“A spirtually illumined soul lives in the world, yet is never contaminated by it.” (Swami Bhaskarananda, The Essentials Of Hinduism)
I’ve never been particularly enamored by faith-based tenets requiring me to submit myself to organized religion. For I have always embraced the power of finding my own path to right and wrong behavior in each passing moment. So as I explored my spiritual journey of “now” on our recent South India adventure, the fanatical devotion of followers to the Hindu faith seemed at first oddly strange and out of place. Yet as I continued my walks through the stunningly beautiful mazes of temple corridors, each subtle head nod, pleasing eye glance or gentle Buddhistic smile made me surprisingly realize that I had taken the rare step to reach outward of myself to obtain fresh spiritual guidance. I indeed seem mesmerized to this day by the sacred teachings of “Dharma” and “Karma”, the righteous path to Hindu ways.
Thus our recent South India journey has given me good reason to reconsider what best drives me spiritually these days. For Hinduism has shown me the critical need for practicing daily goodness to nourish my “inner soul. In this “trying” time of the Corona pandemic where so many struggle now to stay healthy and survive, I could certainly use such moral guidance. What places that you have visited in your life similarly evoke new ideas of spirituality in your life.”
At many temples I visited, curious Hindu followers crowded near me to humbly rejoice that I would be sharing my photographs for them to see soon.
Despite all the distractions of crowd noise and loud music from a Sunday service, this pious man seated outside the temple, remained determined to study his Hindu Scriptures.
I stared intently at God-like statues in every temple feeling a strong reverence toward Hinduism’s spiritual beliefs.
As I entered this great temple , I observed the welcoming presence of a Shiva- like figure overhead.
Daily offerings inside each temple provided evidence that Hinduism contains a strong spirit of giving.
Dance and music played a powerful role in entertaining holy gatherings in all of the temples I visited on weekends.
Why do these elephants sculpted along temple walls seem so friendly to others? Maybe only a Hindu would know!
Temple life provided a safe, quiet and clean haven for families/friends to bond away from the congested chaos existing in the nearby city. Contrast these two scenes.
Observe the exalted presence of this Hindu spiritual leader at the daily call to temple service .
When a call to Hindu temple prayer began, all eyes paid dutiful attention to the spiritual leader’s daily teachings.
Note: If you are interested in knowing the names of each of the temples described above, please let me know. Namaste