Where weapons are worshipped instead of DurgaOctober 6th, 2008 - 4:19 pm ICT by IANS
Ranchi, Oct 6 (IANS) During the Navratri festival different forms of idols of goddess Durga are worshipped. But there is a place in Jharkhand where weapons are worshipped instead of goddess Durga.If you want to see a different form of prayers come to the campus of the Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) at Ranchi. Here weapons are worshipped. The prayer system is almost similar except placing the idol goddess Durga.
While the Kalash (religious vessel) is installed according to Hindu rituals, weapons like AK 47, Insas rifles, pistol, mortar, carbine and grenades are also placed on stage.
The weapons are then decorated and worshipped. Most of JAP commandos belong to the Gorkha community, which celebrates Durga Puja with enthusiasm and religious fervour.
“The prayer system of JAP campus is slightly different from Hindu rituals. Here weapons are worshipped instead of idols of goddess Durga,” said Bhimlal Pathak, priest of JAP ground.
He said animals are also sacrificed to appease the goddess and Gorkhas seek blessings from Durga that their weapons function properly when they take on criminals, Maoist rebels and other anti-social elements.
According to Gorkhas, Durga Puja started in the JAP ground way back in 1880. Weapons were worshipped and the tradition of weapon worship continued till 1953.
“In 1953, a commandant of Bihar Military Police (now JAP) placed the idol of goddess Durga on the ground. The commandant fell ill and an epidemic broke out in which many people fell ill and a few lost their lives. The weapons worship tradition was then again resumed in 1954 and it is continuing till now,” said Sher Bahadur Thapa, a Gorkha.