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Karni Mata Story - Miracles Of Karni Mata - Why Her Followers Worship Rat?

Karni Mata (1387 – 1538 CE) whose original name was Ridhi Bai was born in 1387, in the village of Suyap, Jodhpur District, Rajasthan. She was the sixth daughter of maha and Deval Rai. As per the famous Karni Mata story, she led a life of righteousness, dedicated to helping the poor and needy. She became the patron deity of the rulers of Bikaner. Many miraculous deeds are attributed to Ridhi Bai; she thus came to be called, Karni Mata, meaning “one who performs miracles.” Today, she is famous around the world as her followers worship rats in her temples.

Karni Mata Story - Miracles

The story goes that when Ridhi Bai was born, her aunt was furious at the sight of this sixth daughter in a row, and tried to kill the newborn infant by striking her. But the aunt found her hands miraculously glued together. They were separated only when the infant Ridhi Bai touched them.

When Ridhi Bai got married in 1416, she requested her husband Dipaji not to insist on the conjugal rights. Two years later, she left him to build a temple at Deshnok.

Ridhi Bai used to roam around the use to perform miracles to help poor cowherds and shepherds. When water was denied to cattle and goat, she used to get water for them miraculously in the desert region. She soon became a savior of all those who ventured into the unknown for a livelihood. It is said that when her followers called out her name, she appeared before them and rescued them. 

She was see at the same time in more than one place. 

Once, a devotee of Karni Mata, Jagadu, a trader, was caught in a huge storm in sea. He called Karni Mata for help from his small ship. It is said that he then saw Karni Mata who was milking cow at her home appear on the ship. She navigated the ship to safety and thus saved the trader.

Karni Mata And Rats - Fighting Yamraj

It is said that the son of the sister of Karni Mata died in a fair. When the body was brought home it was found that he had died in a pond where the fair was held. Soon, Karni Mata arrived at the house and she took the body inside a room and locked it from inside. Here she requested Yamraj, the god of death, to return the life of the young boy. When Yamraj did not heed to the request, she fought with him and got back the life of the boy. It is said that Yamraj soon realized the power of Karni Mata and told her that her followers will become rats after they die. And when the same rats die they will return as humans. This is the reason why rats are worshipped in the Deshnok temple. The followers or Karni Mata never leave earth. They transform to rats and back to humans.

The rulers of Jodhpur and Bikaner won numerous battles with the blessing of Karni Mata. She laid the foundation of many forts in Rajasthan including the famous Mehrangarh fort and Bikaner fort.

Karni Mata founded the Deshnok temple in 1476. The innermost sanctum was made by Karni Mata herself with small stones, sticks, leaves and mud and she used it for her prayer.

Her devotees regard her as a divine incarnation of Goddess Hinglaj (Mother Goddess Shakti).

Karni Mata is also known as ‘dadhi wali dokri’ or Dadhali meaning ‘beard bearing old lady’.