Charak Pujah

Charak Pujah is one of the most popular festivals in Eastern India. It is held in honor of Siva (q.v.), in his character of Maha Kali, or. Time, the great destroyer of all things; and by association of thought, the goddess Kali (q.v.) has come' to occupy a most conspicuous place in this annual festival. The name of the festival is derived from chakra, a disk or wheel, in allusion to the circle performed in the rite of swuisging, which forms so prominent a part of the observances. An upright pole, twenty or thirty feet in height, is planted in the ground. Across the top of it, moving freely on a pin or pivot, is placed horizontally a long beam. From one end of this transverse beam a rope is suspended, with two hooks affixed to it, which are fastened into the fleshy parts of the back of the devotee. while another rope at the opposite end of the beam serves to whirl the machine around and carry the victim in a circle swiftly through the air. As this is an exercise of great merit to the devotee, he endures the torture as long as possible, usually from ten minutes to half an hour. Thousands of these swinging posts. are in operation at one time in Bengal. If the ligaments of the back of any one' should prove too weak for the strain resulting from the very rapid motion, and the poor victim should be dashed in pieces, his violent death is considered by the spectators the just punishment of crimes committed in a previous state of existence. Other practices equally cruel are carried on at these festivals, with the hope of obtaining the favor of their deity. See Duff, India and India Missions.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.