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Rationalism/Superstitions/Rituals

Women perform traditional black-magic on the bank of River Ganga on the occasion of Kartik Purnima in Patna

PTI Photo

Sivaramakrishna Dikshithar medidates to appease the god of rain.

Activists demanding the arrest of Dabholkar’s killers during a protest march.

Maharashtrian brahmins perform rituals as they celebrate 'Shravani Parv' in Bhopal

PTI Photo

Bhartiya Janata Party supporters perform Hindu rituals for the long life of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee outside the All India Institute of Medical Sciences where he is admitted in New Delhi.

Photograph by AP Photo/Altaf Qadri

An Indian tribal Hindu priest walks barefoot over burning charcoal as part of rituals during Baikho festival in Ramyapur village near Gauhati

Photograph by AP Photo/Anupam Nath

Devotees carry a religious float with a statue of the Virgin Mary of Sorrow during the Jesus of Nazareth procession from La Merced church in downtown Guatemala City.

AP Photo/Moises Castillo

Devotees roll on sand as they offer prayers to the Hindu God Shiva as a part of Danda festival at Kural village of Nayagarh district in Odisha

PTI Photo

Russian offer pindaan rituals at the banks of river for the salvation of ancestral souls in Gaya

PTI Photo

Shamans holding posters of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong, perform a ceremony on Morro Solar in Lima, Peru. The shamans said they performed the ritual for peace between the U.S. and North Korea.

AP/PTI

Priests perform rituals with the three deities Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra on the occasion of Snana Purnima, in Puri ahead of famous car festival.

PTI Photo

A devotee of Barsana take part in rituals during Laddu Holi at "Radha Rani Temple" in Barsana, Mathura.

PTI Photo

Student of Swaminarayan gurukul perform special rituals as part of "Magh Snan", in Surat.

PTI Photo

A man rides a horse through a bonfire as part of a ritual in honor of Saint Anthony the Abbot, the patron saint of domestic animals, in San Bartolome de Pinares, west of Madrid, Spain. On the eve of Saint Anthony's Day, hundreds ride their horses through the narrow cobblestone streets of the small village of San Bartolome during the "Luminarias," a tradition that dates back 500 years and is meant to purify the animals with the smoke of the bonfires and protect them for the year to come.

AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Devotees performing rituals before taking the holy dip during Gangasgar mela to mark Makar Sankranti held at at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal, at Sagar Island near Kolkata.

PTI Photo by Swapan Mahapatra

Devotees offer prayers at the Sangam of rivers, the Ganga, the Yamuna and mythical Saraswati on the occasion of Paush Poornima, in Allahabad.

PTI Photo

A woman offers flowers to Yemanja, goddess of the sea, for good luck in the coming year during New Year's Eve festivities on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The belief in the goddess comes from the African Yoruba religion brought to America by West African slaves.

AP Photo/Leo Correa

Faithful take part in a ceremony for Yemanja, goddess of the sea, that is part of traditional New Year's celebrations on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

A faithful carries a boat filled with offerings for Yemanja, goddess of the sea, during a ceremony that is part of traditional New Year's celebrations on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As the year winds down, Brazilian worshippers of Yemanja celebrate the deity, offering flowers and launching large and small boats into the ocean in exchange for blessings in the coming year.

AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

Young kaanwariyas being checked while entering a mall. Not all are pilgrims these days.

Photograph by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar

Barefoot and determined, pilgrims bearing gangajal for the lord of Baidynath Dham

Photograph by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar

Hindu Sena activists organise a havan in support of Republican US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi.

PTI Photo/Subhav Shukla

The Itachuna Rajbari in Bengal, said to be one of the most haunted

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee

Supavadee Tapmalai offer food to child angle doll at Japanese restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand. The dolls, which are said to bring good luck to their owners, became a media sensation this week after a leaked memo from a Thai budget airline gave pointers on how they could be treated like passengers if they have a paid-for seat. Thai people are superstitious, and the doll phenomenon has been analysed as a modern version of a traditional totem containing real body parts, but as a fad it seems have more in common with Furby dolls.

AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

People perform rituals for their ancestors during Ptrapaksha in Gaya, Bihar.

PTI Photo

Devotees perform 'Pind Daan Tarpan, a ritual for the peace of the souls of ancestors during Pitru Paksha , at Sangam in Allahabad.

PTI Photo

Radhe Maa arrives at Kandivali Police Station in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Devotees welter in mud and offer prayers during a religious tradition to cure arthritis during the Bengali month Ashar at Dharamraj temple at Belia in Birbhum, West Bengal.

PTI Photo

Devotees welter in mud and offer prayers during a religious tradition to cure arthritis on the occasion of Bengali month Ashar at Dharamraj temple at Belia in Birbhum.

PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with monks of Belur Math (Headquarters of Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission) during a visit to Kolkata.

PTI Photo by Ashok Bhaumik

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers prayers in front of Goddess Kali idols at cv\\li Temple, Kolkata.

PTI Photo

A devotee attempts to self-flagellate in a procession during the Urs festival at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer. Thousands of devotees travel to the shrine for the annual festival, marking the death anniversary of the saint.

AP Photo/ Deepak Sharma

Members of Hindu Makkal Katchi performing pooja with photographs of Indian cricketers for the team's victory in the upcoming ICC World Cup, at Lord Murugan Temple in Chennai.

PTI Photo/R Senthil Kumar

Student and priests of Swaminarayan Gurukul perform the 'Magh Snan' in Surat.

PTI Photo

A Russian bathes in the icy water on Epiphany at a pond in Tyarlevo village outside St. Petersburg. Thousands of Orthodox Church followers plunged into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark Epiphany, cleansing themselves with water deemed holy for the day. Water that is blessed by a cleric on Epiphany is considered holy and pure until next year's celebration, and is believed to have special powers of protection and healing.

AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

A ritual bath on the eve of Magh Purnima in Ahmedabad.

PTI Photo

Haryana DGP S N Vashist inspecting the bullet proof jacket which was recovered from Ramlal's Satlok Asharam in Hisar.

PTI Photo

A Haryana Police cop shows arms recovered from controversial religious leader Rampal's Satlok Ashram in Hisar.

PTI Photo

Supporters of controversial Indian guru Sant Rampal displaying his photographs, chant slogans praising him as they gather to show support at a protest venue near the Indian Parliament in New Delhi.

AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal

Supporters of controversial Indian guru Sant Rampal pray as they gather to show support at a protest venue near the Indian Parliament in New Delhi.

AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal

Followers shield the Satlok Ashram of Sant Rampal in Hisar to resist his arrest.

PTI Photo

Scientific Temper In which PM Modi says Ganesha’s head is evidence of plastic surgery and Karna’s birth of genetic science in ancient India

Tantrik, godman and astrologer Chandra­sw­ami

Jitender Gupta

Sanatan spokesperson Abhay Vartak (left) had in 2013 told the press they weren’t involved in Dabholkar’s killing.

Getty Images (From Outlook 14 July 2014)

Narendra Dabholkar (1945-2013)

AP

Circa 2009 Dabholkar with others in Pune, vowing to hand over reins to youth

Indian policemen are pictured at the crime scene where anti-superstition and black magic campaigner Narendra Dabholkar was killed by gunmen in Pune

AFP (From Outlook 14 July 2014)

Illustration by Saahil

A man performs rituals to appease the rain gods in Ahmedabad.

AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

K.Chandrasekhar Rao, Chief Minister of Telangana, at his new official residence at Begumpet, Hyderabad. Two former chief ministers of AP, Late YS Rajasekhara Reddy and N.Kiran Kumar Reddy stayed in this residence.

PTI Photo

Mexico City's "Great Warlock" Antonio Vazquez, center, and assistants perform a magic ritual using a football in a bid to help Mexico's national football team reach the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup, in Mexico City, Mexico.

AP Photo/Moises Castillo

Vat Savitri being celebrated in Mumbai.This festival is celebrated by married Hindu women where they tie cotton threads around a banyan tree, pray for the longevity of their husbands and keep a day long fast.

AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

Shamans performing a good luck ritual using a doll representing Argentina's Lionel Messi, and a poster of Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo outside the National Stadium in Lima, Peru.

AP/PTI

On A Roll: BJP supporter Rajubhai Parekh rolls on the road leading to the Mahakali temple in Ahmedabad to pray for Narendra Modi’s victory at the hustings

AP

BJP supporters performing hawan for victory at party office in Allahabad.

PTI Photo

Snakes ‘n ladders Thousands participate daily in the sarpa puja at the temple

K.R. Vinayan

White smoke A Hindu lady offers prayers and cigarettes to ‘Gora baba’

Nirala Tripathi

For Shiva Sadhus and devotees offer prayers during the festival of Gajan in Calcutta

Reuters (From Outlook 13 January 2014)

Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi performs a ritual pooja at Ambaji Shaktipeeth in Ambaji

PTI Photo

Mumbai : Actress Sonali Kulkarni joins activists of Rashtra Seva Dal in their protest over rationalist Narendra Dabholkar's murder in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

NCP activists take part in silent protest against the killing of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, in Thane, Mumbai.

PTI Photo

A Hindu priest carries a goat for sacrifice during the two day long Deodhani festival at Kamakhya temple in Guwahati.

AP Photo/Anupam Nath

Children are laid on a road as Hindu devotees step over them as part of a ritual during celebration of Shiva Gajan in Kolkata. Devotees of Hindu god Shiva believe performing this ritual will ensure fulfillment of their wishes.

AP Photo/Bikas Das

A Bangladeshi Hindu devotee carries a child as he hangs in a rope with hooks pierced in his back as part of a ritual during the Charak Puja festival in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

AP Photo/A.M. Ahad

A devotee has a metal rod pierced through his tongue as part of performing a ritual during the Shiva Gajan festival in Bainan, West Bengal. Devotees of god Shiva believe performing this ritual will ensure fulfillment of their wishes.

AP Photo/Bikas Das

Devotees walk together before performing rituals of penance on hot sand on the second day of the Danda festival or the festival of self-punishments at Kulagarh in Ganjam district, Odisha..

AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout

People try to topple a car of a follower of Asharam Bapu outside a school in Ahmedabad.

PTI Photo

A shopkeeper shows a wall clock to a customer at 12hrs 12 minutes on 12/12/12 at a shop in Hyderabad.

AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.

Newlywed couple Brandon Pereira and Emilia D'Silva, pose after being married at a church in Mumbai. The couple were engaged on 10/10/10, registered a legal marriage on 11/11/11 and had their official ceremony on 12/12/12, a date which will not occur again for almost 100 years.

AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

The hospital tag on a newborn child shows that he was born on 12/12/12, at 12:12 p.m. at a government hospital in Hyderabad.

AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.

Riteish Deshmukh, Amit Deshmukh and Dheeraj performing rituals during immersion of the ashes of their father the late Vilasrao Deshmukh in Ganga in Varanasi.

PTI Photo

Balinese men compete during a buffalo race in Jembrana, western Bali, Indonesia. More than three hundred of buffalos participated in the "Mekepung" (buffalo race), a thanksgiving ritual after a successful harvest.

AP Photo/ Firdia Lisnawati

Villagers get two buffaloes married during a tradition for rains at Vaginakere near Chikmagalur in Karnataka.

PTI Photo

Devotees worship a kid as Goddess Kamakhya on the occasion of Kumari puja during the last day of Ambubachi mela at Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati.

PTI Photo

Supporters of Swami Nithyananda, protesting the charges against him

A pig that makes "predictions" for the Euro 2012 soccer matches eats from a bowl placed near the national flag of Russia, in Kiev, Ukraine. The action of the pig supposedly predicts that Russia will beat the Czech Republic at Friday's match.

AP/PTI

Cause macabre A Swabhimani Dalit Shakti protest against Basavaraja’s death

In the throes of despair Basavaraja’s parents Bharmappa and Manjavva

Nilotpal Baruah

Rituals at the Jageshwar temple

Sankar Sridhar

Curry on Devotees do the ‘maade snana’ on leftovers at the Kukke Subramanya temple

It’s A Six Magician Gopinath Muthukad shows that there’s more to him than magic

B.M. Irshad

Rukmini Bai, 57, from Maharashtra uses an inhaler as she waits to receive the 'fish medicine' in Hyderabad. Every June, hundreds of thousands of asthma sufferers gather in Hyderabad to swallow live sardines smeared with secret herbs, convinced the ritual will cure them.

AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.

Devotees carry the body of Sri Sathya Sai Baba during his last rites at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi. Thousands of devotees including top politicians attended the funeral of Sathya Sai which was performed with full state honour.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Religious priests perform prayers during the last rites of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Devotees attending the last rites of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Police men placing a Tricolour on the casket of Sri Sathya Sai Baba during his last rites at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Volunteers bring the curtains down after the last rites of Sathya Sai Baba at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Devotees burst into tears during the last rites of Sathya Sai Baba at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Priests perform rituals with a cow during the last rites of Sathya Sai Baba at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

R J Ratnakar, nephew of Sathya Sai Baba and priests perform the last rites of the holy man at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Buddhist Monks perform prayers during the last rites of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Police men carry the Tricolour to place on the body of Sri Sathya Sai Baba during his last rites at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi. Thousands of devotees including top politicians attended the funeral of Sathya Sai which was performed with full state honour.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Senior BJP leader L K Advani interacts with the Sathya Sai trust members as he arrives to attend the last rites of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparthi. Thousands of devotees including top politicians attended the funeral of Sathya Sai.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Drummer Shivamani pays his last respect to the body of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Prashanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

A devotee pays his last respect to Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Prashanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Devotees queued up to pay their last respect to Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Prashanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda with his son H D Kumaraswamy pay the last respect to the body of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Prashanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Devotees sit near the body Sathya Sai Baba during a public viewing in the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Puttaparti. The 86-year-old baba's death triggered an outpouring of grief from followers who included politicians, movie stars, athletes and industrialists. The funeral will take place on April 27.

AP Photo/ Rafiq Maqbool

Santoor player Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma pays his last respect to Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Prashanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

Former Sri Lankan cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga pays his last respect to Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Prashanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh.

PTI Photo/ Shailendra Bhojak

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