A man conducted religious rites for the salvation of his parents' souls in the presence of two snakes in Bihar's Gaya town after his neighbour dreamt that the snakes were his parents.
Suresh Singh, a resident of Jhansi in Madhya Pradesh, and his neighbour Devaki offered 'Pindadan' (salvation rituals) with a male and female snake in tow at the Dev Ghat in Gaya, about 100 km from Patna, said Sanjay Lal, a Hindu priest, who conducted the rituals for them.
Devaki and Singh, both in their 40s, reached Gaya with two snakes in bamboo baskets on Monday and approached priests to offer 'pindadan' for Singh's parents who were killed in an accident a few years ago.
They told priests that Devaki had for the last one year been seeing a female and a male snake, claiming to be Singh's parents, and requesting that she offer 'pindadan' for them in Gaya.
Devaki said that a few months ago, a female and a male snake entered Singh's house and refused to leave, which prompted them to finally offer 'pindadan' on the banks of the Falgu river in Gaya.
"After the snakes started living in Singh's house without harming any one, Devaki's dream continued and they kept requesting that pindadan be offered," Singh said.
"It was a unique ritual for all priests here," Lal told IANS over telephone.
The priest said that hundreds of people gathered to witness the ritual after news spread that two snakes were present.
After offering 'pindadan', Devaki and Singh freed the two snakes near Sita Kund in Gaya.
According to Hindu belief, the soul wanders after death until 'pindadan' is performed, said another priest, Motilal Panda.
Thousands of Hindus from across the country converge at Gaya to perform 'pindadan' on the banks of Falgu river in Gaya during the 15-day period of the waning moon during the Hindu month of Ashwin. The auspicious period began on Sunday.