Chips, not ladoos for god's birthday
That with the passage of the time, cultural values have also undergone a sea change could be seen even during the religious rituals.
On Thursday, while some celebrated the birthday of Dandapani Bhairav with traditional sweets, others enjoyed it with chocolates, cakes and chips.
According to Hindu mythology ‘Dandapani Bhairav’ was the magistrate of Varanasi and Lord Shiva, who founded the holy city, had given him the authority of to decide cases and punish offenders.
While a majority of the devotees offered the traditional ‘laddoos’ and ‘pakwans’ and other such, there were many, who gave modern ‘junk’ food.
The Bahairav temples witnessed long queues of devotees till late at night on this occasion.
While the religious leaders attribute the changes to the decline in the cultural values, a few others feel that it does not make any difference.
“Now the people have no time for making sweet items at home. It involves a lot a of expenditure and consumes time.
So people find it convenient to purchase ready made items from the markets and offer them on the deities,” said Pandit Upendra Dixit, a Lucknow based priest.
“One is free to celebrate the god’s birthday in any way one likes. There must not be any restriction on that as long as it is not irreligious,” another Lucknow priest said.
According to mythology, Bhairav was the incarnation of Lord Shiva and has many forms.
While Kal Bhairav acts as Kotwal of Kashi, Dandapani Bhairav acts as a magistrate.
A few months back, the residents of Varanasi and the religious community, frustrated over the alleged apathy of the centre over making the Ganges free from pollution and ensuring its unchecked flow, had approached court of Bahirav.
They filed a petition seeking action against top leaders of the UPA government, including Prime Minister Manmoahn Singh.