While scientists all over the globe are working assiduously to find a solution to the coronavirus pandemic, there are some people in India who believe that the solution lie in the worship of ‘Corona Goddess’.
They have therefore gone ahead to set up shines where the new goddess is worshipped.
As per Hindu faith, God is omnipresent and can even be seen in a virus.
Citing this logic, ” Anilan, a temple priest at Kadakkal in Kollam district of Kerala, has started worshiping Corona Devi (Goddess Corona) and installed her idol in a makeshift shrine attached to his home to ward off the fear of the deadly virus causing the pandemic.
Anilan sculpted the deity with its red spiky tentacles on a thermocol surface laced with chempattu (red linen cloth) in the sitting posture on a pallival (sacred sword).
“I am worshipping the coronavirus as a goddess and doing daily pujas for the safety and wellbeing of healthcare professionals, police personnel and scientists, who are toiling to discover a vaccine.” Anilan, gives the reason behind the ‘Corona devi’ idol he is now offering daily prayers to.
Faraway, in Biswanath district of northern Assam, a group of women recently assembled on the banks of a river to perform a puja to ‘Corona ma’, who they believe will destroy the virus that has killed thousands across the globe.
Similar images of women offering prayers to Goddess ‘Corona mai’ have also emerged from Sindri and Bokaro in Jharkhand as well.
I am worshipping the coronavirus as a goddess and doing daily pujas for the safety and wellbeing of healthcare professionals, police personnel and scientists, who are toiling to discover a vaccine.” Anilan, a temple priest at Kadakkal in Kollam district of Kerala, gives the reason behind the ‘Corona devi’ idol he is now offering daily prayers to.
While these images from Kerala, Assam and Jharkhand have resulted in angry social media responses, resorting to faith in times of distress has been an inherent human reaction since the beginning of civilisation. The British polymath Bertrand Russell had in his famous lecture titled ‘Why I am not a Christian’ delivered in 1927 at London, expressed that “fear is the foundation of religion’.
“Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown, and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing—fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death.
Yet another example of fear giving rise to religion is that of the multitude of war deities. While Indra and Kartikeya have been associated with war in Hinduism, Mars was the God of War in ancient Roman religion, Ogun is the God of war in several African religions.
The fear of diseases and the resultant suffering have also given rise to several religious manifestations. The first plague in human history, also known as the Justinian Plague in the sixth century CE, was seen as an act of angry Gods.
“There is no single or predictable response to epidemic disease. Nor is it correct to assume that religious responses are always apocalyptic,” writes historian Duane J. Osheim in his research paper, ‘Religion and epidemic disease’. “It might be better to recognise that religion, like gender, class, or race, is a category of analysis. The religious response to epidemic disease may best be seen as a frame, a constantly shifting frame, subtly influencing illness and human responses to it,” he add