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Power worship at the confluence of nature and culture

Kathmandu - "You must know, who is the goddess to cure blood cancer in Kathmandu?" The question asked by Shailendra Raj Sharma, Director General of Radio Nepal, in an unexpected way, took me by surprise in 2059 BS.

As I was silent, he himself again asked the question with the answer, "Do you know Raktakali Mandir?" I became clear. Taking a deep breath, I said, "I don't know why, I always have to walk." After my answer, he mentioned in a series about how the blood-related patients come to the Raktakali temple in the morning and worship.

Some people like me may be surprised to hear that because of the name "Raktakali", she is worshiped as a goddess who diagnoses terrible diseases related to blood. But there are many legendary beliefs in Nepali culture, traditions and customs, which the citizens have been expressing faith and trust. 

In fact, "Raktakali" is one of the Shakti Peeths that the Home Ministry has ordered not to "crowd" this decade, where the faith and trust of the people of Kathmandu have been linked for hundreds of years. Due to the long holiday festival, the Nepali people have been able to reach the corners of the country and celebrate the "Dashain" festival happily. But its name, customs, culture and traditions vary from place to place and caste. 

This time, due to the outbreak of the corona virus, the culture and traditions of the decade were expected to fade. One can only guess at the effect that the government body itself has called for an end to the tradition of receiving blessings from the elders. 

In fact, it is a time of great joy to see the confluence of nature and culture. In Kathmandu, which is also the capital of the country, many people from all over the country have experienced desertion after returning to their home districts to celebrate Dashain. 

One of the major reasons for the special crowds in the Kathmandu Valley during the celebration of the "Mohani" festival is the worship at various Shakti Peeths from dawn to dusk. "Raktakali" is also one of the dozens of such Shakti Peeths, where in Dashain, the king, the people, all come to worship Shakti to see the same destruction. 

Located on the way to Swayambhu between Kshetrapati and Naradevi in ​​the upper part of Kathmandu, the small-looking Raktakali temple is called "Kulanbhulu" in the Newa language. That is to say, the goddesses that Kathmandu has been worshiping since ancient times as the goddess of mother power are now being interpreted as "Kali", the goddess of power worship. 

In other Shakti Peeths of Kathmandu, Naradevi, Shobha Bhagwati, Bhadrakali, Indrayani, Naxal Bhagwati, Maitidevi, Sankata, Dakshinkali and other temples are considered to be the mother power. 

On the other hand, from Ghatsthapana to Mahanavami, the tradition of worshiping at the confluence of rivers as a gift of nature in the early hours of the morning has been going on. Which is also considered as the originality of Newa culture. For various reasons, the tradition of going to night fairs has been lacking for some years now. 

This time the virus has had a bad effect on the Nepali society which has been worshiping power at the confluence of nature and culture. Another feature of Nepali culture is the lighting of lamps at the confluence of rivers and the flow of lamps in the river. The power of water has been worshiped by human society since the beginning of civilization. There are many such examples in Nepali society as well. Dashain also falls within such an opportunity and season.  

This time, the evil eye of the virus has fallen on our senior citizens who consider it a gift of fortune to see such scenes. Although the initiative taken by the state for the health and safety of the senior citizens carrying the heritage of faith seems to be an obstacle to culture and civilization at present, it has become inevitable.

It is also seen to be an obstacle to the traditional Shakti Peetha's visit from the head of state. The information from the Home Ministry has indicated the same.

Original translated from :- 

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