Wednesday, 4 March 2020
Babiya The Vegetarian Crocodile.
Crocodiles are fascinating beasts, they have long history of living alongside mankind. From the Nile crocodiles mummified and entombed with the pharaohs to the stories of giant savage man eaters like Gustav, a monster crocodilian.
These reptiles have a history entwined with humanities.
Many time through history they have been worshiped as deities, and this brings us to the subject at hand.
A crocodile that is said to not only guard an Indian temple, it is also thought to the reincarnation of an Indian holy man and an immortal protector that is instantly reborn when met by death.
Get ready to Meet Babiya The Vegetarian Crocodile.
This crocodile is not your average run of the mill reptile it has a purpose beyond hunting for meat it Guards a Temple found In Kerala!
Kerala is a state on the southwestern Malabar Coast of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, following the passage of the States Reorganization Act, by combining Malayalam-speaking regions of the erstwhile states of Travancore-Cochin and Madras. Spread over 38,863 km², Kerala is the twenty-third largest Indian state by area.
India is a land of many mysteries!
The country is peppered with many sites of historical importance, Praveen Mohan and the his channel often looks at the links between ancient and temples and a civilization that was in possession of advanced technologies and that the knowledge was gifted to man by aliens, aliens that have become gods.
But let’s get back to the topic at hand.
One of these interesting locations has a unique and mysterious story unlike any other in India, this is the tale of Babiya, a crocodile who guards the famous Ananthapura Lake Temple located in Kerala.
The story begins some 3000 years ago with a holy sage called Divakara Muni Vilwamangalam Swamy, this holy man was serving a penance at the temple when it is claimed the lord Vishnu materialized in front of the man.
The god was impressed by the display of devotion by Divakara and granted him the honor of building an idol of him. The idol was built and the story moves on, at this point a small boy arrives at the temple the boys befriends the holy man and accompanies him as he goes about his daily duties, little did the man know, as the boy was actually Vishnu reappearing in disguise.
Vishnu noticed that the holy man had changed and that he had become full of pride for the idol he had built of the god, it was time to teach Vilwamangalam a lesson.
The boy needed the bath room and chose to relieve himself into the nearby pond, this pond being the source of holy water for the temple. Vilwamangalam became enraged at what he saw as a disrespectful act and began to discipline the boy, the boy fled calling out to the holy man that if he wished to ever see him again that he would have to go to the forest of the serpent god, Anantha. Vilwamangalam went and found a cave at the spot the boy disappeared. He decided to go in to see if the child was inside.
This is when he came upon the crocodile an animal that would become known as Babiya, the guardian of the temple. The cave entrance that Vishnu is said to have hidden in still exists at the temple, and the crocodile quietly sits guarding this entrance and the shrine.
Another story associated with the serpent god, Anantha says that in 1945, a British soldier shot the crocodile dead. Later, the soldier died within few days with snakebite. People believed that it was a curse of serpent god Anantha.
The crocodile reappeared after the man’s death.
Strangely Babiya only eats the temple “prasad “ a food which is made of rice and jiggery, the crocodile also does not harm anyone visiting the site, and even leaves the fish in the lake untouched.
The holy men of the temple claim the crocodile to be vegetarian and in more than 60 years of looking after the temple it has never shown any aggression.
A trustee of the temple has said that Babiya is a total vegetarian and is fed daily after the noon worship conducted at the temple, the crocodile eats the prasads offered by the devotees and they feed it by hand as they do with elephants, placing the prasad into the reptile’s mouth.
an employee of the Sri Anandapadmanabha Swamy temple, tells nervous visitors .
“You can come closer, son. It’s harmless and it won’t attack … It’s god’s own crocodile!”
The man and the others at the temple and in the region as a whole believe Babiya is a messenger of Lord Padmanabhan himself.
Babiya has been at the temple lake for over 70 years. The female crocodile is a friend to the temple’s priests, the men do not hesitate to swim and bathe in the lake, despite the fact an adult crocodile swims in its waters alongside them.
Chandra Prakash, a temple staff, feeds Babiya at 8 in the morning first and then later in the afternoon. He has been feeding the crocodile for about 10 years and puts the balls of rice directly into her toothy mouth.
“I feed Babiya 1 kg of rice every day. She is not fed meat; she doesn’t even attack the fishes in the lake,” says Chandra Prakash.
At this point I have some question, is this crocodile a manifestation of an ancient god why is it a vegetarian let’s see what the crocodile experts have to say?
Anirban Chaudhuri, an expert on crocodilians, says that the animals are very intelligent. After looking at the pictures of Babiya, Anirban he gives his opinion on the beast:
“It is a Muggar crocodile and their natural wild diet primarily are fishes. They also feed on small and large mammals, like deer, wild boar, etc, Given a choice, a crocodile would always go for its natural diet, but it is also important to understand that they are great survivors and are known to be hardy animals. Therefore, it is likely that the crocodile in the temple pond is primarily feeding on the fishes there and is consuming rice as part of a conditioned behaviour. The rice balls fed to it twice a day just supplement its meal,”
Talking as to why no human has been attacked by the crocodile at the temple, Anirban says, “Crocodiles have great learning capabilities. In fact, taming a croc is far easier than taming a dog. It is perfectly normal for it to form a bond with the person that feeds it. It attacks only when it feels threatened. We don’t know what deficiency this crocodile could suffer from because of its diet. Only an expert can make that out, Muggar crocodiles are very shy creatures. They feed late in the nights and in the early hours of the day. She is most likely having her fill from the variety of fishes in the temple pond,” says Jigar.
This idea being something that would most likely upset the holy men who believe the crocodile o be harmless especially pointing out that she does not feed on the fishes of the pond.
Another crocodile expert, Jigar Upadhyay spoke about Babiya, saying;
“Crocodiles mostly attack on three instances – one, when it’s nesting or resting place is invaded; second, when it feels threatened and third, when it thinks something is its prey. And this depends a lot on the size of the prey, the behavior of this particular crocodile is most likely accustomed and conditioned behavior. But any human being who is not trained to deal with crocodiles is vulnerable for the animal could unexpectedly charge at them. Feeding the crocodile and being in close proximity with the animal should be practiced only by trained personnel.”
Both of the crocodile experts had the same thoughts regarding the animals and their concerns about these creatures being under threat globally.
Crocodiles are hunted all over the world for their meat and skin. They are also killed in the name of religion. The men believe that if a crocodile has a safe environment to live in, it must be appreciated.
“I haven’t seen or heard of such a practice elsewhere. Considering the fact that the animal is left unharmed, it can be seen as a safe haven for the fast-depleting species. Though a medical examining of the animal to check its well-being would do no harm.”
Those that believe the crocodile is a godly miracle, claim all the evidence proves their belief, the fact that Babiya has never attacked a human and no one has seen the crocodile attack an animal or bird shows the creature is divine.
What do you think is the crocodile a miraculous creature, a reincarnation of a god or is it scam being used to get people to visit the temple?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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