Table of contents:
India, a land of surprises, secrets and mysteries. Here, Sikh gurdwars close their doors to those who have tobacco in their pockets, and they are not allowed into Janai temples if the visitor has at least one leather product. The magnificent Temple of the Lotus competes with the majestic Taj Mahal, and a Buddhist temple peacefully coexists with the Orthodox Church. But only in the state of Rajasthan there is a completely extraordinary temple, where rats have long been the sovereign owners. And thousands of pilgrims go to Karni Mata to dine from the same dish with rodents or drink water from a rat bowl.
The woman, after whom the temple was named, was born on October 2, 1387 and at birth received the name Ridhu Bai. Was given in marriage, but did not live a married life. Over time, Carney led one of the political movements of the time and was influential as early as 1538. According to legend, she lived to be 150 years old.
In 1463 in Deshnok, where Karni Mata lived at that time, her stepson Lakhan tried to drink water from a pond and drowned. There are two versions of the further development of events. One by one, Mother Carney began to pray for the resurrection of the boy god Yama, but he refused to revive the child. The enraged Karni Mata promised the cruel Yama: all men from her caste from now on will never go to God. They will be reincarnated as rats in order to become human again in their next life.
According to another version, Yama took pity on the inconsolable woman and gave not only the boy the body of a rat, but also all the followers of Karni Mata after his death.
About death, it is only known that Carney's mother disappeared on March 21, 1538 on the way from one settlement to another. During a stop at a watering hole in the vicinity of Kolayat, she simply disappeared almost in front of several of her followers, with whom she returned to Deshnok. In Judaism, Karni's mother was recognized as a saint and living embodiment of the goddess Durga, one of the most popular and revered goddesses.
During her lifetime, Karni Mata built a temple in Deshnok, it was he who later became the Temple of the Rats. Initially, the number of rodents was 20,000, but according to National Geographic, today their number has already reached 250,000. White rats, which are considered the descendants of Karni Mata herself, are especially revered.
Sri Karni Mata
In the twentieth century, the temple took on its modern look: the premises of the temple were significantly enlarged, the structure itself was decorated with beautiful carvings, and video surveillance cameras were installed everywhere.
The pilgrims of the temple believe that their deceased relatives were incarnated in rats and in their next life they will certainly return to this world as people. Visitors from all over India bring their offerings to the temple.
The rats in this temple feel like full-fledged owners, and the representatives of a special caste, which includes about 500 families, provide care for them. They clean the temple, accept offerings, lay out the food, and place bowls of milk and water. They also make sure that curious tourists do not enter the altar and strictly follow the prescribed rules.
If one of the visitors, through negligence, steps on a rat and it dies, then the culprit of the death of the animal will have to replace the deceased individual, but already with a rodent figurine made of gold or silver. In the same way, an animal that has died prematurely is replaced with a figurine, for example, from an illness. By the way, animals get sick quite often, which is due to too high-calorie nutrition. Visitors bring a lot of sweets to the rodents, which leads to obesity and diabetes.
Walking in this temple with shoes, like in many other temples in India, is strictly prohibited. Some visitors (mainly tourists) walk around the temple grounds in socks, but most prefer to walk on the marble floor, strewn with rodent waste, with bare feet. Here you can see that the pilgrims eat with the rats and even drink from the same bowl with them. Thus, they share a meal with relatives embodied in the bodies of rats and receive a blessing from them. Temple keepers and pilgrims claim that after such joint meals, there were never any sick among the visitors. In their opinion, the opposite phenomenon is observed: a person who has eaten from the same bowl with a rat feels an extraordinary surge of strength, and after returning to his place of residence, he will be lucky and successful in any undertaking.
Stories about the special luck of people who worship rats spread throughout the country very quickly, attracting more and more new visitors.
India is fraught with countless mysteries, one of which was revealed not so long ago. Only recently was the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple unveiled.