Bhaktapur [Nepal], October 15 (ANI): Quite a few Hindu devotees in Nepal performed a unique ritual on Vijaya Dashami on Friday: they lied down, covered the body with cow dung and placed lit oil-fed lamps over it to thank the gods for answering prayers.
Devotees have been following this unique tradition for ages in Nepal. People of different age groups take part in it. They lie in the same position for as long as 6 hours. Other family members keep a watch to ensure that no lamp falls.
Maheshwar Amatya, father of a teenage devotee who placed lamps on the shoulders and head, told ANI, "Today is Vijaya Dashami. He has been performing this ritual for a few years. He had undergone this procedure about 2-3 years ago wanted to continue it. It wasn't possible last year because of the lockdown but this year there are no such restrictions and the temple also is open so we grabbed this opportunity," he said.
"It is a religious practice and is desired by children as well as elders. People take part in this ritual to ask the gods for something or to thank them," Amatya said.
Earlier in 2020 with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lesser number of devotee footfalls were recorded in the temple for this ritual. But this year the number has gradually increased with more people arriving at the temple to thank the gods, especially on Vijaya Dashami.
Usually, devotees place, 3, 5, 7, 18 or even 108 oil-fed lamps on their bodies. The practice is believed to bring good fortune and get rid of sins. (ANI)