Two Shiva devotees charred after jumping into ritual fire

February 25th, 2009 - 12:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Feb 25 (IANS) Blinded by belief, two devotees of Lord Shiva in an Andhra Pradesh village were charred to death when they jumped into a fire on the night of Shivratri in the hope that the deity would appear before them.
The incident took place in the remote tribal hamlet of Shivnoor in Adilabad district, about 350 km from here, on Shivratri night Monday when devotees remain awake to appease the Hindu god.

Ada Sitaram, 27, and Jengle Devidas, 25, immolated themselves on the last day of their 41-day “Shiva deeksha” (ritual of initiation) in a temple, police said. They had spent 40 nights at the temple.

Their charred remains were found Tuesday by Devidas’ younger brother Vishnu, who went to the temple looking for them.

Villagers told police that the duo lit the fire as part of the rituals and jumped into it while chanting “Om Namah Sivaya”.

Family members said they had spoken about their wish to have a visitation from Lord Shiva, police said.

The two had been performing the ritual for the last five years.

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