While the debate around the entry of women in Kerala’s Sabarimala temple is not going to end any time soon, let’s talk about Haryana’s Sabarimala. A temple isituated in Pehowa town of Haryana that does not allow women.
The Kartikeya temple, dedicated to the elder son of Lord Shiva, is out of bounds for women. It is said that if any woman enters the garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum), she will be widowed for seven births.
While speaking to TOI, Mahant Giri recounted the legend, saying, when Lord Shiva wanted to name his heir, Paravati told that whoever went around the universe and came back first would be the winner. “Kartikeya’s younger brother Ganesha, who had a rat for a mount, simply circled Lord Shiva and Parvati saying they encapsulate the universe,” he added. And so he was declared the winner.
When Kartikeya came to know about this, he was furious and he skinned his mother and drained her blood. “He, then, cursed her for the deceit and announced that if any woman ever came to see him in this form, she would be widowed for seven successive births,” explained Giri.
The sanctum sanctorum has a marble sculpture of Lord Kartikeya flanked by two oil lamps. Giri also explained the relevance of mustard oil offered to the image. He said that mustard oil was offered to cool him down and so, visitors offer it to cool the deity.
“See, we only warn women entering the temple about the reasons for the prohibitory orders. After hearing about it, they do not dare visit the sanctum sanctorum to take darshan of the Pindi (sacred symbol) of Lord Kartikeya. Women can enter the temple. The prohibition is only to see the ‘Pindi’ (sacred symbol of Lord Kartikeya),” said Giri.