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Shri karni Stories

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Story of Rats in shrikarni temple:- The beginning of the rat worship date to the 15th century. the rats are believed to be reincarnation of holly woman and goddess karni mata, an ascetic believed to be the reincarnation of goddess durga. when a child of a famous storyteller died, karni mata tried to bring it back to life, but failed. yama, a hindu death god, has already accepted the boys body and reincarnated him in a human form.

Known for her short temper, karni mata was extremely disappointed by her failure and announced that all the charan cast would consistently be reborn as rats and then again as people. thus kabas, or "little children" in the local dialect, are considered different than the rats outside the temple and only those rats are said to be the reincarnations of the charan caste. another version of the story has it that during the times of karni mata a terrible plague has spread all over the country killing thousands of children. desperate parents have asked the god of death yama weather he would release the children. karni mata achieved a compromise in which for every offering made to a rat, a dead child would be reincarnated as one of the rodents. hindu boys admire the white rat. there are only two white rats living in the temple and they are considered to be the holiest of the entire population.Many pilgrims go to special lengths to spot the white rat who is said to be the first boy reincarnated as the rat. "there are two, maybe three white rats now," told me a groundskeeper of the temple. the place where two of the temple's white rats live is known well to the temple caretakers. they point it out to the pilgrims who spend hours tempting the white rat with best snacks they can afford. seeing a white rat is a special blessing to pilgrims. when they do see it, they bow their heads in thanks and respect. the two white rats besieged by human visitors venture outside their residence almost only at night. the pair lives in close proximity to each other, behind closed doors in the corner of the temple's main courtyard. other then their white fur they also have a different nature. when most rats calmly accept human presence the white rats run away. they seem aware of their "celebrity status" and special veneration of their human caretakers.

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