Blood offered to appease deity

Blood offered to appease deity

The male devotees, including children, offer their blood to propitiate the deity so that their wishes could be fulfilled.

As per the tradition, adult male devotees are “deliberately wounded” with a shaving knife at as many as nine places on their body. The blood, which then pours out of the wounds, is offered to the goddess.

After offering their blood, the devotees apply “ash”, which is collected after performing “yajnas” (a ritual performed with fire amid chanting of vedic mantras), on their wounds.
While adult male devotees are “wounded” at nine place in their bodies, only one cut is inflicted on child devotees, according to priests associated with the temple.

The temple is thronged by thousands of devotees from far away places during “navaratri”. “Even newborn babies are brought here and a small wound is made on their body to offer blood to the deity,” they said.

Incidentally, only one shaving knife is used to inflict the wounds thereby increasing manifold the risk of an infection. But the devotees do not seem to be bothered about it.
“The wounds are healed quickly after applying the ashes of the yajna kund,”  priests said. They said earlier animals used to be sacrificed at the temple but the tradition was abandoned decades ago and instead the devotees started offering their own blood.

The tradition has full support of the local politicians also. The member of the UP Legislative Council from the area, Dr Y D Singh, who incidentally happens to be a child specialist, also finds nothing wrong with the tradition and more so with the use of a single knife. “I have been observing the tradition for the past several years…no harm came to any one so far…it is a matter of faith and no question should be raised in this regard,” Singh said.