Villagers seek divine intervention to ward off 'evil'

'Possessed' temple priest calls for relaying of sacred stones
Last Updated 25 May 2013, 18:25 IST

When the district administration is making all out efforts to check Dengue fever from spreading across D Salundi, the villagers are making their own efforts, albeit religiously.

The villagers have now surrendered themselves to God in the hope of finding answers to check recurring deaths due to Dengue fever, which is being considered as an evil force by them. 

Whenever anything bad strikes in a village, it is still a practice to find solace at the feet of ‘Devru’ (the temple priest said to be possessed by the village deity) for a solution to ward off the evil.

Kempanna, the priest of Siddappaji temple at a corner of the village, has warned the villagers of annihilation, if certain rituals are not performed immediately.

Shivanna, a villager who was sitting distraught in front of a hotel in the village said that though he was reluctant to believe the words of the priest, he was forced to do so, as the entire village was pinning hopes on him to bring them reprieve.

“Naa yenaadru heludra, oor bittu pakkad oorg hogi gull hakabekaythade”, (The whole of village has to shift to the neighbouring village and build thatched huts), that’s what the priest has predicted, if the rituals aren’t performed,” he said.

The remedy according to Kempanna is relaying of ‘ankada kallu’ ( black stones) installed at all the four sides of the village. It’s a tradition at every village to install ‘ankada kallu’ considered as sacred to ward off any evil.

The present ‘anka’ is nearly 80 years old and new stones have to be laid and worshipped with ‘ellu jeerige’. According to the lore, evil forces can be warded off by spreading ‘ellu jeerige’.

However, the villagers are finding it difficult to carry out the exercise which is estimated to cost nearly Rs 2.5 lakh. “It is an arduous task at the time of drought,” says Shivanna.

 The Siddappaji temple which was in a dilapidated condition was rebuilt again from donations collected from the villagers, said Shivanna, making an oblique reference to the monetary risk the villagers have to take again.

Malegowda, the hotelier in his 70’s said that he had never in the past witnessed such a situation in the village.

(Published 25 May 2013, 18:25 IST)

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