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Uttara Huddar - Sharada V
In the days that have gone by since I last wrote about Uttara Huddar and her alternate personality Sharada, I have given a lot of thought to the matter and initially I was stumped. I’m not going to retract anything that I’ve said in the past and this hub should be read in light of what I have already said. I eventually did stumble on what I think is the answer.
The fault does not lie with Uttara Huddar at all. I’m going to try and explain the phenomenon as best as I can and I have no doubt in my mind that it is indeed possession. While the researchers applied the correct scientific methods and approaches, they had failed to take into account the religious aspects surrounding the onset of the Sharada personality and the matter could have easily been rectified if the correct approach had been adopted.
I must admit that I was quite taken aback by the realization and thus far I was under the impression that it was a practice that was limited only to orthodox kshatriyas and the mantras that were used to seal the spell were known only to them. Obviously, I was wrong. Furthermore, I was also under the impression that it was only the remains of unmarried women or maidens that were used in the ritual and Sharada proves that, that is not the case.
There is a ritual, among certain kshatriya (warrior) clans, where they obtain the remains of an unmarried women, maidens who have died an unnatural death, usually as a result of accidents or murders but not death that is caused by natural circumstances, because the spirits of such women remain until the appointed time of death and use it or infuse the spirits of the dead women into items of a personal nature including items of worship that are peculiar or unique to them.
The spirit of the dead woman becomes their guardian spirit and is worshipped as such and treated with a great deal of respect and reverence. Such men have many restrictions placed upon them including refraining from smoking, drinking, vices and refraining from any type of sexual activity or promiscuity.
Everything has a price and the price that the spirit demands in return for her protection is extremely high. To the kshatriya the spirit is worth her weight in gold and she is his life and therefore the kshatriya will accede to all her wishes including making ritualistic sacrifices often of small animals in the manner that is predominant among shamans, if so required.
If for some reason the kshatriya cannot comply with the spirit’s request or fails or ignores his responsibilities, the spirit will possess, if not him, then one of his children. It is possession in the truest sense of the word.
A responsible kshatriya if he realizes that he is unable to comply with the spirit’s demands will return the spirit to the source or will free the spirit from the shackles the he has bound it with and beg for mercy and clemency from the Goddess Durga. Durga represents the most potent aspects of the feminine power and even if she forgives, the kshatriya is bound by the chains of eternal gratitude and servitude.
If the kshatriya complies with all the spirit’s wishes and has done all that is required of him, he normally passes the object on to one of his children before his demise and in this manner the object continues to gain power until such time as it is returned to the source.
However not all kshatriyas are noble and responsible and some just pass the object on to another person who may or may not be related to them, usually as a gift, and this is one reason why one should never accept religious objects as a gift, from another person because, under most circumstances, they won’t know or be aware of the unspoken and unmentioned conditions that are attached to it. Having said that it may not be a religious item at all and it may be a simple trinket like an item of jewelry that one wears on the person. The spirit in the item will then seek to possess the wearer.
I am going to recreate the facts as I see them from the time of Sharada’s death. At the time of her death, the girl was most likely cremated as is customary in the Hindu tradition. But at the time of cremation a certain part of her body was removed from her person, most likely a lock of her hair, and while the rest of the body was cremated as per customary requirement, the lock of hair was taken, and infused in an object but it was not done by a kshatriya. Kshatriyas will not touch the body of a married woman. It a great sin to do so.
It was most likely done by a shaman and if I was to hazard a guess by someone who attended to the body, not a member of Sharada’s family but someone in the graveyard and what he or she removed was later infused into an object to obtain the gifts of clairvoyance and other gifts that are related to shamans.
The object had, over time, been passed on, and somehow or other made its way into the hands of G.M. Huddar who was a known connoisseur of Bengali literature and Bengali artifacts. Having no idea what the object was and having mistaken it for some artifact, he kept it and Uttara Huddar who had the same interest in Bengali literature and Bengali artifacts as her father, was the most likely candidate to be possessed.
The easiest means to cure her would have been to discover the object that was infused with the spirit of Sharada and return it to the source or free the spirit. Now, because Sharada was highly devoted to Durga, her spirit, that was the essence of Sharada, simply acted in the manner the girl did when she was alive.
However, even if she had been cured i.e. if the spirit had been released from the object, Uttara would still be advised to remain devoted to the Goddess Durga for the rest of her life. As for the spirit that possessed Uttara, she became a potent aspect of the Goddess that was always trying to stir the unfortunate victim back onto the right path. The spirit is called Chandi.
© 2017 Kathiresan Ramachanderam and Dyarne Jessica Ward