Kareni Mata Temple, India
In the 15th century AD, a devout Hindu came to the Rajasthan region and built a deity dedicated to the Hindu goddess Karni Mata in the town of Desanuk, 30 kilometers away from Bikaner County. temple. In Hindu legends, the mouse is the incarnation of the goddess, so the believers spend more than 100,000 rupees every year to carefully maintain the temple, and at the same time, they also make offerings to the mouse in the temple.
For more than 600 years, the incense of this “rat temple” has been prosperous, and there is an endless stream of good men and women who come to worship the mouse. There are as many as tens of thousands of rats living in the temple. They are not infested by natural enemies, and they are not afraid of human beings. They even become a famous cultural heritage of India together with the temple.
Is the mouse the reincarnation of the goddess Kelene? The Legendary Life of Marta
The “Rat Temple” is famous for rats. But in fact, the Hindu goddess Karni Mata is the meaning of the existence of this temple. In the hearts of Hindus, she has a very high status. She is the reincarnation of the goddess Durga, the wife of Shiva and the mother of Ganesha. And about her story, but also from an ancient Indian legend.
On October 2, 1387, a girl named Lidu Bai fell to the ground in the village of Suwap in Jodhpur district, Rajasthan. Her parents were ordinary people in the area, and she was the seventh child in the family. According to legend, Lidu Bai miraculously healed her seriously ill aunt at the age of 6, causing an immediate uproar in the village. After that, her life was full of legends, and various miracles made the world believe that she was the reincarnation of the goddess Durga.
As the girl’s healing powers became more and more recognized, the female elders in the village gave her the title “Kherani”, which means to benefit the world; and the word “Mata” means mother, usually a Hindu A title for a goddess. Gradually, the people in the village stopped calling the girl by her real name, and all respectfully called her “Kerni Marta”.
However, despite the honorific title of “Kerani Mata”, for a little girl living in a poor village in India, she still cannot escape the fate of being a mortal woman. In 1415, Cleni Marta was finally arranged by her parents to marry Dipoji Charon of the nearby village of Satika at the “old age” of 28. After marriage, she boldly expressed her unwillingness to maintain the marriage relationship to her husband, and married her sister Gulab to her husband to continue his family.
Freed from the bondage of marriage, Karenne Marta returned to her aunt’s village and began to devote herself to the ascetic practice, and she also had many followers around her. Two years later, with her followers and a herd of cattle, she left the land where she had lived since childhood, wandered around, and lived a nomadic life of walking every day at sunrise and camping at sunset. One day, when Kekelani Mata and his party were camping in the village of Gingaloo, a servant of the local ruler forbade them from approaching the water source and expelled them directly. In response, Karni Mata calmly announced that her follower, Reid Malaol, was the new ruler of the village, and continued on her journey. Amazingly, when the ruler of this place came after him himself, trying to oppose the rude decision of Krenee Marta, he somehow died! This once again shows the magic of Krenee Marta.
In 1463, Karenne Marta’s adopted son accidentally drowned while drinking water in a pond. She knelt on the ground in grief and begged the god of death, Amaroja, hoping to bring the adopted son back to life, but the god of death The child’s soul has been reincarnated on the grounds that she refused her request. An angry Kleni Mata clenched her fists and swore: “From now on, my people will never fall into the hands of the god of death! After their death, their souls will temporarily reside in the rat’s body, and will follow along with them. The birth of a new baby returns to the human body.” In the end, the god of death actually gave in – he fulfilled the oath of Kelene Marta, her adopted son and her descendants were no longer in the control of the god of death, but turned into mice and died. Then reincarnated until he became a human being.
Since then, Karni Mata’s reputation has become more prominent, her legendary experience has attracted countless followers, and people have begun to believe that she is definitely not just an ordinary goddess, but the most worshiped goddess in Hinduism Durga reincarnation. Under her fame, Karni Mata’s influence has expanded, and even the royal families of Jodhpur and Bikaner in India have publicly recognized her revered status and invited her to lay the foundation stone for two important fortresses in Rajasthan. Or to bless the ruler who conquered a land, and even with the intervention of Cléni Marta, the sons and daughters of two feuding families married each other, and the Latour and Batien families turned enemies into friends…
1538 3 On March 21, Karenee Marta and her followers were on the road as usual, and when they came near Bikaner County, she made the team stop for water. However, this was actually the last time people saw Karenne Marta – at 151 years old, she suddenly disappeared.
The Rat Temple is beautiful and spectacular, and there is an endless stream of believers
After the disappearance of Karni Marta, the zealous followers could only go to the temple of the goddess to worship. Due to her lofty status and influence, while she was still alive, follower Amara Charon built the first temple belonging to the goddess in the village of Matania. Then, one after the other, many temples were built to honor Karni Mata, and one of them was very different: there was neither her portrait nor her sculpture, but only one of her footprints, which means The goddess has visited this place, but even if the temple is so simple, there are still many believers who come to worship.
However, none of these temples can be compared to the “rat temple”. All believers who believe in Karni Mata know that she made a legend with the god of death that “reincarnation must be a mouse”, so when the beautiful and magnificent temple of Karni Mata was built, it almost became a believer. the holy place. The temple was built as magnificent as a palace: under the blue sky, the red sandstone wall was tall and mighty; two milky white stone lions were lying on both sides of the gate; just above the silver gate, a fiery red The flag flies in the wind. The temples are all made of pure white marble, and the doors and walls are full of intricate and intricate patterns: little people with Indian religious characteristics, all kinds of magical animals, intertwined vines, and a Little mice of different shapes…
Of course, among the many patterns, the owner of the temple must be Keleni Mata. I saw that she was holding a spear in one hand, and a devil’s head was tightly written in the other hand. This image bears a striking resemblance to the Hindu goddess Durga: in most paintings and sculptures, Durga has yellow skin, rides on a tiger or lion, has 8, 10 or 18 arms, and holds a gift from the gods. of various weapons, including a spear or a serpent, and was worshipped as the goddess of demons for beheading demons. It can be seen that in the cognition of the Indian people, Karni Mata and Durga have already drawn an equal sign.
From the outside, the “Rat Temple” is very clean and has no peculiar smell. The silver door is engraved with exquisite patterns of animals, plants and characters. For hundreds of years, the incense here has been continuous, and believers have come to worship in an endless stream.
The large group of followers of the goddess has ensured the integrity of this century-old temple, and it has been built more and more beautifully over time. Passing through the tall circular arch and entering the courtyard, there are iron wires running vertically and horizontally above the temple, covered like a net – this is to protect the “sacred mice” from being taken away by raptors such as eagles. The spacious outer court square was full of people: parents and their children made a special trip here and bowed down reverently; a crowd of people sat cross-legged on the ground around the witch who was talking about gods and gods, not listening to what she was talking about; a newlywed couple The young couple, the husband led the beautiful bride slowly with a red thread, it seems that this temple is a sacred temple to witness their love…
Whether it is the devout Indian people, or the curious tourists from other places, groups of people bring With rich offerings, they all want to come here to see those mice in the temple. They usually bring two servings of sweets made of cheese grains, one serving briefly here and then taking them around the temple to feed the mice, and the other being blessed to take home for their own enjoyment.
Magical rat worshippers take good care of rats
After many years of unremitting protection, there are currently more than 40,000 mice living in the temple, and there may be more. According to legend, among them, there are 5 mice with white fur, they are the incarnation of the goddess Krenee Mata and her 4 sons. If you can meet these white mice when visiting the shrine, it will be a great honor and good luck! In order to let the mice bring more good luck to themselves, many local people will stay overnight in the temple, hoping that the mice will climb on their bodies.
In addition, there are more than 500 priests who specially manage the temple here. They claim to be the descendants of the goddess. They “eat and live” with the mice on weekdays, and take care of these mice and mice grandchildren who are waiting for reincarnation. The temple stipulates that prayers and rat-feeding ceremonies are held twice a day in the morning and evening. During the ceremony, the believers will beat drums and chant scriptures in the temple. The rats have long been fed to form a conditioned reflex. As long as they hear the sound of the drum, they will swarm out of the cave in the wall and come to the goddess statue in the center of the temple to enjoy the food in the cup and plate. Eating sweet and delicious corn and drinking pure white milk, when they were full, they ran back to the cave in groups. In order to facilitate the movement of mice, numerous underground holes were built up and down, inside and outside the temple, as passages and shelters for them to enter and exit.
Not only that, in order to ensure the vigorous growth of the “divine beasts” in the temple, those who have come to worship or visit for hundreds of years must strictly abide by the temple regulations: first, when entering the temple, they must take off their shoes, and Don’t come empty-handed, be sure to offer some food to feed the mice. Secondly, it is not allowed to use items made of animals as raw materials, such as leather shoes, belts and other leather products. The most important thing is that no matter what the circumstances, you must not hurt the rats in the temple. If you accidentally trample them to death or injure them, you will use gold to cast a mouse of the same weight and give it to the temple to make amends. The locals firmly believe that respecting the rats will be rewarded, so that they would rather starve themselves than find ways to feed the rats without letting them suffer the slightest grievance.
Outside of Rajasthan, Goddess Karni Mata is also revered and loved in many other regions, and thousands of devotees come here every year to sing, dance and worship during the festival of the Nine Nights (Feast of Our Lady).
Perhaps, in our habitual thinking and cognition, rats are dirty and despicable, but in this magical land of India, even without the reincarnation legend of Krenee Mata, rats are still regarded as a kind of Sacred animals, worshipped and respected by the world.
Historically, Hinduism, which was born out of the Aryan Brahmanism, bears the imprint of the polytheistic worship formed by the Aryans in the forest in its genes. It is one of the few religions in the world that believe in animism. Today, India has a population of more than 1.3 billion, of which 80% believe in Hinduism, and Hinduism worships as many as 330 million gods. Many of the gods they worship are animals, such as the elephant god Ganesh and the monkey god Hanuman, while the mouse is the messenger of the god St. Ganesh, who is in charge of the “prosperity and success” of human affairs. In 1927, plague was widespread all over India, and many people died, but it is strange that only the Desanuk area where the rat temple was built was not plagued and was spared. In the dark, it seems that there are gods who protect the local people.
Every culture has its roots, and every land has its own unique story. Come to the side hall of the Kaleni Mata Temple, pay homage, and then circle the temple clockwise three times according to the custom, lightly touch the copper bell hanging in front of the temple, kneel down and pray devoutly. The side bells are crisp and clear…