Miracles of faith

Shrines

 Some of them very unusual. Take the case of  the  shrine of Vadakkunathan, Thrissoor, Kerala.

The most striking  feature  about the presiding deity Lord Vadakkunnathan is that it is always covered with a thick   coating  of ghee. No matter how  hot  and humid  the temperature  may be, the ghee  never melts. For days, months and years the ghee remains in place but never becomes rancid or emits any offensive smell. Nor can one find any insects or ants.

The next on the list is the 500 year old  Karni Mata Temple at Deshnok village around 30 km from Bikaner. It is the only temple of its kind in the world where rats are revered, fed and allowed to roam freely and the devotees are warned to be careful so as not to crush one under their feet.

If you crush one, the only penance is donating a rat made of silver or gold.The belief is  that Karni Mata is an incarnation of Goddess Durga and the rodents are her blessed ones. The rats never venture out of the temple boundary.

The sighting of a white mouse, which is a rarity among the temple rats  is considered auspicious. There is elaborate arrangement for boarding and lodging of rats.

No diseases associated with rats has been reported ever in this shrine. The prasad is first offered to rats and water that the sacred rodents  drink is considered sacred too.
Then there are also a couple of mazars (tombs) of rival Sufis in the spiritual town of Amroha in Uttar Pradesh. One is dominated by scorpions while another is the playground of donkeys.

But neither do the scorpions harm any devotee nor do the donkeys desecrate the mazar or its campus. Both the mazars are situated a few furlongs apart. One mazar is of revered Sufi-saint Shah Wilyat Amrohi, and the other is that of Hazrat Khwaja Geso Daraaz.

Shahwilayat migrated from Wasti (Basra in Iraq) in  1252 AD  to India to spread the message of God. He harboured the desire of finally settling in a place where mango and rohu fish could be found. He finally reached this place where he found mango and rohu in abundance.

The place was thus called Aam (mango)-Roha (rohu fish) or Amroha. However, his decision to settle down there, was objected to by Khwaja Nasruddin, a muslim saint already residing in the city. He sent a bowl overflowing with water.

The message was clear: this place was already spiritually full and there was no scope for another Sufi. Shahwilayat smiled, put a rose in the bowl and sent it back to Khwaja Nasruddin.

In anger, Khwaja Nasruddin said, “Your shrine will be dominated by scorpions.”  Shahwilayat sent back the message, “ Let it be, but they wouldn’t hurt my devotees.”
On the other hand, the Shahwilayat conveyed to Khwaja Nasruddin that his shrine would be a playground of donkeys.

Khwaja replied, “Yes, but they wouldn’t desecrate the shrine.”  Till today, the declarations of  the two Sufis are  ‘honoured’ by the  scorpions  and donkeys!

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