My religious adventures 1:
Visiting my local Hindu Temple.
Nov. 13 2009
Having had a very strong meeting with Dakshina Kali on Indian soil, I have been quite curious: Is it possible to transplant Indian God(desse)s to foreign (Norwegian) soil, and what exactly happens when an attempt like that is happening. Personally I tried with Kali, but after three weeks with crash-landing in Norway with vivax malaria, She feels somewhat more distant.
There is however a Hindu temple not very far from where I’m living. This is in the Tamil (Sri Lanka) tradition: the Hindu Sabha Temple dedicated to Ganesh. Yesterday I went to puja there. Surprisingly, I was received in a very friendly manner. I have always thought that Hinduism is something you need to be born into. Apparently not here: It was made clear to me I could come as many times as I wanted.
I loved taking part in this one hour ceremony. Nadaraja gave me a crash course in how to behave, but he soon let me go on my own, seeing it was natural for me to share these peoples’ religious experience. It took place in the old cinema of Minde, Bergen. In this quite large room there was the main structure housing Ganesha, with Minakshi on the right side and a Shiva Linga on the left side in front of the entrance to the Garbha Grihya (inner sanctum).
Since the structure had to be placed facing north, this is the wrong direction, Ganesha should be in the west, facing east, we started doing puja to a Ganesha here, and then proceeded to the structure facing north. The priest went into the Garbha Grihya and chanted for a while in Sanskrit. There were blessings with fire and incense and roseleaves and holy oil. Then in turn all the altars were consecrated in this manner. I recognized the nine Navagrahas (?), the seven planets plus the two moon nodes, Rama with his brother Lakshmana and Wife Sita, Sati (?), Shiva’s first Wife according to Nadaraja, Shiva Tandava, a south Indian version of Durga (who?) , Murrukan (Tamil version of Kartikkeya) and finally Ganesha again with some other God(desse)s behind a curtain. A large amount of holy food (Prasad) was consecrated here. There was also communal singing, and a young woman with a stunningly beautiful voice singing bhajans. We were profusely consecrated with fire, ashes, and some red and black colour.
For me the experience was very Wicca like, but in a much more open manner. In fact it was a very beautiful experience, giving the feeling you have after going through a very successful ritual. A feeling of fullness. This was a ritual everyone could take part in, from small children to an old Grandmother, even me as the Norwegian foreigner. Conclusion: It won’t be my last time for me coming here, even if I don’t understand a word of Tamil language or writing.
Next time I’ll be joining a mormon meeting with my friend Tommy.