Devotees physically punish themselves as penance at Hindu festivals in India (gallery)

Published: April 11, 2013

VANCOUVER DESI

No pain, no gain? Hindu devotees across India are participating in festivals in which they perform ritualistic acts of self-punishment. The pain they inflict on themselves is meant to serve as penance, with the belief that it will prevent diseases and ensure the well-being of the devotees’ families.


Hindu penance rituals


Picture 1 of 23

Devotees lie on hot sand as a form of penance on the beginning day of the Danda festival at Sorada village, in Ganjam district, about 240 kilometres from Bhubaneswar, India on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Biswaranjan Rout/AP


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