A Cuppa Coffee: some scenes from India!

Day Ten : WordPress Writing 101, September 18,, 2015

Over a Cup of Coffee:

Were I to be sipping coffee with you, then I would share with you, some small vignettes of life in colourful India. I would tell you how in this country with 22 official languages but hundreds more spoken in a few thousand dialects, people still live in unity amidst all this diversity. (Do not believe the media that highlights skirmishes and ignores the largely peaceful nation). 🙂

Were I to be sipping coffee with you, then I would tell you what a God-mad country India is, still ! You cannot escape or run away from God here 🙂 One of the most difficult religions to practise here is that of the ATHEIST ! God in India comes in different forms and without form too! If you don’t see Him or Her in a temple, deities decked in elaborate flowers and ornaments, depending on the fervour of their worshippers, or plain and austere stone idols in their timeless dignity, then you might come across infant Jesus held in Mother Mary’s arms at that next street corner. Also, if you still missed Him (I mean God), then the cries of the muzzein from the friendly neighbourhood mosque will summon you to prayers 5 times a day ! Forget all this, if it is noon and you are feeling hungry, just go to the nearby Gurudwara, where the Sikhs pray and you will be served a delicious and wholesome lunch in their free kitchen called the Langar. No questions asked. You are a child of God, period.

Were I to be sipping coffee with you, then I would let you have a glimpse of  a festival. Did you know that in India it is said ‘there are twelve months and thirteen festivals’ ! We have so many and each region celebrates even the common ones in distinct ways. Most have mythological roots, some are related to change of seasons and hence farming like the harvesting of crops, but they all are excuses for fun and frolic! Apart from the rituals of course.

Were I to be sipping coffee with you, I would regale you with tales of the cute and naughty, powerful and friendly ‘elephant-God’, called Ganesha, the favourite of all children, the remover of obstacles and invoked at the beginning of any venture, material or spiritual. In India, these distinctions get blurred 😉

Ganesha, the 'elephant God' with His friends !

Ganesha, the ‘elephant God’ with His friends ! Here He is playing on a flute, and I clicked this just prior to the ‘immersion’ ceremony, when after a three day festival the God goes back to the elements

Were I to be sipping coffee with you, well it has been a long session, I would invite you to visit India, the land of 33 crore gods and goddesses . . . . OK , do not freak out here! These numbers represent the qualities found in the human imagination and these different gods are symbolic representations of the human psyche. India, my friends is a monotheistic land but does not restrict how Divinity should express Itself/Himself/Herself !

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13 thoughts on “A Cuppa Coffee: some scenes from India!

  1. You just told me something I never knew, and I even have friends from India. I guess I never thought to ask and they never thought to tell me. So, if I understand you correctly, the “many” gods are simply representations of the facets of one central God? This fascinates me.

    If that’s not correct, please explain. If it IS correct, please explain. 🙂 I’d love to know more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Casey, to try and clarify a bit more here. God (in India) is believed to be ultimately all pervading Consciousness, that is however also pure LOVE energy, basically.
      This universe and all beings are manifestations of this energy of love. Now when these forms happen, Consciousness also assumes a form, since the Creator does not want to be impersonal and aloof! And then this again manifests as different deities like Brahma the creator, Vishnu, the Preserver, Shiva the annihilator (when it is time for creation to merge back with the Source), Ganesha the remover of obstacles, Devi the feminine Divine Mother aspect, and many others.
      Then there are times when this Godhead also assumes human forms called Avatars. These happen when the earth is in danger from evil. So then we believe the One assumes a form in tandem with that particular requirement and after the calamity is crossed goes back to the formless, but still worshipped by grateful humans back in earth. That is how we have Krishna and Rama and others ! Hinduism has no difficulty in having reverence for Jesus or Mohammed because down the ages, across eons and millennia, God either comes Himself or sends aspects of Himself, Divine beings!
      It’s all just a family matter, ultimately. Wonder why we fight in the name of religion 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for all the info! I’m always interested in learning new things, and I love India. We have friends in Mizoram and I lived with an Indian family for 6 months when I was in grad school. They were Christians, so I didn’t really learn much about other religions in India.

        Liked by 2 people

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