From an outcast to a temple priest6 min read 11 Jul 2017, 03:23 AM IST
The journey of Phalahari Suryavanshi Das, a Dalit priest at Patna's Mahavir temple, exemplifies a small but significant step to break the caste barrier in Bihar
Patna: Two priests stand before flower-draped Hanuman idols, accepting offerings from devotees; plucking a flower from among those adorning the deities and adding it to the prasad as a blessing, before returning it to the devotees waiting with folded hands and bowed heads. The air inside Patna’s Mahavir temple reverberates with chants of Hanuman Chalisa and the Ramayana’s Sundar Kand, punctuated by the intermittent ringing of the temple bell. Most devotees leave after the priests hand them the prasad and lightly touch their heads in blessing; a few touch the priests’ feet.
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