Blessings, promises and rituals

Temples, temples and more temples.  Today was the day of temples and thankfully a lot of blessings.  I have been blessed a half dozen times a day, with white, yellow or red powders and sometimes even synthetic bindis.  Even though it may just be a way for the street vendors to mark me as their prey, along with the fragrant jasmine flowers they bobby pin to my hair, I am still hopeful that these blessings will counteract the many broken promises I made.  Broken promises, because they force me to promise to return and buy from them later, now that they have branded me, and I never do….

Saw a beautifully, colourful and ornate Vishnu temple and had a great guide.  He gave tonnes of information, and although I remember most of it, if you are really interested I’m sure you can look it up and get far more information than I could provide.  What was interesting however, is when he decided he and I should have a race around the temple.  Dodging solemnly praying Hindu’s around this temple was something else.  Of course, I won.  I’m sure he let me though.

Later that night we headed to the Parvati and Shiva temple.  Parvati is Shiva’s wife. The temple complex has two temple areas, one for Parvati and one for Shiva.  Every night people from the town go through an elaborate ritual, including floor paintings, incense burning and music to bring Shiva to Parvati’s temple.  The figure of Shiva is taken from his temple and placed in a bed in a silver carriage and then carried to Parvati’s temple for a night of conjugal bliss.  The crowds of people follow with incense and blessings.  It is all very beautiful, even if it comes across like group foreplay.

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