A Punishment from the Gods?
Heart and Soul is a weekly half-hour programme that has the scope and understanding to explore different experiences of spirituality from around the world.
Whether examining religious faith or any other belief-system, the programme talks to believers and non-believers, and tries to get beyond superficial notions of spirituality and religion.
Renu Augul travels to Kathmandu to find out how Hindus and Buddhists there have looked to their faith in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2015.
Renu explores how many in Nepal feel the earthquake had a divine motive, and that the quake occurred because sins had increased on earth, and that it was cleansing itself of the sins and the sinners.
She travels to Sankata Temple, right in the heart of Kathmandu, which miraculously sustained no damage and witnessed no deaths in the immediate vicinity. Most of the faithful here credit their patron deity for their safety. “Sankata le thapyo sabai,” (Sankata took on the damages) says one believer, implying that the Sankata goddesses protected them.
But many others communities were devastated and Renu meets the faithful who have looked to the Gods for answers. She witnesses the various ‘Poojas’ (forgiveness rituals) carried out as the people here attempt to atone for the sins they feel they have afflicted on their land.
The reconstruction of the country is just at the beginning but Renu finds that for the people of different faiths in Nepal, it’s the relationship with their religion, Buddhist and Hindu, which needs the most work.