Seraikela: No need to be judgemental! And no need to be shocked. The devotees have been carrying out these painful rituals to please Bhagwan Shiva for a long time.
The enthusiasm with which the devotees come forward to endure the painful rituals shows their bhakti.
Even in the 21st century when there are attacks on traditional rituals and beliefs all around, faith continues to hold significant importance for many in India, as evidenced by the religious traditions and rituals practiced in various districts of Jharkhand.
Shiva devotees from the Kolhan region, known for their unwavering faith towards Bholenath Shivshankar, endure physical pain and suffering in a bid to please the deity.
The five-day Chaitra festival, held annually in Bhurkuli of Govindpur Panchayat in the Seraikela block, concluded on Friday. The festival featured various programs and religious rituals, including Chhau dance, Shubh Ghat, Yatra Ghat, Garia Ghat, Kalika Ghat, Sati Ghat, Agnipat, and Chadak Puja. Hundreds of devotees and spectators from local and remote villages attended the event.
During the festival, devotees participated in painful rituals as a display of their devotion. Some were suspended in the air with iron hooks pierced through the skin of their backs while others walked on burning coals, endured thorny branches as bedding, or slept on wooden planks with pointed forks. Despite the excruciating pain, these devotees found solace and relief in their spiritual journey.
After the completion of these rituals, the devotees’ wounds were filled with vermilion used in worship. They neither sought medical treatment nor consumed any medication, relying instead on their faith for healing. Following the festival, devotees known as “Patua” roamed the villages for a month, singing and performing Patua dances and songs.
The Chaitra festival in Bhurkuli highlights the enduring importance of faith and devotion for many Indians and demonstrates the lengths they are willing to go to for spiritual fulfillment.