Karnataka: Devotees throng temple as Shivalinga ‘opens eyes’ | Hubballi News – Times of India

By Basavaraj Meeshi
BELAGAVI: Thousands of devotees thronged a Shiva temple in Gokak on Monday after word spread of the idol opening its eyes — for only the second time in 17 years. The “event”, the priest and devotees said, signals the end of coronavirus, just as the last time, it had put an end to the scourge of dengue in the state.
The priest of the Shankaralinga temple said he got the miraculous darshan on Monday — a day after Ganesha Sankashti was observed. He said he had opened the doors of the sanctum in the morning for the daily rituals when he saw the eyes of the shivalinga wide open. “I was both perplexed and happy to see Shiva in that state,” said Satappa Pujari. He immediately alerted residents to witness the miracle and they started to trickle in at first, followed by huge crowds.
Gimmick to increase revenue: Rationalist
Through the day, word spread and devotees came in from all over the district. Some devotees even claimed to have seen the retina on the idol when asked if they saw the eyes open.
Rationalist Ravindhranath Shanbhag said the mass hysteria is similar to that witnessed during the ‘Ganesha drinking milk’ craze of 1995. “To tide over the revenue losses caused by the pandemic, the temple authorities have come up with this gimmick. This is against science and nature.”
Dismissing sceptics, Satappa said, “Shiva opened his eyes in 2004 as well when dengue was at its peak. After the lord opened his eyes, the dengue outbreak subsided across the state. This time, god has indicated that Covid will end across India.”
“This goes to show the presence of Shiva all around us and that he will intervene during bad times. I strongly feel Covid will end soon,” said Rajeshwari Bhooti, a devotee who queued up for a glimpse.

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