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Bhunda Narmedh Mahayajna In Himachal Pradesh – Life Threatening Ritual

Bhunda Narmedh Mahayajna is rarely held traditional sacrificial rite performed in many villages in Himachal Pradesh. The ritual is performed to propitiate gods and goddess who drive away all evil spirits and usher in peace, high fertility, abundance of food and prosperity.

The man who performs the ritual weaves a rope, the Baroot, which is tied to two poles across two hills. A saddle called the Bera is affixed on the Baroot and the man slides from one end to the other without any protection. The ropeway is usually more than 5o feet above the ground.

Clothed in a shroud, the man is deified once he crosses over and sheep are sacrificed to appease the gods and goddesses.

History Of Bhunda Narmedh Mahayajna

Bhunda has its origin in Nirmand village. The exact origin of Bhunda Narmedh is not known. Locals trace to Parshuram worship in Himachal Pradesh. There is a famous temple of Parashuram at Nirmand village in Kullu District. The Narmedh text in the Parshuram temple mentions the Bhunda sacrifice written in Tankri script.

How Is Bhunda Narmedh Mahayajna Ritual Performed?

Gods and goddess worshipped in the local temples where the ritual is performed arrive on the scene to witness the Bhunda Narmedh.

A member from each family in the village should be present during the ritual.

The individual who decides to carry out this unique ritual eats only one meal for a month. He then gathers munji grass from grasslands on the hills which are every hard to reach. The rope is weaved using the munji grass and it measures more than 300 meters and touching even 1000 meters.

The rope is tied across two hills which symbolize the well of death.

The venue for the ritual is decided by malis, who represent the deities, and kardars, who are the treasures in temples.

A puja is performed before the beginning of the ritual. The dress the individual wears contains substances (panchratan) put in the mouth while performing last rites of the dead. The wife of the man is declared a widow and the family is given gifts, jewellery and a huge amount of money from the temple.

If the person performing the ritual dies then it is believed the deity has accepted the sacrifice. If the man survives the ritual he is carried to the temple and a celebration is held. The villagers then compete to get a piece of cloth worn by the man and the panchratan put in the cloth of the man.

If a man performs the ritual 9 times, his family attains the Brahmin caste and his forefathers are guaranteed a place in heaven.