Kerala : Kali Temple asks Devotees to donate blood for the “Mahabhishekam”
A temple in Kerala’s Vithura village in Thiruvananthapuram district issued a strange public notice asking devotees to donate blood to bathe the idol of goddess Kali using it. ‘Deviyodu Srividuari Vaidyanatha Temple’ issued the notice for “Kaliyoottu Mahotsavam”.
The notice about the annual festival celebrations at the temple, called ‘Mahaghora Kaliyajnam’, said that from the second day of the fourteen-day festival, an ‘abhishek’ will be performed on the idol of goddess Kali using the human blood collected through donation. The ceremony is called ‘Kaliyoottu Mahotsavam’ which closely translates to “Grand festival to feed Kali”.
The notice issued by Kerala temple asking people to donate blood to bathe idol of goddess Kali using it. The notice specifies that the blood will be collected by government approved experts using disposable syringes, and in small quantities.
The festival is scheduled to begin on March 11 and will go on till March 24. The blood ‘abhishek’ ritual is scheduled for March 12 at 6 PM.
The temples move creates an uproar
The temple’s move created an uproar in the state. The state Minister for Devasom Kadakampally Surendran intervened and directed the district collector K Vasuki to not allow such primitive practices. “Already we have received lots of complaints against the temple and its functioning. In this regard I’m directing you to take necessary action to prevent this event”, reads the letter to the district collector.
The local DYFI activists have now registered a complaint with Nedumangad DySP seeking a ban on the ritual.
Administration of Kerala’s Sri Vidwari Vaidyanath Temple has decided to concede to the state government’s order asking the religious body to ensure that no ritual involving the offering of human blood be carried out in the temple.
In their defence
In fact, the head priest even went ahead to claim that the ritual in question would help cure diseases. “Mahagora Kali Yajnam will help cure diseases. It is an ancient ritual. The government and the public have a false idea about it. We do not have any hidden agenda. Devotees were requested to collect their blood for the ‘yagna’. The ‘yagna’ fire is holy and when we add a drop of blood to it, it absorbs energy. That’s the reason why Hindu puranas have a number of blood-related rituals,” the priest added.
In their defense, the temple claimed that it was the devotees’ willingness to be part of the ritual that encouraged them to allow devotees to sacrifice their blood as opposed to using a drop of blood from the priest who was supposed to conduct the yagna. “We are sad that the government and a section of the society portrayed the ritual in a bad light,” the head priest of the temple was quoted as saying.
According to reports, the ritual was slated to take place over a period of 10 days starting March 12 as part of the annual Kaliyoottu festival. It was also revealed that devotees taking part in the ritual were expected to donate their blood using disposable syringes.