Brutal ritual shows ‘priests’ whipping thousands of kneeling women to rid 'evil spirits'
An annual ritual performed during the Vijayadashami festival had countless women voluntarily join to get rid of evil spirits.
In the south of India, Tamil Nadu a yearly flogging ceremony takes places, where women show up to literally have their evil spirits whipped out of them.
Chelli,60, a regular lasher of the temple said:
“A single lash can cure them of their illness, pain and other evils.”
The priests got asked whether they thought this physically painful practice was a crime, one answered:
“It is the belief of the people that bring them here. If no one comes to get flogged, we won’t go to their houses and ask them to come to the lashing ground.”
India is a largely diverse country in terms of culture and religion, and in some areas, practices like these are not uncommon. In smaller, remote villages religious rituals are often turned to instead of modern medicine in search of cures for a variety of issues.
“It pains a lot, it burns more but we have to bear the pain in order to free ourselves from the evil spirits and cure our illness.”
The Vijayadashami festival is celebrated as a reminder of the victories of Good over Evil, and known under a variety of names like Dasara, Dashain, Dusshera, Dasahara, and Dussehra.
In South Asia, this festival is observed for different reasons but also celebrated by using different rituals, depending on the area, however, all their rituals have one thing in common, their need to get rid of the bad, in order for the good to stay victorious.
They also believe the hanging of fresh rosemary in the doorway ward off the bad or evil energies.