Tin tin runs with the hindus!
Trip Start Dec 28, 2008
7Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Sri Narayani Peedam
i stayed in the ashram of sri narayani who is a living saint. my friends were getting married there so i decided to tag along since i had planned to be here anyway (not the ashram, but india). the place was gorgeous and there was a hindu temple on the grounds that was entirely covered in gold. stunning doesn't even describe it. however, i didn't really get to see too much, just fleeting glimpses...this is where the running comes in.
as a person staying at the ashram i had special privledges. one was being able to go into the temple before opening hours so i could fully take in the beauty of the structure without the massive crowds that are there every day. i thought the temple opened at 9 so i went at 8am. as i entered, a door opened and a swarm of people engulfed me. they start running at full speed. oh shit, it opens at 8! an old woman in a red sari runs up next to me and smiles, takes my hand, and we dart off with the mob. we race between children and race with men with her sari trailing behind her before we have to slow down and catch our breaths. there is a star walk surrounding the temple in the shape of the star of david where people walk or run on the way to get blessings and pray to laxshmi (goddess of wealth and beauty), this is what we were racing in. it's perfectly natural to mow other people down in the race to laxshmi and it's all done with grins, laughs, and
the incessant "what country you from?". my new friend showed me how to pay my respects to the goddess and how to recieve the blessing from the temple priest. as we walked and finished up the massive star walk other women started joining us and soon enuogh i was like a pied piper with a bunch of ladies in red saris holding my hands and laughing. i tell you, it's very good to be a woman traveling alone. women around the world always take care of each other.
the wedding was gorgeous and the saint married them. narayani is amaaazing, you can really feel that he is with god. his eyes never quite focus and his presence is luminous. he blessed the couple (who are his devotees) and we made our way to a massive feast. mmmm, i may come back 500 pounds. will you still love me?
so many things have happened in the few days that i have been here. i cannot begin to describe them all. from the press of humanity in the marketplace to the poverty to the man at the bus station who was ragged as hell looking who tried to take my ring off my finger when i shook his hand. i ended up yelling at him and giving him the evil eye much to the amusement of the many passengers at the station. but people have been unswervingly kind and i think that i will have a very good time here indeed.
love to you all!