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NRI doc returns stolen conch to temple
George Iype in Kochi | December 29, 2003 10:47 IST
A Non-Resident Indian doctor who stole a conch from a temple in Kerala five years back has returned it saying he faced innumerable problems and hardships because of his 'misdeed'.
Last week, priests in the Sree Dhanwanthari temple at Wadakkanchery, a small town near Thrissur, were surprised to receive a registered parcel from the United States of America. It was the first time that the temple got any post from the US.
At first, temple authorities feared it might contain a bomb. Hence, they did not open the parcel for a week. Then, some people mustered the courage to open it and found a conch inside along with an anonymous letter from an NRI doctor.
The doctor claimed he had stolen the conch during one of his visits to the temple. Since then, he has been facing bad luck. "I am paying dearly for my religious misdeed. So I am returning this sacred object," he said in the letter.
He begged pardon and as atonement for his sins, sent a $51 demand draft.
The temple is dedicated to Dhanwanthari, the god of medicine. Hence, it is known as the temple of healing. A large number of NRI doctors and pharmaceutical professionals frequently visit the temple.
The conch is regarded as an insignia of the Hindu god Krishna and considered sacred. In many temples, blowing of conches forms part of the worship, prayers and rituals.
Hindus believe that the conch is made out of the five elements (land, water, fire, air, and ether or space). A white conch is often seen in the prayer halls of pious Hindus.
A temple official said that authorities had registered a complaint with the police after the conch went missing from the temple about five years back. Temple priests expressed astonishment that the culprit turned out to be an NRI.
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