MAHASU (AS IN SIRMAUR)
The headquarters of this God (Mahasu) is at Sion, village in Renuka tehsil, where he has temple on a hillock, at the foot of which flows the Giri. The god is kept there on a wooden shelf (gambar). There is one large brass idol and several smaller ones shaped like a man’s bust. Among these on the left, the second placed is held by the god namely Sirmauri, who is God of Sirmaur, but he has no temple off his own. With these idols there is also an image of Devi Shimlasan. All other idols than Sirmauri God and Shimlasan Devi represent Mahasu. The temple of Mahasu is opened for worship only on Sunday, Wednesday and on Sankrant. Worship style is similar as in Shrigul’s temple i.e at 11 a.m. and at sunset. The devotees who own buffaloes generally offer milk on the day of worship.
If there is a death (mitak or patak) or birth (sutak) in the family of Dewa, the temple must be closed for 20 days when no Dewa and Jatri is allowed to enter the temple. Since the Dewa and Pujari must not sleep with their wives on the day of worship or two previous days, hence, only two days, are fixed for worship. Morning worship is called dhup dina and the evening sandhia. Once Mahasu appeared in a dream and directed the ancestor of the present Dewa to go to Giri to seek and then build a temple for him. Accordingly the Dewa found in Giri a big idol of Mahasu (Jalasan) and also built the temple. During Jagra (reception given in honour of the deity). Deota is taken out of the temple. But if displeased he becomes so heavy that even 4-5 persons cannot remove it. The one who is possessed answers all questions and show superior powers in curious ways and explains the cause of the displeasure of the devta and then the guilty makes vows, whereupon the devta gets pleased and makes it self light and movable. The procession returns from the stream after the water sprinkled on the devta, to the temple, where in honour of the deity dancing continues till morning. A good dinner (Jagra) is served on behalf of devta’s possession.
MAHASU (IN THE SHIMLA HILLS)
Mahasu is a hill or a village near Shimla (in upper Shimla area) named or given name by or because of Devta Mahasu. The headquarters of his worship is at Anel. The legend about devta Mahasu goes as: Between Tons and Pabbar river dwelt a race of evil spirits ruled by their chief Kirmat Danu. Twice a year he claimed a victim from each hamlet in his jurisdiction. In Madrat village where demons held their sports lived two pious Brahmins whom God had given seven sons. Six, had already been slain and seventh turn was expected. His aged parents waited in dread, when before sacrifice the wife became possessed and started uttering ‘Mahasu-Mahasu of Kashmir will save our child’. Her husband Una Bhat could not make anything out of it. Still in trance she revealed that in Kashmir there reigned a mighty god Mahasu who could save their son. The old father started his journey to Hatkoti to meet a Brahminwho had visited Mahasu earlier as was revealed by a neighbour. But Pundit Nag of Hatkoti scoffed at the idea of going to Kashmir, but helpless as he was, ultimately blessed the old man to go. Miraculously he found himself by the side of a tank beneath whose water the great Mahasu dwelt in Kashmir.