Saturday 16 February 2013

A broom to a deity

India is a land of temples and almost each temple has its own unique customs and traditions, Many of these customs have been handed down from generations and they have become the unique selling points (USPs) of these temples.
But what would you say if I told you that there is a temple in India where brooms are offered to the presiding deity. Incredible but true.
Read on………………..
Brooms are among the lowliest of  articles in any household irrespective of the language, religion , caste or class. Brooms are generally kept in a closet or in a place away from the main rooms of the house. This is because the brooms have a very low value and they are not considered to be auspicious.
In Hindu households, people wash their hands after touching the brooms. But what would you say to a Shiva Temple in north India where the devotees offer brooms.
This temple is in Sadatbadi village near Bajol in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh. The Shiva here is called Patakeshwar and every Monday, thousands of devotes throng the temple and offer brooms as offering to the God of Destruction.
The Pataleshwar Temple, as it is more popularly known, is located just six kilometers from Bajol on the Morabadab-Agra highway. The brooms are offered by those who have skin diseases and those who are cured of it. The devotes strongly believe that the Maheshwar (Shiva) has swept away the disease and, hence, the unusual offering.  
When devotes visit the temple, they pray to Maheshwar and take a vow to offer a broom if their skin disease is cured. The broom is given when the diseases disappears. Another belief is that if a broom if offered, Maheshwara will lessen the suffering of the devotee.  
By the way, there are no new brooms in circulation. The brooms offered to the god are always in circulation at the temple. Once offered with faith and devotion, the brooms are sold by the temple authorities to the shopkeepers sitting outside the complex. These shopkeepers once again sell the brooms back to the devotees. The cycle thus goes on.
This temple attracts attention not just for its unique offering but also for the peculiar belief attached to it. People say that offering brooms will ease suffering.
Since Monday is considered auspicious for Shiva, devotes throng in thousands from nay districts of Uttar Pradesh and even Bihar. The temple is more than a century old-it was built in 1902- and this is the only place in the world where brooms are offered. By the way, do not be deceived by this unusual offering. The rituals performed here are the same as at other Shiva temples.

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