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Come Worship At India’s ‘Rat Temple’

Thursday, February 16, 2012 20:45
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INDIA’S KARNI MATA TEMPLE, THE “RAT TEMPLE,” IS A TRUE TEST OF FAITH FOR THOSE WHO DON’T CARE FOR RODENTS.

Source: Dateline Zero

The Karni Mata temple at Deshnoke, India [map] is a destination where pilgrims traveling by foot go to commune with rats. In the temple, tourists and worshipers encourage the rats to run across their feet, as it is considered good luck. It is an honor to eat food and drink water that has been previously sampled by a rat.

It might sound like a slummy, filthy place. But the building itself is surprisingly ornate. The isolated Hindu temple was constructed in the early 1900s as a tribute to the “rat goddess,” Karni Mata. Intricate marble panels line the entrance and the floors, and silver and gold decorations are found throughout.

If you happen to travel to Karni Mata Temple, be sure and keep your eyes opened for a white rat — of which there are only four or five among the more than 15,000. To see one is a special blessing.

Just watch your step at the temple. If one of the rats is killed, it must be replaced with a rat statue made of solid gold.

Karni Mata was a 14th century mystic and, it is believed, an incarnation of Hindu goddess Durga. She implored Yama, god of death, to restore the life of the son of one of her storytellers.

Yama refused. So Karni Mata incarnated the dead son, and all of her storytellers as rats. She places these rats under her protection.

The white rats are believed be the manifestations of Karni Mata herself, and her four sons. All of the rats are protected and cared for.

Full post at Dateline Zero

 

 

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