Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Gangamma and the buffalo - Annasany Anna's stories

As related by Annasamy Anna ...

Once as Gangamma was walking by on the tank bund, a buffalo in the field below saw her and snorted, “You roam everywhere and bring on the pox diseases on people and animals. I will finish you off now”. He started chasing her, and the two of them, the chaser and the chased circled the entire universe. She then jumped into a pond, and went deep down into Naagalokam.

There Eshwarudu, lord Shiva, was sitting, and she hid behind him in fear and begged for protection. Shiva then opened his third eye and sent the buffalo immediately into a trancelike deep sleep. Shiva then turned to Gangamma, who was trembling with fear and anger, and told her she was now safe. He then asked her what could cool her anger. She started speaking

… She said a jathra, or religious procession, should be taken out for her. That her image should be installed in a pandal, or podium, made of neem leaves and sticks and that a buffalo, anointed with kumkum and turmeric and garlanded with flowers should be taken on a procession, and then sacrified before her. That its head should be put on a winnow, and a lamp lit on its head, with a salla, a daub of cowdung kept between two leaves under the lamp kept to keep it cool. A man with the buffalo’s intestines hung around his neck, should carry the winnow around the village.

Eashwarudu, to assuage her anger, assured her that it would be so. As the buffalo had to now be reached back to earth from Naagaloka Eashwarudu uttered some mantrams over some vibhuti, and sprinkled it over the sleeping buffalo. Five minutes later, it awoke as from a deep sleep in the farm under the bund – to the amazement of its owner, who had been searching all over for it. From then the ritual of the Gangamma jatras has been going on.

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