Wednesday, 23 January 2013

No pressure cooker, cell phones please! Deities are busy in annual assembly

MANALI: Nine villages of Manali have maintained a complete silence for 42 days as their deities -- Rishi Gautam, Rishi Vyas and Kanchan Nag -- are attending the annual assembly in heaven and a little noise can disturb them. Villagers believe the deities are deciding the fate of the world and maintaining silence is necessary for them.

Gautam Rishi temple in Goshal village near Manali
Doors of the temple at Goshal village, where these deities live, have been sealed on Sunday. No pooja would be performed here and even ringing the temple bell is prohibited. Villagers have finished their agricultural works and now they cannot work in their fields till next 42 days. Television, radio and all modes of entertainment have been shut down. Cell phones have been put into silence mode and villagers cannot cook food in pressure cookers until the restriction is not removed.
Goshal, Burua, Shanag, Solang, Palchan, Kulang, Majhach, Ruar and Kothi villages adhere to this strange rule for 42 days after Makar Sankranti every year. Villagers try to speak in low volume to avoid sin. According to villagers, priest and some special persons from villages fill a pitcher with holy soil and put is inside the temple and seal the doors. “The pitcher would be pulled out after 42 days and the soil would be poured on the floor. The contents which appear with soil make the prophecy of the world,” a priest Mehar Chand Sharma said.
Generally grain, coal, sand, hairs, flowers and saffron are found in the soil which denotes status of crop, fire incidents, flood, deaths, religious ceremonies and marriages respectively. Everything that comes out of pitcher denotes some particular event. Not only people of nine villages but the entire Kullu valley has their faith in this ritual and they believe the prophecy made by three deities has always been accurate.
Rakesh Thakur, resident of Goshal village, said, “We try to remain silent as possible as we can. We have been told by our elders that breaking silence can cause disturbance to the deities who have been sealed inside the temple. We request all those who visit our village to stay calm and not to talk loudly.”
Everybody is aware of anger of Rishi Gautam who had turned his wife Ahilya into stone with curse just because of the misdeed by Lord Indra. Indra, who disguised as a cock, had violated the fidelity of Ahilya. Since then, rearing roosters and hen is strictly prohibited in Goshal village where Rishi Gautam is believed to have living for ages. Villagers do not do the things which can trigger anger in their deity.

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