies including NGOs and WWF seem to be confused and helpless as the environment continues to degrade and its harmful effects are already too evident. A seminar to address all these issues was organised by the Silver Mace Division on behalf of the Army in early 2001. The GOC of Silver Mace Division aptly set the tone during his keynote address by clarifying Army's role- identifying and developing the potential of its land assets as habitat refuges with abundant biodiversity niches.

At a solemn ceremony in early 2002, financial assistance was extended to over 68 widows and other next of kin of martyrs of the Sikh Regiment in Mamun Cantonment. Maj Gen RK Mehta, General Officer Commanding, 29 Infantry Division graced the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, the General Officer acknowledged the contribution of sons of Punjab to the security of the nation and also conveyed his appreciation and gratitude to all widows some of whom had travelled long distance to attend the function. The financial assistance amounting to Rs 50,000 to each widow was released from the Government's National Defence Fund which would go a long way in providing succour to the widows.

Western Command Boxing Championship was conducted by Silver Mace Division at Mamun Cantonment in early 2008. Thirteen teams from different formations of Western Command displayed high standard of boxing skills in the contest for the coveted trophy to Silver Mace Division won the Western Command boxing championship trophy by defeating the nearest competitor, Golden Key Division. Lt Gen Vinay Sharma, General Officer Commanding Rising Star Corps was the chief guest on the occasion. He presented medals to individual boxers and the overall championship trophy to Maj Gen R H Vardhan, General Officer Commanding Silver Mace Division. The winning team won three gold and four Silver medals in the championship.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:41:15 ZULU