- Devotees voluntarily accept bites from snakes in a festival in Rajasthan
- The worshippers gather in Veer Teja temple at Tonk in order to worship the legendary hero who is considered to be an incarnation of lord Shiva
- The ritual of getting snake bites are reportedly believed to cure ailments and help in attaining salvation
Tonk (Rajasthan), Sept 17, 2016: Rajasthan has always been the state of grandeur, pomp, royalty, and glory. Another highly popular feature of the royal land is its cultural celebrations which add to the religious sentiments of the people and the devotees of the deities.
This month of September saw another unique celebration in Rajasthan, which was rather a bizarre one. The worshippers voluntarily accepted snake-bites to be blessed with good fortune! Sends chill down the spine? Well, it’s true!
This festival was celebrated in the famous Veer Teja temple in Rajasthan on September 15, this year. In the town of Tonk in Rajasthan, where the temple is situated, millions of devotees gather around to worship the legendary hero of folk tradition, a Snake. It is considered as a deity; one of the multiple incarnations of Hindu God- Lord Shiva and thus is worshipped by performing rituals and offerings every year.
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As snakes are considered to be the companion of lord Shiva in the Hindu mythology; the number of devotees arrive at the temple and willingly accept the bites from the snakes. They celebrate the ritual with music, drum rolls, instruments, dancing and by holding the snakes to receive their bites. The faith and belief in the ritual lead them to voluntarily get bitten. They believe that the bites will cure them of their ailments and prolonged illnesses. Along with that, by doing so, they will get blessed with good fortune in life.
The faith and belief in the ritual lead them to voluntarily get bitten. They believe that the bites will cure them of their ailments and prolonged illnesses. Along with that, by doing so, they will get blessed with good fortune in life.
Lakshmi, one of the worshippers was reported stating that the festival has been being celebrated since the ancient times; apart from locals, huge crowd arrive to mark the celebration and devotes gather from far off lands also, sometimes travelling as long as 300 kilometres just to receive snake bites to cure their diseases.
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According to the Hindu Mythology, devotees believe praying to serpents will help them to be blessed with salvation and pleasing it will help them attain positive fortune, altering the effects of a negative birth chart.
Traditions, rituals and religious customs of India continue to stun very often. A huge part of the entire faith traditional and ritualistic extravaganza- Rajasthan never fails to baffle the world with something bizarre!
– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC