By Braja Sorensen
I just went to the temple nearest to my home. This month there is a special ceremony every night, where everyone in the surrounding villages comes and offers a lamp to God. You gotta love this place; how often do you hear about things like that happening next door to you?
By “lamp” I mean a cotton-wool ball with a wick that has been soaked in ghee and pressed into a tiny clay holder. It’s a beautiful and meditative atmosphere. The temple is dark, the only light the glow of hundreds of candles illuminating the altar, where the deities look absolutely divine. Because they are.
One of the monks from the temple sings some beautiful prayers in Sanskrit in a chant-and-response rhythm while everyone offers their lamps to God. The chanting continues for about an hour; the temple becomes warmer, the burning lamps growing in number as time wears on. Everyone and everything is bathed in a surreal glow; it is a timeless, beautiful space to be in. The entire world ceases to exist but for those hundreds of little lamps, those beautifully-illumined deities, and the devoted, prayerful locals.
As I walk home in the quiet evening, I relish the feel of the cool earth on my feet. It is peaceful, the night creatures make their noises, and all is well in the world…
Lost and Found in India will be published by Hay House in 2013