All across India are temples of the Almighty recognized in various names and forms, the most prominent of all being the Lord of The Universe named as Shiva. For worship, Shiva is recognized in diverse forms ranging from the formless infinite to various symbols and the human form known as Shiva Shankar. Yesterday I wrote a small note on Shiva Shankar and a spiritual mantra associated with him. It can be found in a companion blog here:
In the Hindu lunar month of Sawan that falls around the monsoon month of July every year, the Lord Shiv Shankar is especially worshiped on Mondays regarded, the favorite of the Lord known as Shiva. In this month, a fair is organized near Shiva temples across villages and towns of India. Although I rarely visit temples, being content to pray to the Lord in my heart, home or indeed anywhere, especially secluded natural green forests and mountains where the Lord may be most easily accessed, I do make it a point of visiting the fair that comes once a year. And today being Monday, I made a visit to one near my home in the morning.
The fair has street food, various merry go rounds etc. for the kids and a number of street shops selling an assorted variety of goods needed in a home. This last is what interest me most. Here one can find the same items one would in a large store at one fifth or even less in price. These traveling salesman manage to collect factory surpluses etc. at throw away prices from across the land to sell here. Moreover they have no overhead costs or taxes to pay like shop keepers. I had not taken a camera or phone with me to the fair but took a picture of the stuff I purchased today on return after laying it out on the kitchen table as shown in the picture. It was all for less than ten dollars and in the stores the same would have cost easily around a fifty or even a hundred dollars.
A set of six fine bone china mugs were for less than two dollars as were the laced table cloths I bought for the kitchen table. I have several other sets of mugs at home but they keep breaking. One of the table cloths has been spread out on the table for the picture. It is not real handmade lace but a synthetic machine one which is good for the rough use we put the kitchen table to. There were picture frames and a carry bag in an attractive design and so on.
On the way down to the fair I saw a poignant scene. It was a very old man on a wheel chair from the lower middle class type background being pushed on the roadside to the fair by an equally old wife. The old man too pushed furiously on the wheels with his hands perhaps to hurry or perhaps to help out his old wife. I remarked to the auto rickshaw man that it is sad that in this age it is rare for old folk to get help from children busy with their own lives and he agreed fully adding that it is indeed rare now and a dark cloud of selfishness hangs over the world. I overheard the old man say later when I got down from the rickshaw that it might be the last Monday and they must visit the temple of the Lord. Truly the Lord is the only solace of those left bereft of help by family and society.
I thanked the Lord for all he provides with ease, without asking, on my return from the fair, and uttered his spiritual mantra
Jai Shiv Shankar.
Jai Shiv Shankar.
Note: To share the experience of joy that prevails on a visit to a Shiva temple see this song and dance outside a Shiva temple on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA2yl6hWYPE