Nepal is an absolutely beautiful place; not only is the landscape stunning, but the people are warm, loving, and hospitable. Despite being beautiful, Nepal is easily one of the darkest places spiritually I have ever been to. Each morning I wake up to Hindus ringing their bells to wake up their gods. Walking through the city, every other person has a tika on their forehead, symbolizing their visit to temple that day. On Saturdays, you can see hundreds of people worshipping by stringing thread around certain trees, the trees representative of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There are so many lost people in this great city.
Usually I don’t have great discernment to the demonic forces around, but this week I definitely do. I want to tell you a little bit about the Hindu festival of Dashain, currently happening right now.
Dashain is the longest (15 days) and greatest of all the Hindu festivals. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Individuals in the city flood back to their villages to celebrate with their families. At least 1/3 of the Kathmandu population travels outside of the valley during this period, and many shops are closed for the duration of Dashain. You may be thinking, “that doesn’t sound too bad’, but I only wish that was the end of my explanation.
In Hindu mythology, the demon Mahishasura had created terror in the devaloka (the world of gods), but Durga killed the demon. The first nine days of Dashain symbolizes the battle which took place between the different manifestations of Durga and Mahishasura. The tenth day is the day when Durga finally defeated him.
The most important days of the festival are the first, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth. With each day, different ceremonial rituals are to be practiced.
The eighth day, which occurs tomorrow, is called the ‘Maha Asthami’. This is the day when the most demonic of Goddess Durga’s manifestations, the blood-thirsty Kali, is appeased through the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of buffaloes, goats, pigeons and ducks in temples throughout the nation. Blood, symbolic for its fertility, is offered to the Goddesses. Appropriately enough, the night of this day is called Kal Ratri (Black Night).
During this past week, the spiritual warfare and demonic forces have been noticeable, especially at night. It’s really hard to describe, but there is just a blanket of oppression and a heaviness on my heart. The spiritual warfare for myself and my friends here has noticeably increased this past week.
As tomorrow approaches (the festivities will begin around 6pm your time October 1), please be in prayer with me.
- Pray for those who have been lost to the ruler of this earth
- Pray for the Christians who have returned to their Hindu families during this time. Pray they would be a light and not fall into the darkness
- Pray that newer believers would not be overcome by fear, but they would understand that perfect love casts out fear and that we can claim victory in the name of Jesus
- Pray that we as a Bible College could be the city set on a hill that cannot be hidden
- Pray for the hundreds of Christian youth camps going on right now, that they would fall more in love with Jesus
- Pray for the sleeping giant to rise up in Nepal and, through the Holy Spirit’s power, turn this Hindu Kingdom into God’s kingdom