Picture Source : www.pexels.com

Once upon a time in this world wars took place, massacres took place, one country dominated over another country, terrorist attacks became common, and much more, maximum of the population wanted only one religion to exist. Decades passed, time changed and so did the people. Today, we are not only citizens of a diverse and secular country, but we are also residents of a diverse and secular world. No matter in which part of the world we may go, we will come across people with different religious backgrounds, different ethics and values, different cultures, and different beliefs. Whichever country we visit, we find temples, churches, mosques, and other religious places for people residing there. We have seen people respecting others' cultures and coming together to celebrate with the motive of bringing people together and learning about new cultures and beliefs. Whenever we hear about any religious place, the only scenario that flashes across our minds is a place radiating positive vibes, ringing bells, and people enchanting holy prayers. But not all religious places are like this. One example of such a place is the Mehandipur Balaji Temple.

Rajasthan is known as the state of palaces. The Balaji temple is located in a village named Mehandipur, on the borders of Karauli district and Dausa district. Rajasthan is a state with ancient villages and forts and hence a lot of folktales can be heard. The famous Bhangarh Fort is still believed to be haunted and cursed and tourists are not allowed before sunrise and after sunset. This temple also has a creepy vibe all around its circumference. Lord Hanuman Ji is the main deity to be worshiped here. Lord Hanuman Ji is also known as Balaji because according to Hindu mythology, Bala depicts the child form of Hanuman Ji. Apart from Balaji, other lords worshiped here are PretRaj Ji and Bhairavaji. According to the locals, the temple dates back centuries old. The first Mahant of the temple was Shri Ganesh Puri Ji Maharaj. Behind the construction of the temple, there is a well-known folktale that Lord Balaji himself paid a visit to Shri Ganesh Puri Ji in his dream and directed him to worship the Lord there and to help those people in need. In the current time, thousands of devotees from all over the country come looking for a cure to their problems and also to pray for their and their family's well-being. The burial location (samadhi that) of Shri Ganesh Puri Ji is situated on the back side of the temple and is visited by the devotees for obtaining the holy water. The recent Mahant of the temple is Shri Naresh Puri Ji Maharaj. Although the temple is situated in a location where the weather remains hot, the devotees can feel a fall in temperature inside the temple premises. The temple is built over a large area of land and is said to consist of four chambers. The first chamber is where Lord Balaji is worshiped. The second and third chambers are the worshiping places of Lord Bhairavaji and Lord PretRaj Ji. The fourth chamber is the main and most special chamber because this is the chamber where exorcism takes place. The ideology of a person while visiting a temple or any other religious place is that the purity of the place is enough to calm a restless soul, the smell of incense sticks and diyas all around in the air freshens the mind and the melody of chanting prayers are the ultimate music for the ears and the heart. It is worth mentioning that while entering this particular temple the ideology will be completely different. The visitors only get to hear the dreadful screams of the possessed, dreadful enough to give a person goosebumps. The main reason for which the temple is quite famous is because of the exorcism practices conducted here. According to Hindu mythology and spiritual beliefs, it is claimed that all the three deities worshiped here are the main deities to ward off evil spirits. There is a religious prayer, particularly for Lord Hanuman Ji known as the Hanuman Chalisa. This prayer holds a very important place in every devotees' minds as many of them did get excellent results after chanting this prayer a particular number of times per day. People also claim that chanting the prayer before any important work is a sign of positivity and good luck. It is particularly called 'Chalisa' because it consists of forty verses that praise Lord Hanuman. In the Hanuman Chalisa, there is a verse that is:

'भूत पिसाच निकट नहिं आवै।
महाबीर जब नाम सुनावै।।'
(Bhoot pisaach Nikat nahi aave 
Mahavir jab naam sunave)

It means that the ghosts and evil spirits stay away only with the mention of Mahavir's holy name. This verse depicts the power Lord Hanuman Ji holds to ward off the evil spirits from his devotees. And this temple is the place where this particular verse is being proved to be true every day. The devotees once entering the Mehandipur Balaji temple can feel a negative vibe once inside the temple. It is a law of nature that energy cannot be destroyed. As a result, the presence of negative energy can be felt inside the walls of the temple. The devotees visiting the temple have to face some heart-wrenching views inside the temple gates. They may come across people who are rolling all over the ground, people who continuously bang their heads on the walls, and even people who pour boiling water all over themselves without any sign of hurt or pain. Sometimes priests can be seen hitting people with a stick. These are the people who are said to be possessed. It has also been noticed that these people cover their ears and behave more aggressively when the holy prayers come to their ears as they are unable to tolerate the power those prayers hold. There are a lot of dos and don'ts that a person should know and keep in mind before visiting this temple. After entering the temple it is strictly prohibited to touch or talk to anybody around as no one can know who is possessed. Moreover one shouldn't laugh at anybody who is possessed otherwise consequences will have to be faced. There will be vendors outside the main temple selling the 'prasad' and it is said that one shouldn't say a no to the prasad. The prasad consists of black round shaped item that is not for consumption. The devotee should put that prasad into the fire after encircling it around the whole body five times to ward off the evil spirits. One more thing to keep in mind is one shouldn't buy anything else from the vendors except the prasad even after their continuous insisting. Once entering the village where the temple is located one person can feel the presence of some unknown force. Hence, one cannot eat or drink anything from the time of entering the village. It is also said that one should not take anything to eat or drink from the temple back home. Last but not least is that while leaving the main temple building one should not turn back. It is believed that since many negative energies are present inside the temple walls it is very much possible that many evil spirits may keep their eyes on the devotees. Sometimes some people may feel that someone familiar is calling for them from behind. It has been strictly said that no matter what the situation is one should not turn back. Keeping all these precautions in mind one can easily pay a visit to the Mehandipur Balaji temple.

Although there are a lot of differences between any other Balaji temple and the Mehandipur Balaji temple, there is one thing that they share in common that is the divine power of Lord Hanuman Ji. As it has been mentioned earlier that energy is neither created nor destroyed. Hence, the presence of both the negative and positive energies is the permanent law of nature. People call this temple 'the temple of the possessed' but it is the temple where the possessed get relief. Here the possessed are being cured under the divine love and care of Lord Balaji. People all over the country come here every year just to be blessed by the deity. The presence of the evil spirits in this temple is undeniable but the purity radiated from this temple is above all the impurities of this world. One may hear the screams of the possessed but after entering the main worship zone, the mind feels the same kind of calmness, the same kind of relaxation. As stated in the Hindu mythology and spiritual books, the positive is always said to win over the negative. Here inside this temple also, the presence of the negative doesn't stop the devotees from visiting the temple and finding a cure to all their plights, finding a solution to put an end to all their misfortunes.

.    .    .