We Indians, are very (pure and) pious people – Radhe Maa reference.
We Communicate with God. Thank him for what we have. Make attempts to get rid of our sins through prayers, dips in holy rivers, observe fasts etc. And then get back to our lives the way they were.
But have you ever wondered whether your prayers are reaching all the way to the heaven and is God listening? Or are you really getting rid of your sins? Kya guarantee hai?
Just today morning while I was travelling in the metro, I was hooked on to my favourite pass time i.e. listening to radio, when I heard this for the first time.
Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district is the place where you find Gautameshwar Mahadev Paapmochan Teertha Shiva temple which grants ‘paap-mukti’ certificates at just Rs. 11. Well indeed this was a yehi-sunna-baaki-tha moment for me.
I have seen various meaningless customs and traditions in India in the name of religion, but this was the cherry on top of the cake. Although no one knows how effective these are and no one checks whether you are actually ‘paap-mukt’. Hey, but who cares when you have a certificate. That’s how it works in our country, right?
Cannibalism by Aghori babas, self-flagellation during Muharram or marriage to a dog to get rid of the Manglik dosh were not enough to raise eyebrows (or facepalm), that now you hear of another novel way of being freed from your sins.
THE STORY BEHIND
Apparently the temple has been maintaining a record of all those who took the holy bath in the Mandakini Kund since Independence. Lakhs of devotees gather for the 8-day Gautameshwar fair held every year in May. The priests of the temple claim that mostly ostracized people from villages come for the same and return with their ‘paap-mukti’ certificates.
All one needs to do is, take a dip in the Mandakini Kund and receive their certificate. This started with a legend about Gautam Rishi who was cursed for causing the death of an animal. After which he took a ‘holy dip’ in the kund and the curse was lifted. Then began the tradition.
So I suggest, no need to be good to people. Do not lend your service to the needy. Go Ahead, paap karo!
Your new fan might stop working in 2 months, your new LED TV might lose its colours in a few months, your smartphone might hang in a few weeks… BUT you give Rs 11, and woosh, freed for life!
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.