Wednesday, August 8, 2012
BLESS ME :D trip to the holiest part of southern India!
My Trip to the holiest spots in southern India!
I got home from school around four pm and sat down to eat. My host family had a spontaneous idea to go to a temple. I thought it would be just a hour or so long trip but…… boy was I wrong. When they said “trip to the temple” they actually meant a four day long road trip to the most holiest spots in southern India! So with in about an hour (after AFS approval) all of our bags were packed and we were ready to GO!
We traveled about five hours and stayed at a relative’s house for the night. When we woke up and showered (you must always be clean before temple) we were already to go. We arrived at the temple about an hour away in all of our finest Curtis (Indian dress). This temple was called TANJORE temple, one of the biggest and most famous in India! The architecture was so amazing especially considering this temple is over 2000 years old. It is designed with such precision that the main temples shadow can NEVER be seen! Here was where the famous tradition of whispering into a particular statue and having any wish come true! I also got to pray to the god of education and also to the god where you make a wish and then do a clap and with hope it will come true. Oh and I got blessed by an ELEPHANT!! And since lord Genasha has the head of an elephant it is as if I was blessed directly by him according to Hinduism!
After that we went to two more amazingly beautiful temples in which I was blessed numerous times! It was very unique to see the dedication of the hindu people to there temples! .They will wait for hours just to see there gods and prey to them! And people bring offerings daily of fruit and flowers and money and anything they can just to show there love. The ceremonies are all so beautiful with smoke and bells and flowers everywhere I feel so lucky just to have seen this!
Next we went to a famous mosque a few more hours away! We went during Ramadan so it was super busy! It is said that many lives have been saved at this mosque just by praying at this spot. When we walked in we went to the spot for preying. Girls were not allowed to go all the way in but we stood on the outside and followed the traditional ritual! We were giving some sort of sand wrapped in newspaper and told to close our eyes and pray. Than we sat down on the ground and a holy man held our heads and prayed in a different language while slightly blowing on our head. Then he tied a black rope around our hand to protect us from all evils.
Lastly for the day was our trip to an Indian catholic church. It was absolutely beautiful but also very different form most American churches. In this church they don’t just worship Jesus they also worship Virgin Mary. Also in this church Jesus is dressed up as a king and people decorate him with offerings of flowers and gold. There was a whole museum next to the church just to show all of the offerings of gold and the miracle stories associated with them. For example, there was an offering of a small gold baby crib and along with it was the story of a mother who preyed for her babies life…..and here Prayers came true! Another interesting fact was that there is a tradition at this church where people will crawl on there knees all the way from the beach to the church, about 3 to 4 kilometers, just to have there prayers answered. Before I left both me and my host sisters kneeled by the alter and I taught them the “Our Father”.
The next day we woke up and indulged in wonderful breakfast to which I had never been so excited to see bread and cornflakes!!!! Our last temple we went to was for the God of Dance which was jaw dropingly amazing. We went just in time too! There was a crowd of people waiting anxiously inside the temple infront of a closed door with bells ringing and smoke flying. The doors open to the gods Idle covered in decorations and candles all around! People started praying and pushing to get in front just to see it!
Then, my host family and I sat down at the palm reader who was teamed up with a parrot. He read our palms and saw our future and some how was extremely accurate! He said I was someone who always gave back to others and in my future I would have a job that’s goal was to help others and ill make a lot of money…..but never keep it; I will always donate it to a good cause. He also said I would find my husband soon and it would be a completely loving relationship with no worries and I will live till I am 90!! I guess that’s good news! Hopefully it comes true!
Our next stop was to go row boating! We had to drive all the way through a small village to get there. The river was so nice and the temperature was beautiful and following are boat the whole time were small jumping fish that would hop down the river. The person rowing the boat for us took us through a small channel of the river where all of the trees and bushes went over are heads and around the boat kind of like something you would see in the love seen of the little mermaid.
Finally we stopped at a branch of Auraville (self sufficient communist utopia) where the “mothers” (creator) tomb is. When we were in this area we were not allowed to speak it was supposed to be complete peace. It’s a center of meditation and self enlightenment for learning and understanding. I got to pray with the others by putting my head on “mothers tomb and closing my eyes. SOOO COOL!
We finally headed home after the three days. It was one of the most enlightening and eye opening experiences in my life. I prayed for the same thing at every temple and it was something I thought about for a long time. I don’t know how religious I am but I thought praying is worth a shot and anything can happen. I truly feel blessed after this weekend and I think I am one of the luckiest people in the world to get to see this through my own eyes!!! Reading about India in textbooks is one thing but actually being here with all my senses is a whole different experience. .
Being blessed by lord
about to go in temple! Unfortunately no pictures can be taken inside...sorry but it was much prettier on the inside!
Me and Amma on the row boat!
First auto ride alone....and yes i bargained!
Outside of the temple of the God of Dance
My first street food....and i survived! Cuta purota!
Other boating family going fishing!
I LOVE INDIA AND I LOVE YES ABROAD!!!!!
Posted by Ryley Conway at 6:25 AM