India's bizarre rituals!! 01

Conventionally across India in many places, Vedic rituals such as special homams or yagams or pujas (prayers) are done by the learned pundits to appease the god to bring in rain. In reality, it is an innovation of rain god, praying for copious rain fall so that  there will be good harvest and better crop production in the ensuing season. like wise, people  normally seek the help of pundits if a girl's wedding is delayed because  of some hitches in her horoscope. Some people go to temple and light the oil lamps there for a particular period, say 21 days, 45 days, etc., to get over such delays.

It is quite strange in some places in India, the people are so superstitious, they reach the highest crest of hyperbole and do weird things. It is neither a religious compulsion  nor an accepted convention  in Hinduism. Such myths and superstitions often overtake rationality and clear thinking. Superstition is retrograde and will not help the society. Rather such weird rituals give us a good laugh at a time when our lives  are dogged down by dull and drab stuff.

One positive aspect of this  unusual ritual is at a time when human- animal conflict is at the lowest ebb as it is confirmed by reports of of elephants getting electrocuted or getting killed on the train tracks, trespassing by wild animals into human settlements near wooded areas, etc., people worship animals and consider them as part of their lives.

Mock-wedding between a girl and a peepal tree or dog:

Marrying to Peepal tree or Dog. 9Kudos
Marrying to Peepal tree or Dog.
Depending on the position of planets in the horoscope of the girl,  it is decided whether the girl should marry a peepal tree or a dog. If a girl has a thosham or hitch as per her horoscope cast based on solar calendar, the longevity of the groom or the Mangalya Bagyyam of the girl will be affected. Further, the groom will bring ill-luck to the family.  In a mock marriage ceremony,  if she marries a peepal tree or a dog (in Tamil Nadu Banana tree is preferred) her blemish/ negative factor will get negated. In addition, it will ward off evil spell on the girl that might cause the blemish. When she marries a man, no risk is involved and the couple will live for eternity. This kind of superstitious belief is prevalent in remote places of Eastern India.
Dogs wedding entertainment Giphy

 Frog and rain:

8 Women Dream
8 Women Dream
When weather playing truant and the monsoon rains do not come in sufficient quantity, there is nothing to worry. no seeding of the clouds with chemicals. All you have to do is to have a wedding solemnized not between humans, but between  amphibian - frogs. This will  appease rain god and he will grant copious rains for the crops.  The chosen frogs are smeared with vermilion, and solemnized by chanting mantras. Once the ceremony is over, they are released into the ponds. 

In some villages in Mysore, the frog is kept in a pot containing neem leaves an twigs. Before that the frog is given a bath and smeared with vemillian. Then a boy carries the pot with the frog on his head and is  taken around a village Once the puja is done, the amphibian is released into the water bodies. The Kappe puja lasts for three hours normally from 9.30 Am till 12.30 pm. Normally this puja is performed at a temple. The superstitious practice has been in vogue for a long time.

Donkey wedding and rain:

A priest performing the marriage of donkeys at Uppalur village in Kadapa district.The \\Hindu
To get a good rainfall, the farmers of Uppaluru village in Muddanur mandal in Kadapa district, Andhra come up with a novel way, that is performing the wedding of two  grown up donkeys with all the traditional rituals  that are commonly followed in normal wedding. The Dobees -Washemen of this place arranged for this strange wedding at  Sri Rama temple in the village.  The male donkey is decorated with garlands and a dhoti and the female donkey appears in full  female -wedding regalia with a saree, silver anklets and garlands. Vermillion is applied on the foreheads of both the animals. The villagers, forming two groups take the groom and bride in a procession to the temple. The priest chants mantras and ties the Mangalyam (sacred thread) around the female donkey's neck followed by  applying ‘jeelakarra and bellam’ on the head, pouring ‘thalambralu’ with colorful beads. Even exchanging of garland is not excluded. The village elders, in consultation with astrologers, fix the venue, day and time of the ritual. On this strange wedding day, the atmosphere in this village  is charged with excitement. thank god such excitement and fun will not be marred by the braying of the donkeys, registering their protest against such rituals in which they are the main players.
Mind you in some places in the state Tamil Nadu, I have heard people tell me,that the groom is a young  man and the bride is a donkey!! Imagine what will happen if the donkey gives a nice, strong kick in the erogenous zone?

 House with a resting place for cobras:

Shetpal village. YouTube

 I already posted an article on Shetpal village:

Shetpal is a small village in  Sholapur district of Maharastra state where each house has a resting place for live cobras -  in  the rafters above the ceiling. There they roost, relax and breed and the villagers, including children,  are not afraid of them. They say there are no major incidences of fatal is really a scary things to see kids handing the deadly cobras as if they were toys. New houses are built with a place for the reptiles to reside!!
nice if he does "Song of India". image credit: jantoo cartoon

 Rat temple:

Rats drinking milk in the Rat Temple. Deshnok, Rajasthan I. Alamy
Have you ever heard of a temple where rats are glorified? Rodents are known to destroy a high percentage of crops in India. Here in Rajasthan at a nondescript village, Deshnoke,  a temple called Kari Mata is home to countless rats. People living here feed them and do not injure them. In them, the villagers see their ancestors. Hence they leave the rats alone. it is believed there rats in thousands. It is considered an honor for the villagers if the rats nibble on the food. mind you, they value each rat. If one is killed, it will be replaced with one made of pure silver.

Cattle trampling over humans:

Cow Trampling Ritual – Govardhan Puja, Madhya Pradesh. History Today -
In the city of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, men volunteer and  lay down on the ground and have the herd of cows trampled all over them, as part of a bizarre centuries-old ritual that is held on the day of Ekadeshi, next  day of Dewali- in October or November. At Bhidawad, recently  a herd of  decorated cows  with henna and flowers participated in this ritual, the purpose of which is to get their wishes fulfilled. The cows are driven through the street where the young volunteers lie down on the ground. The organizers say there has been no incidence  of any fatal accident so far. The belief is, cows being holy, if trampled on them, their problems will come down and good luck will favor them.

holly cow . Quick Take - As It Happens -
Jantoo Cartoons

Rationalists ask them: Will such superstitious people let the jumbo trample on them?

Worshiping bats:
Activity Village
The people of Kalyanpur in Vaishali, Bihar, have a superstitious ritual for a different purpose. In order to protect the village from impending danger, they worship bats, the spooky, nocturnal creatures that are associated with witch graft.  As long as the bats stay in their village, so long, they will be out of danger and  can lead a peaceful life.