BHOPAL: As effigies of Ravana and his brothers were burnt to symbolise the victory of truth over evil, a section of people in Madhya Pradesh worshipped the demon king like a deity on Tuesday.
Mandsaur district in south-west MP is considered the maternal home of Mandodari-Ravana’s queen and members of the Namdev community here worshipped a giant statue of Ravana- a son in law to them-as did people in Vidisha, Mandsaur, Betul and Indore.
While the men danced to drumbeats around the statue, women appeared in veils as a mark of respect to Ravana (considered their father-in-law) to tie the sacred red thread on the right foot of the statue in Khanpura area, wishing blessings for their kin.
In Vidisha district, adjacent to Bhopal- residents of Ravana village- offered prayers to the statue of Ravana in sleeping posture at the Ravana temple in the village before offering prayers to Ganesha, the god of auspicious beginnings.
As per villagers, the statue of Ravana in sleeping posture is believed to have been created by a demon who worshipped him.
To the villagers, offering prayers to Ravana first is considered a good omen.
In the state’s commercial capital of Indore also a group of men and women under the banner of Ravana Bhakta Mandal offered prayers at a small temple to Ravana in Pardeshipura locality.
The small group of people which considers themselves to be Ravana’s staunch devotees has been condemning the practice of burning the effigy of Ravana every Dussehra.
However, it was not just Ravana followers in largely urban Mandsaur and Indore, but even tribal’s in Betul district worshipped the demon king.
In Chhatarpur village of Ghodadongri block of tribal-dominated Betul, a section of tribals which consider themselves to be Ravana’s successors, offered prayers at Ravanwadi, a temple on a hillock which houses the statue of Ravana and his army.
Slightly different from the rest
Mandsaur district in south-west MP is considered the maternal home of Mandodari -Ravana’s queen and members of the Namdev community here worshipped a giant statue of Ravana.