"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Posts tagged “Hinduism

Beyond The Temple Walls, Part 3: Seeing The Pattern

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A woman sketches a kolam pattern on the pavement outside her shop

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Picture taken outside the Kapaleeshwarer Temple, Chennai


Temple Time

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Revisiting the temples of Halebidu.

I last visited Halebidu almost two years ago.
It is just as fascinating the second time.


Not In New Zealand Anymore..

Following Sunday’s café breakfast, we rode straight into a boisterous but very good-natured Hindu procession heading for the temple.
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Picture taken in Palace Road, part of Fort Cochin’s  “Brahmin colony”. 


Within The Temple Walls

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On entering Trichy’s Jambukeswarar Temple, much of the frantic commerce quietens.

Despite the milling devotees

And in-house retail outlets,

It retains a sense of peaceful piety.

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The temple is a complex brew of dreams, devotion and domestic activities.

But still manages to breathe the air of religious worship.

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The Temple On The Plains: Part 2

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We had experienced darshan.

Now the rest of the temple complex was to be explored. 

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Along with its people:

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The Temple On The Plains

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We left the temple on the hill and crossed a small part of the massive Deccan Plateau.
Simon, our driver, had marked the 1,000 year old temple at Nanjangud as the next place to be explored.

Compared with Gopalswamy, this temple was vast and crowded.
Having entered the complex, we joined a tightly packed queue to enter the heart of the building. The line’s great length was concealed by its snaking around countless corners and through a maze of columned passages.

It was a little like queueing for a popular ride at Disney World.

But without the benefits of skilled crowd-management.

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Finally, our destination was revealed.

We were to receive darshan

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Taking The Waters

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While culture and traditions vary immensely, a sense of personal failure and having fallen short of the mark seems integral to us all.

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From Christian Baptism through to Jewish, Islāmic and Hindu purifications, the desire for some sort of redemption from our follies is often expressed by the symbolic act of washing.

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In India, beside almost every temple is a small reservoir or tank.

Often, before offering puja, the faithful will bathe in these waters.

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On Sunday we visited the Suchindram Temple, just across the state border in Tamil Nadu.

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Strolling around the temple tank,

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We watched the bathing and laundering,

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The houses and people,

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And made the most of the facilities.

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“Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.”

Psalm 51.7

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“Cleanliness is next to Godliness” *

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*The origin of “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”, a common proverb, dates as far back as ancient Hebrew writings and possibly longer.

‘While some attribute to the Bible, it’s actually not found there. The known English appearance of the proverb is from the writings of Sir Francis Bacon in 1605. In his ‘Advancement of Learning’ Bacon wrote, “Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.” Roughly 200 years later, John Wesley used the words we are now familiar with, “Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness” ‘

From:  reference.com