Showing posts with label Sri Lank. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sri Lank. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Ritual Practice Of Hookswinging In Sri Lanka?


 During the yearly trip to Kataragama, in the southern portion of the island of Sri Lanka, devotees (bhakta) of the deity Skanda take one of the most severe vows.

This pledge is taken in exchange for bodily treatment or relief from pain.

Those who kept the pledge put hooks into their back and leg muscles; ropes were fastened to the hooks, and the devotees were hanged over the heads of onlookers.

These devout followers are said to be rewarded for their suffering with a state of euphoria in which they are free of pain and bleeding.

They are also thought to be mouthpieces for the deity Skanda in this state, and other pilgrims seek their assistance for any and all problems.


For further detail, read Paul Wirz's Kataragama: Ceylon's Holiest Place, published in 1966, and Bryan Pfaffenberger's "The Kataragama Pilgrimage," published in Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 28, No. 2, 1979. 


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