Thursday, September 07, 2006

Religon and Spirituality

Ok... this one is for all our spiritual guides. Any one else that thinks we are flaky or heathens, log off now...

So, I've been thinking a lot about spirituality lately . Maybe it comes from not have a church "home" here in Bangalore. While we have been listening to the CD's from Spirit in Action (boy do we miss you guys!) its not quite the same community feeling:) What is cool though is how much spirituality is here. They joke that there are 1 billion people and 1 billion gods in Hindu. They believe everyone has a personal god. Of course I have to put my twist on this. If God is in each of us and we are each god agents ("we are how God gets around") then this concept of 1 billion gods in India is pretty right on!

Sprituality is ingrained in everyday life in a way that you dont see in the U.S.

~ My new favorite super hero/cartoon show is "Avetar" He's an Indian "boy" that has come back after 100 years to spread peace and fellowship amongst all people. Each week he finds people that arent getting along or are fighting, by the end of the show, they understand each others point of view and have stopped warring. He does it without weapons, violence or even harsh words. The best part is, he doubts his ability to do it every time, but then it does all work out when he goes with the flow.

~ On any given day, you see Muslims, Hindus and Christians, all intermingling and getting along. On the way to work, I pass 2 Catholic churches, 15 Hindu temples (ranging in size from a small concrete statue to a HUGE multi colored building) and hundreds of people in marks on their head or with the traditional Muslim coverings.

~ Hindu is an intensely personal religon. You dont "have" to go to church everyday or even at all. Most have a small alter in their home and they pray before it as they wish. However, with how personal it is, it is also very public. You can tell which god they are worshipping by the marks they wear on their foreheads (the kids new favorite "game" is to color each others foreheads red). They have a blessing ceremony (or pooja) for EVERYTHING. A new car, blessing ceremony. A new house, blessing ceremony. A new water filtration system, blessing ceremony. A co workers 3 year old even wanted to have a blessing ceremony for his new trike. Then, after the ceremony you drape garlands of flowers all over the vehicle/house/etc and drive around.

~ On a final note, there are more holidays here than you shake a stick at and they are ALL spiritual. The latest, Ganesha, celebrates the God that has an elphant head. He rides on a rat. This signifies his ability to use his ego as a tool vs being driven by his ego. This way he can act in the highest spiritual sense at all time.

Think about it.