Significance’ of Mehandipur Balaji Temple, Rajasthan

‘There’s one phenomenon common in all man-made faiths: They all believe in ghosts.’

Indian rationalist M N Roy

I’m sure, many readers are familiar with this famous line and they’ve chanted it as well, ‘Bhoot-pishaach nikat nahin aavei, Mahavir jab naam sunavei,’ in Tulsidas’ ‘Hanuman Chalisa’. Lord Hanuman’s name is uttered to drive away evil spirits and this temple at Dausa (near Jaipur), Rajasthan is dedicated to Balaji (yet another name of Lord Hanuman) with this very purpose: Getting rid of apparitions and evil spirits.

The question is: Do (good/evil) spirits really exist? It’s again a matter of faith and faith entails complete absence of rationality. Here, it’s in the fitness of things to quote Sri Lankan rationalist Abraham Kovoor, who relentlessly fought against these superstitions and esp. all faith-based irrational phenomena. No occult or devotee could ever accept his challenges to prove whether spirits exist, does black magic really harm or it has a placebo effect, do godmen and godwomen possess certain extraordinary powers or they just hoodwink gullible people? All these questions were never suitably answered by anyone and are still unanswered.

That even in this age, so many people still believe that bhoot-pret do exist is a sad commentary on the extremely slow evolution of collective human intelligence. Even the so-called ‘educated’ people believe that ghosts and spirits exist and they can harm us! Many houses are abandoned, believing that there’s some evil spirit residing there!

Here, author’s intention is not to cast aspersions on any deity or the belief system of the majority. If people have been cured of ghosts and spirits, it’s good. What more can one ask for? But the question remains, were they (‘possessed’ people) really affected/possessed by spirits in the first place?

What’s a ghost: A mere figment of an irrational mind that believes before it’s asked to believe. What we call ghost is actually ‘a fearful projection of our own brain that plays tricks and confounds us’ observed Sigmund Freud in his essay ‘ Living with a hallucination.’

His student Carl Gustav Jung seconded his master’s observation and added that seeing and possessing ghosts is a neurological phenomenon and such things just don’t exist.

Exorcism or jadu-tona/ojha/recondite mantras, which have no meanings, are ‘psychological deviations and diversions’ according to the evolutionary biologist Dr Richard Dawkins of England.

Mankind is still collectively un-evolved. So these esoteric phenomena appeal to us immediately. At the same time, there’s a psychological thrill in ‘believing’ ghosts because that gives us a different kind of kick. This cogently explains, why most of us love to hear the stories of ghosts and watch haunted movies.

With due respect to the Mehndipur Balaji, one can but opine that worshipping him as ‘a destroyer of evil forces’ is underestimating his divinity because there’s no such thing as ghost or evil force/power/element. So anyone who still believes in ghosts or is curious to know about Lord Hanuman, can visit the Balaji temple. Mehandipur Balaji timings are from 6 AM to 9 PM, all days of the week.

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