Bhopal/Rajgarh: Even as the mythological demons Ravana and brother Kumbhakarna along with Meghnad (Ravana’s son) would be burnt down as symbols of evil on Dussehra across the country, residents of a small village in Rajgarh district would instead worship the demon brothers with fanfare.
Huge permanent idols of Ravana and Kumbhakarna are installed close to National Highway 3 (Agra-Mumbai Road) in village Bhatkhedi of Rajgarh, about 120 km from Bhopal. People from nearby villages also visit the idols through the year, seeking fulfillment of their wishes.
But these idols are especially worshipped on Dussehra day after the traditional Ram Lila (drama based on Ramayana) is staged in front of them. Though the demon brothers are slain in the drama, their effigies are not burnt in Bhatkhedi.
“Our ancestors told us that Ravana and Kumbhakarna had blessed our village. Worshipping them is an age-old tradition that we are following,” Kaluram Yadav, a villager says.
Reincarnations of Jaya-Vijaya
Another resident, Shivnarayan Yadav said that though the demon king and his brother are considered evil incarnate elsewhere, the villagers go by the story that they are reincarnations of Jaya-Vijaya – the guards of Lord Vishnu’s abode, who were cursed to be born as mortal beings. “They played a role in divine game of the Lord on earth and we see no reason to think of them as evil,” he argued.
The villagers of Bhatkhedi say they were blessed by the demon brothers
To protest shifting
The villagers fear that attempt might be to shift the idols for proposed widening of NH-3. “We are all ready to protest any such move and they are our benefactors,” they say.