‘Sweat’ dripping down an idol at one of Nepal’s Hindu temples has caused a flutter in the Himalayan nation, as it is believed to be an ill-omen.
On Thursday, special prayers seeking forgiveness were offered to the idol of Bhim on behalf of President Ram Baran Yadav and former king Gyanendra Shah at the Bhimeshwor Temple in central Nepal’s Dolakha district.
Scientists, of course, say the “perspiring” idol had more rational, scientific reasons to do so.
“It is likely that the sweating took place due to a sudden variation between the temperature outside and that of the idol inside the temple,” said Deependra Mulmi, a scientist at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology.
The idol of Bhim – second of the five Pandava brothers in the Mahabharata – seemingly perspired for a few hours on Sunday, after a gap of six years.
It is said the idol first sweated before the great earthquake of 1934, and since then the king had been offering prayers to propitiate the idol.
When it sweated six years ago, then-Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had offered a prayer.
The idol, apparently, also sweated before deaths of former kings Tribhuwan and Mahendra, as well as before the infamous palace massacre of 2001 that had wiped out several members of the then-ruling dynasty.
This time, the sweat – believed to be the blessings of god – was collected in cotton pieces by the temple’s management, and sent to the country’s home ministry for necessary action.
President Ram Baran Yadav, who became Nepal’s first head of state in 2008 after monarchy was abolished, sent NRs 2,500 (Rs 1,562) along with other offerings to the temple through the home ministry.
Earlier, the sweat used to be sent to the king, who in turn would send offerings to the temple so that a special ceremony could be conducted to appease the god and rid the country of bad luck.
“This is the first time the President made any such offering to the Bhimeshwor Temple. The prasad of Thursday’s ceremony reached the President’s office on Friday,” said Rajendra Dahal, media advisor to Yadav.
Former king Gyanendra Shah also sent four representatives, who made offerings and donated an amount of Rs 1,000 (Rs 625) to the deity on his behalf.
Five goats, including two offered by the home ministry, were also sacrificed at the temple as part of the special ceremony seeking forgiveness.