Kerala, Photography, Wordless Wednesdays

Wordless Wednesday: Fire, Engulf Me, Purify the Ones Around…

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12 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday: Fire, Engulf Me, Purify the Ones Around…”

    1. Hello Sarmistha, This is a ritual as part of a Theyyam named Vishnumurthy.

      Hope you are familiar with the story of Narasimha, fourth Avtar or reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, in which the half lion half man, Narasimha, assassinates Hiranya Kashipu, the demon king and saves his son Prahlada who was an ardent devotee of lord Vishnu.

      Hiranya kashipu tried to kill his son Prahlada numerous times by throwing him in to a pile of red hot fire wood.

      During this ritual, the theyyam throws himself into a pile of red hot firewood in memory of the suffering of Prahlada, more than a hundred times. As soon as he makes contact with the fire, he is pulled up on to his feet.

      The whole ritual is supposed to sanctify the temple and the villagers around as well.

      It’s a great opportunity to capture images, but, I can’t agree with this ritual where a fellow human being is made to suffer beyond my imagination…

      Thank you so much for your comment and your curiosity to learn more about the rituals of the land.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Sreejith, for sharing the details of the ritual. Yes, I am familiar with the story of Narasimha Avtaar but had no idea that in Theyyam such an act is being performed.
        Even I am against such strong religious belief that lead to immense suffering of any living being. I hope the person does it on his will or is it due to some pressure?

        Many such religious things goes on across every part of India and from my native place there is one such act called “Charak”, which is performed on the last day of the month of Chaitra or the Bengali Year end. A person fasts and follows abstinence for a month in the name of Lord Shiva and then on this day pierces his body, climbs up a long pole and jumps on sharp knives and blades kept open, in the name of God. It is said that God provides him the power and faith to do such extraordinary acts of valour. Being a faint hearted in such cases I personally have never witnessed this ritual myself. This Theyyam ritual sounded similar to the Charak in terms of suffering.

        Thanks again for enlightening me with the information.

        Like

    1. Thank you so much David, for your visit 🙂

      This is a ritual as part of a Theyyam named Vishnumurthy.

      Vishnumurthy theyyam is based on the story of Narasimha, fourth Avtar or reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, in which the half lion-half man, Narasimha, assassinates Hiranya Kashipu, the demon king and saves his son Prahlada who was an ardent devotee of lord Vishnu.

      Hiranya kashipu tried to kill his son Prahlada numerous times by throwing him in to a pile of red hot fire wood.

      During this ritual, the theyyam throws himself into a pile of red hot firewood in memory of the suffering of Prahlada, more than a hundred times. As soon as he makes contact with the fire, he is pulled up on to his feet.

      The whole ritual is supposed to sanctify the temple and the villagers around as well.

      Thank you so much for your comment and your curiosity to learn more about the rituals of the land.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Divya for your visit and comment 🙂

      To be frank, I planned to come up with a complete post with the story behind the ritual and images, but again I had to rely on wordless Wednesday 😦

      This is a ritual as part of a Theyyam named Vishnumurthy.

      Hope you are familiar with the story of Narasimha, fourth Avtar or reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, in which the half lion half man, Narasimha, assassinates Hiranya Kashipu, the demon king and saves his son Prahlada who was an ardent devotee of lord Vishnu.

      Hiranya kashipu tried to kill his son Prahlada numerous times by throwing him in to a pile of red hot fire wood.

      During this ritual, the theyyam throws himself into a pile of red hot firewood in memory of the suffering of Prahlada, more than a hundred times. As soon as he makes contact with the fire, he is pulled up on to his feet.

      The whole ritual is supposed to sanctify the temple and the villagers around as well.

      Though this ritual happens quite frequently during the Theyyam season, I hardly watched it before. As someone who likes capturing images, it’s a great opportunity, it was really tough watching a fellow human being throws himself into fire numerous times…

      It’s hard to draw the line, where a religious ritual turns inhuman…

      Like

    1. Yes, Tina, it REALLY happens 🙂

      But, it’s believed that, when someone becomes Theyyam, a mortal turns to immortal…

      But, I always felt that, there is a limit to which even that person could sustain the ‘immortality element’ once the sufferings starts, but they are supposed to bear it all in the name of believes and devotion.

      Thank you so much for your visit and comments, Tina 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve read your comments to others, Sreejith, and I shudder to think of the pain that this person goes through. Burns are horrifically painful. I’m with you on this. I don’t agree with purposely inflicting pain on someone, even if it is a ritual. Intriguing photography.

    Liked by 1 person

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