From One India:
Karnataka devotees pierce their bodies to worship goddess
Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 10:32 [IST]
Davangere (Karnataka), May 11 (ANI): Devotees of the Goddess Mattu Mariamma in Karnataka's Davangere town pierce their bodies with iron nails in an act of worship and to seek her blessings.
They pierce various parts of their bodies, including their tongues, backs, chests and cheeks.
"Some people don't have children and some people have difficulties at their homes, and to overcome these difficulties, we follow this ritual every year and pierce our bodies," said Meenakshi, a devotee.
Many childless devotees pierce their bodies in the belief that the goddess would grant them children.
"People worship Mattu Mariamma if they don't have children, if they have some disease, if girls don't get married," said Lakshman, another devotee.
Some devotees go as far as putting tridents in their mouths or hanging iron hooks from their backs as a mark of worship of Mattu Mariamma.
Devotees even hang heavy weights from their bodies in the belief that their wishes would be fulfilled. (ANI)