Friday, February 8, 2008

Everybody's religion is fair game

Some people might wonder about the packages I get in the mail, but fortunately my honey is used to me and my curious ways. What might seem sort of crazy is just everyday life.

So yesterday, when I got a package from Mumbai, from Blessingz, "the one stop puja shoppe," he didn't ask why I needed any Hindu devotional supplies, like some fellows might have done. He just said "cool." (As for the "why," well, I already have a lot of Catholic memorabilia for someone raised Methodist. I need to expand my collection!)

What I got was a lovely box with little statues and incense and tons of little packets containing different supplies: ghee, sindoor, and things I'll need to look up to see what the heck they are. (Doing research online, the kits were originally marketed as corporate gifts, making it funny in itself that I stumbled across them).

From the box:

"Sacred Moments especially needed in this fast-paced world. Sacred Moments is a company that offers you the chance to go back to the traditions and ancient rituals...No more shopping for every little puja detail...Blessingz are not just hassle-free, they are the 21st century way to win favours with God."

This implies that some Hindus, like some members of all the established religions, feel they are losing touch with traditions that they are now trying to recapture. But in the modern age, they want to do it in a more convenient way and fit their spirituality into their "fast-paced" lives. I get the feeling that modernized urban environments create the same stresses the world over.

Obviously something like this would have more appeal to people who don't have access to their own local temples, which is probably why the eBay store I got mine from had it listed twice, one set up for mailing to the US and one for mailing to the UK. And of course, even though I'm physically not that far from my geographical point of origin, psychologically I feel completely removed from it.

This all led to some inarticulate train of thought about the folklore Yahoo group I'm on, where people always seem so judgmental about those of us who have lost touch with our "roots." (You people who learn everything from books, and not at your grandma's knee...) It's not my fault that no elders ever taught me about their folklore, and I have to figure things out for myself, tradition-wise. Phooey! Life isn't a museum piece; we do live in the 21st century. If we want to win favour with God, we may as well do it the 21st century way...

By the way, they included a beautiful metal yantra as a free gift, with a picture of Saraswati. It's not like I told these people anything about myself, and Saraswati is probably the most apt Hindu deity there is for me.

"Knowledge is power. Everybody needs enhance their knowledge through various ways like academic pursuits, private study of religious/ spiritual treatises etc. From Vedic times, Goddess Saraswati is regard as the giver of wisdom, education, intellect, speech and join through education. She is also referred as Vak devi (goddess of speech) and Sakala kaladhishtatri (goddess bestowing all the arts)... The worship of Saraswati blesses the person intuitive skills and a creative bent of mind. One is blessed with an understanding of the music, dance and other creative arts and is enabled to achieve proficiency in them. It also blesses women with marital bliss."


My honey and I were all like, "Coincidence? Or could it be...karma?"

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