Villagers of this village live with snakes!
Snakes are deadly! Snakes are dangerous! They carry venom! No one can ever think about keeping calm when they see a snake. They only thing that comes in mind on seeing a snake is – Scream and run. But can you imagine? There is a village in Maharashtra, nearly 200 km away from Pune, which has uncountable snakes in it. To your surprise, the villagers don’t ‘scream and run’ when they see these snakes. They keep snakes and live with them. The people are so comfortable with the snakes that they go around in and out of their homes, and they don’t even bother or aren’t scared a bit.
Ta’ziya procession on Ashura. Whereas on the other hand, Sunni Muslims practice it peacefully; there is no violent mourning; all they do is regular fasting, which means from sunrise to sunset. On the last day, they make food to distribute among neighbors and poor. They also hold a gathering to remember the sacrifice of their ancestors. Some people keep fast for Hussein, whereas some people keep fast for all the martyrs of the battle of Karbala. This painful observance is an expression of their grief on the death of their leader Hussain, also considered to be the representative of Allah.
Satpal – is practically only such a village in India to pet snakes. Maybe because of the arid and dry environment of this place, a lot of species of snakes live here, mostly cobras. Now cobra is a word that can easily scare the hell out of a person. But this is a land of snake charmers, so there’s no space for worries. Reportedly, these people have created hollow niches in their homes to have snakes take rest. They think of snakes as family. They call it ‘Devsthaan.’ A hole has been created in each home, as a passage for the snake to come and go. It is so because snakes are worshipped in India and are assumed to be as equals of God. They pray all the species of snakes almost every single day. No one can say how this ritual originated here, but it exists, so now we know it. The village is located in the Sholapur district and is home to almost 2500 people.
The deadly cobras can easily be seen in the schools as well, and no one harms them. The villagers say, having a large number of snakes is a blessing from God. The children play with snakes and are very comfortable with them. They have a temple called Siddheshwar temple, where those bitten by snakes are treated with a copper seven-hooded cobra equipment, and they believe that it has the power to cure this ailment. Although, no case of snakebite has ever been reported here.
In Hindu mythology, snakes have a special place. They are known to live in ‘Pataal-Lok’ because of Parikshit’s son Janmejaya’s curse. This happened because Takshak snake disguised himself and bit Parikshit. Another reason is, snakes like ‘Vasuki’ and ‘Sheh naag,’ Vasuki is the snake who is blessed and carried by Lord Shiv as an ornament, while Lord Vishnu stays in ‘Yog Nidra’ with Shesh naag. Snakes are considered to be holy in the Hindu religion.
Another reason for these villagers to keep snakes can be the myth that snakes bring prosperity. But sewing the mouth of snakes and keeping them starving isn’t a way to bring money, and this is something snake charmers should understand. Many snake charmers use snakes as the sole medium of income. They dress themselves up as sages, captive the snakes and go around begging for money in the name of God. Mythology is and never was an option to fetch money. Just the mere presence of a snake can’t bring prosperity. The snakes are first captured, and then snake charmers break their fangs (which is very painful). They extract all the venom out of them, and the mouth of snakes is sewed. They do it so that the snakes don’t bite them and could be used as a showpiece or an article to earn money. These snakes are starved and are forced to feed on milk. It is evident that snakes are carnivores and feed on frogs, rodents, etc. and do not drink milk. It is a crime to captivate wildlife, and in the eyes of the law, no one has the right to captive snakes. This way, snakes will disappear rapidly.