Karni Mata (Mother Karni) Rat Temple, Bikaner, India


Mother Karni is the reincarnation of the Godess Durga.  She is said to have performed many miracles as a child and throughout her life.

One story tells of a woman who asked Mother Karni to save her son who drowned.  Mother Karni argued with Death and won his soul, but she could not directly bring him back to his human form.  She saw a rat on the ground and placed the soul into the rat.

Once he lived his life as a rat, he would return as a human.  The rats in the temple are the souls of departed relatives waiting to return to their human form.

In the temple devotees feed them, chant for them, and pray to Mother Karni.  I was allowed inside the temple but there is a small area where I was not allowed. I could stand from the side and take photos but I could not enter.  I asked my guide why and he said that since I have eaten beef (the protected holy cow) in my life, I would not be able to enter.

I sat for a while watching the rats scurry past, one runs up my leg and explores the workings of my camera.  It crawls up my arm, investigates my hair, jumps down to investigate my camera again then moves on.

I listen to the chanting of the couple next to me.  A little girl comes over to me and asks if I can take her photo.

little girl rat temple 2 (683x1024)

I don’t see the white rat that symbolizes good luck.  I guess don’t need it, I’ve got all the luck in the world.

About EssentialYoga Studio

Roberta has been practicing yoga since 1988 and has been teaching yoga since 1994. She has trained under master yoga teachers Swami Padmananda, Patricia Walden, Manouso Manos, Father Joe Pereira, Zoë Stewart, Karin Stephan, Liz Owen and others. She continues to study with her Iyengar teachers, Patricia Walden and Peentz Dubble. Roberta has studied yoga at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute in Pune, India during June 2011, February 2014 and attended Abhijata's intensive in Pune, India December 2016. Roberta is currently enrolled in Peentz Dubble's two year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Program. Additionally, Roberta completed training and certification with Elise Browning Miller as 'Yoga for Scoliosis' instructor. She completed a 500 hour Hatha Yoga Certification program with AURA Wellness Center and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500. She has been a Certified Meditation Teacher since June 2007 and has been an Usui Reiki Practitioner since 1989. Roberta's Personal Practice Philosophy: Health issues have changed and deepened my practice. You will see many photos of me using a variety of props. On days I don't feel well, instead of saying, "I can't practice today", Iyengar Yoga has taught me to say, "How can I practice today".
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