No pressure cooker, cell phones please! Deities are busy in annual assembly
MANALI: Nine villages
of Manali
have maintained a complete silence for 42 days as their deities
— Rishi Gautam, Rishi Vyas and Kanchan Nag — are attending the annual
assembly in heaven and a little noise can disturb them. Villagers believe the
deities are deciding the fate of the world and maintaining silence is necessary
for them.

Gautam Rishi temple in Goshal village near Manali
Doors of the
temple at Goshal village, where
these deities live, have been sealed on Sunday. No pooja would be performed
here and even ringing the temple bell is prohibited. Villagers have finished
their agricultural works and now they cannot work in their fields till next 42
days. Television, radio and all modes of entertainment have been shut down. Cell
phones have been put into silence mode and villagers cannot cook food in
pressure cookers until the restriction is not removed.
Goshal, Burua, Shanag, Solang, Palchan, Kulang, Majhach, Ruar
and Kothi villages adhere to this
strange rule for 42 days after Makar Sankranti every year. Villagers try to
speak in low volume to avoid sin. According to villagers, priest and some
special persons from villages fill a pitcher with holy soil and put is inside
the temple and seal the doors. “The pitcher would be pulled out after 42 days
and the soil would be poured on the floor. The contents which appear with soil
make the prophecy of the world,” a priest Mehar Chand Sharma said.
Generally grain,
coal, sand, hairs, flowers and saffron are found in the soil which denotes
status of crop, fire incidents, flood, deaths, religious ceremonies and
marriages respectively. Everything that comes out of pitcher denotes some
particular event. Not only people of nine villages but the entire Kullu valley has their faith in this
ritual and they believe the prophecy made by three deities has always been
accurate.
Rakesh Thakur, resident of Goshal
village, said, “We try to remain silent as possible as we can. We have been
told by our elders that breaking silence can cause disturbance to the deities
who have been sealed inside the temple. We request all those who visit our
village to stay calm and not to talk loudly.”
Everybody is
aware of anger of Rishi Gautam who
had turned his wife Ahilya into stone with curse just because of the misdeed by
Lord Indra. Indra, who disguised as a cock, had violated the fidelity of
Ahilya. Since then, rearing roosters and hen is strictly prohibited in Goshal
village where Rishi Gautam is believed to have living for ages. Villagers do
not do the things which can trigger anger in their deity.

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