Tantric practices flourish as medical treatment

Last Updated : 11 October 2010, 18:40 IST
Last Updated : 11 October 2010, 18:40 IST

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Sacrifice of animals and variety of poojas are also commonly resorted to, to relieve a patient of pain and illness. Folk medicine is extremely popular in the rural parts of the taluk.

Each kind of ritual has a specific name. When a person falls ill, a ritual is conducted as per the instructions of the folk doctor. Generally, the ritual is conducted on a meeting point of three roads.

The place is cleaned. A rangoli is drawn, areca leaves and nuts, flowers, turmeric, vermillion and agarbattis are placed. After the pooja is conducted, the patient crosses the place three times. Then, making sure not to glance back, he walks home.

The items required for the ritual of ‘crossing’ to be conducted also depends on the severity of the illness. Coconuts, lemons, eggs, horns of cows, bones of cows, bones of human beings are some of the things to which prayers are offered to cure a disease.
Some people have tattoos drawn to relieve themselves of pain. A shed is built with special leaves on the banks of lakes or ponds. Seven rocks are placed inside the shed, representing the deities, before the patient is made to pour buttermilk over the ritual mass. In some instances, the ritual also involves sacrificing a cock.

It is a common practice to offer prayers using ritual masses in a spot where an accident occured involving vehicles. Animal sacrifice is also a part of this practice quite often.

Many people in this region have strong belief in the effectiveness of sorcery. Whenever a person or a family is experiencing some problem, people often blame it on the ‘deeds of somebody somewhere’.

On the other hand, there are also several people who earn lots of money by assuring such believers that they can rid them of the trouble. Many people have made successful careers out of such deeds of sorcery.

In the midst of all such practices, there are people who declare these acts are unscientific. Yet, the power of science fails, facing the power of faith of the people.
This faith has proven to be a fertile field for a profession where miscreants scare people into following the rituals.

Published 11 October 2010, 18:40 IST

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