An Indian father-of-two bled to death after cutting out his own tongue as a sacrifice to a Hindu goddess.
Deepak Kol, 28, collapsed minutes after using a knife to chop off the vital organ during the holy festival of Navratri.
But instead of taking him to the hospital, Deepak's desperate family and festival worshippers tried to 'resurrect' him by singing hymns and praying.
'We kept praying until 4am in the morning, hoping that Devi [Hindu goddess] would instil life in my son's body,' his father Sukhdeo, a farmer, told MailOnline.
'When that did not happen, I knew that the Goddess has given Deepak a place in her lotus feet.'
Deepak, from Kharhata village, northern India, had been fasting for days before he removed his tongue in tribute to Durga, the goddess of good triumphing over evil.
He fell unconscious in the village temple - but other worshippers, who had fallen into a prayer-induced trance failed to notice anything was wrong for five hours.
When they realised he was unconscious, they continued to pray and chant to resurrect him.
The head of the village told the authorities of his death the next morning - but the family refused authorities to conduct postmortem, police spokesman Riaz Sheikh told MailOnline.
After his death on October 22, his father said: 'He did not die. The deity has sought him at Her service. It is a supreme sacrifice that my son has done.
Without emotion, the father added: 'He has just left his mortal body. If Devi seeks sacrifice of another son, I would be more than willing to oblige.'
This gruesome death is the latest in a disturbing number of cases in India where religious followers have died following a sacrificial offering to the gods.
Rajkumar Vishwakarma, 32, was fatally wounded when he sliced off the tip of his tongue to offer it to a deity at a temple in Satna's Chourhai village in Madya Pradesh.
He was admitted to a nearby hospital, where he died, a few hours later.