Coimbatore priests offer holy offering through mouth-to-mouth contact

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Coimbatore, Mar 1(ANI): Hundreds of devotees participated in the seven-day-long Karamadai Sri Ranganathar Temple Masi Magam Car Festival in Coimbatore.

The festival culminated with a temple procession in a village at Karamadai on Sunday, in which the priests offered prasadam (holy offering) to the devotees through mouth-to-mouth contact.

People in the outskirts of Coimbatore still practice this tradition and believe in the superstition that if the priest, who is considered as god's messenger, puts prasadam in their mouth through his mouth then the childless women conceive soon and all their family problems disappear.

During the festivities hundreds of women devotees received prasadam through this unique ritual by the temple priests.

"This is a seven day festival and on the sixth day we take the deity into the streets of the village. During the procession we give prasadam to the devotees who don't have children. When they receive the holy blessings in the form of prasadam, it is believed that they conceive very soon," said Govindswamy, the temple priest.

It is said that the holy offering or god's blessing is only given to a chosen few and the devotees in turn worship the priests as demigod.

"The holy prasadam is not given to everyone alike. The beneficiaries are asked to come forward and take it through which they can attain benefits. More over it is not only that. If the prasadam is taken it takes away all the difficulties of the family and brings peace and joy. That is why they pray us as gods," said Palani Swamy, another priest.

The procession is taken out with traditional music, which puts the devotees in a state of trance, and the prasadam is fed to them.

"I did not have a child even after 10 years of marriage. I had prayed to all gods and at last I received the holy blessings in the form of prasadam from the priest here and I am very happy for this," said Mahesh, a women devotee.

One of the priests carries the holy Kaavalam, which is a bundle of cloth rolled in an arc and set on fire.

In another ritual during the procession, the priest throws bananas from his mouth and the devotees try to capture it with a piece of cloth. It is a common belief that if the devotees fail to catch the prasadam then they will face serious consequences. (ANI)

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