India is like a book with full of wonderful stories accompanying with some strange stuff in it. We have copious of custom and liturgy that add color to our lives. But at the same time, we had some strange rituals that were followed in ancient India. At the time faith with superstitious beliefs taken our reasoning and made us to do things without ever questioning them. Now let’s look at some strange rituals that were followed by our ancestors.
1) BABY TOSSING
Baby Tossing is one of the most shocking rituals followed by Muslims in Dargah near Sholapur in Maharashtra and by Hindus in Sri Santeswar temple near Indi in Karnataka. In this practice, infants within 2 years are dropped from the height of about 50 feet and the crowd at the foot of tower catches the baby. It is strongly believed that tossing from the roof brings good luck to the child.
2) EXORCISM BY MARRIAGE
In various parts of the country, girls born with deformity, cleft lips, tooth, etc. were believed to be possessed with evil spirit and bad omen. So in order to exorcise her, the ritual followed is to get the woman married to an animal especially to a dog or a goat.
3) SELF – FLAGELLATION
Self-flagellation is something that is practiced during Muharram. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, which marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala, during which Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed was killed along with 72 warriors. Muslims in the country participate in mass mourning as a remembrance of their sacrifice and carry out self-flogging to commemorate martyrdom. In a terrifying display of devotion, men mercilessly whip their body with razors attached chains until they are soaked with their own blood.
4) FOOD ROLLING
The Kukke Subramania Temple has a strange tradition called Spit Bath. This is followed by all the castes lower than Brahmin. They used to roll on the floor over the leftover food by Brahmins on banana leaves, to rid themselves from various ailments. This is practiced even today and was banned by the government in 2010, but it had to be lifted in 2011 after the protest of tribes. In 2013, the Karnataka Prevention of Superstitious Bill categorized it as a blind belief.
Piercing takes place in the Southern part of India. Following a 48 day fast, many devotees pierce their bodies with hooks, lances and some with skewers. Some pierce their tongue and cheek to attain full concentration on the Lord. They enter into a trance during such piercing due to the incessant drumming and chanting. Many young boys and sometimes even girls take part in the ritual piercing. The motto of this ritual is to make God to fulfil their wishes.