Female priests look after Jammu's Lord Krishna temple

Jammu, Sep 1 (ANI): A temple devoted to Lord Krishna, which is also called 'Baion ka Mandir' here is looked after by a group of female priests, who offer daily prayers and perform rituals.

The priestesses say they want to spread the message of women empowerment through religion in the society.

They maintain that women and men are equal, as both are children of God.

"Lord Krishna has said in the holy scripture 'Gita' that there is no difference between a man and a woman, whether they are from different castes or class. No matter how a person is, they all have equal rights," said tapasvi Sadha Bai, a priestess.

"To worship God, everybody has the right. In terms of worshipping God, a woman is considered untouchable and low but God has given each one of us equal rights," she added.

The temple is 200 years old and it was built by Ananda Bai, who devoted her life to the service of the temple.

One of the devotees also noted that Lord Krishna himself stated that there is no difference between a man and a woman.

"A soul, which is there in a man, the same soul is in a woman. This is what our God has said. Lord Krishna, has from the very beginning, said that women should be treated equally. That is why we are continuing with the tradition," said Mahatma Arvind Muni, a devotee.

Devotees visiting the temple say that the priestesses carry out all the rituals of the temple, and also make clothes for the god's idol.

"I have been coming here for the last 40 years. Priestesses have been handling the temple ever since I began to come here. The priestesses offer prayers and service to God, and make dresses for God. These priestesses also bathe the statues of the gods. Religious sweet offerings are also given by the priestesses," said Sneh, a devotee.

The priestesses, who are also known as 'Bai Ji' (Sister), live very simply and wear pink attire. They also shave off their heads and do not wear any ornament except for holy beads. By Tahir Nadeem Khan (ANI)

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