‘Exorcism’ is a practise to weed out evil spirits that possess normal human beings. You might be familiar with it from the Horror movies that you may have seen. Any thoughts on what your reaction might be, if it took place in front of you? Yes, normal people trying to be ‘cured’ with their ‘tantric’ methods? You would freak out, won’t you? There are a few places of worship, which also exorcise ‘ghosts’. People ‘possessed’ by evil spirits are brought in by their relatives and are ‘cured’.
We list a few shrines in India, where this actually takes place:
1. Mahendipur Balaji Temple, Rajasthan
Those who don’t believe in the supernatural, should surely visit this temple once during their lifetime. The sight of people pouring boiling water over themselves to make the ghosts go away, will stay with you for many days after you’ve visited this ‘shrine’. The ‘possessed’ are also showered with stones and then chained to walls.
The personnel at the temple take their rituals very seriously. So you’re supposed to offer 3 laddoos to the Gods, follow all ‘procedures’ without asking any questions and leave the temple without turning back. You are not even allowed to eat without getting out of town, lest the ‘evil spirits’ possess you again.
2. Hazrat Syed Ali Meera Datar Dargah, Gujarat
As and when you’re walking towards this ‘dargah’, you can hear screams of the people possessed, who have come to this shrine to be cured. At the price of Rs 800 per month, a room can be booked by the relatives of a person needing ‘exorcism’. The violent ones are chained to a wall.
The ‘Maulvis’ or the religious heads at the dargah don’t discriminate between Hindus and Muslims while treating the possessed. It’s common sight to see men, women rolling on the floor, as a part of the remedy.
3. Devji Maharaj Mandir, Malajpur
This is one of those few temples, which hosts a ‘ Bhoot Mela’ every year. People from far-flung places come here with their loved ones to cure those possessed by evil spirits, every full moon.
It’s common sight to see people running and being brushed off with the holy broom, and to see the ‘sinners’ light camphor on their palms/wrists as a way to get rid of the evil spirits.
4. Dattatreya Mandir, Gangapur
In Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district, people gather on every new moon and full moon and fill this temple with deadly silence. And then you can hear one scream after another as people are ‘cleansed’ spiritually.
Despite being outrightly dismissed by Psychiatrists, this temple sees a flood of people wandering in and out. The ‘ Mahamangal Aarti ‘ begins at 11.30am, and people can be heard shouting, screaming and hurling abuses at the Gods. It is believed the evil spirits make the people do that. Some of the possessed people, actually climb up the poles on the premises and suspend themselves.
5. Nizamuddin Dargah, Delhi
It could be one of the most touristy spots in Delhi, and a mighty popular shrine for those who wish to pay their respects to the Sufi Gods. However, amongst all the qawwali environment you’ll suddenly hear shrieks and screams from a secluded room.
In a perfect anti-thesis of sorts, here’s a place where allah is being prayed to and at the same time, in a room around the corner a few men and women are being running around, screaming to get rid off the satanic spirits.