APRIL 16, 2022
Amid Hanuman Jayanti celebrations across the country, a hamlet in Maharashtra has distanced itself from all associations with the monkey god. Villagers do not worship Hanuman, they do not name their children after the deity, nor do they buy Maruti cars. Misfortune will befall anyone who purchases a Maruti vehicle, they believe.
This is an account from Daityanandur village, around 70 km from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, where, rather than Hanuman, the people worship Nimba Daitya, a rakshasa.
The myth goes that Hanuman, the most loyal devotee of Lord Rama, came searching for Goddess Sita in the Dandakaranya forest after she left Ayodhya. In the forest, he ran into Nimba Daitya, and the two fought. After they both collapsed, they took Lord Rama’s name and he appeared. Impressed by Nimba Daitya’s devotion, he granted the rakshasa a boon: from that day forth, only Nimba Daitya would be worshipped in Dandakaranya.
Dandakaranya forest used to exist. As a result, Hanuman is given the cold shoulder by the villagers, who only offer prayers to Nimba Daitya.
Ankush Wagh, a young man born and raised in Daityanandur, told India Today that there are no Hanuman temples in the village. People in the village do not read the Hanuman chalisa, there are no idols or pictures of the monkey deity. “We worship Nimba Daitya on the day of Gudi Padwa,” he added.
Courtesy/Source: India Today