our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness Phaedr. 244a

2012/08/14

interfaith patina

from alice:

A few decades ago, my husband Walter Andersen and I traveled to Amritsar in the Punjab region of India, to visit the Golden Temple of the Sikhs, one of the most beautiful places of worship in the world. Imagine a huge rectangular pool of water surrounded by white marble with four small structures set in the middle of the sides them, in which every day and night someone is reading from the holy books of all the great religions in the world!  The enclosure is immense, filled with wandering pilgrims and also people lying prone, waiting to die there! At one corner there is a tree to touch. It is dark shiny wood like a piece of mahogany from so many touches! Music and chanting is broadcast and fills the air. Most men are wearing turbans, as they never cut their hair.
  As I was wearing a floor-length cotton dress and carrying a wooden staff to support me, as usual, I was startled to be assumed to be some "holy woman" (!) and soon some women were bowing or kneeling asking to be blessed. Unable to protest in their language, I laid a hand on their heads and truly prayed for Spirit to be transmitted through me!
    At sundown, the most amazing ritual took place. A large book covered with marigolds was the center of attention. Suddenly, with trumpets blaring, a group of men charged in and grabbed it and carried it off to safety. All highly dramatic, and repeated daily.
    This is the best I can do to describe an unforgettable experience, but I am still gratified and impressed by the inter-faith nature of the Sikh religion! All paths to God are honored as such. This is indeed a much needed viewpoint!
    The recent attack on them is based on total ignorance of what they believe and the truth that they offer the world!
Love
ao