Kinda blah

But that’s okay.

I’m learning to appreciate the blah days, although I’m not totally productive with them. I was trying to figure out why things were so blah. I am feeling a teeny bit stalled out, and then I realized that I have been reading nothing. All my thinking has been very inwardly-focused, like it usually is when my life gets busy.

I’m actually getting excited about getting up and doing a small puja first thing in the morning. It took a while to get used to it, but now I’m finding that it’s a welcome start to my day.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about why finding a singular deity has been such a struggle and realized that I’ve been approaching this all wrong. God is still God, exactly the same as God ever was – immanent, transcendent, omniscient, omnipotent, unfathomable -and will be forever. The difference is the manifestation. I’m coming from praying to one aspect of God, to praying to multiple aspects oh God. My brain is still attempting to find one aspect, when I’m beginning to understand what many can mean.

So even though it has been a kind of blah day, it appears that it was a good one. I’m excited to see what I can learn tomorrow…

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About HappyGoth

By day, I'm a graphic designer. By night, I'm a knitter. I'm doing my part to keep Hotlanta stylish. I imagine that if you don't already understand the title of the blog, you're probably confused and perhaps slightly annoyed, but never fear - I do have a reason (and it's a good one). Having gone to hear Stephanie Pearl McPhee, and then having been inspired to blog about knitting, I found myself wondering what to call the blog. I recalled a conversation I had with Mouse and the Chicken Goddess about why it is a Bad Idea to anger knitters - this conversation was following SPM, aka the Yarn Harlot telling the assembled throng about Those Who Do Not Understand Knitting and Therefore Belittle It Much to the Chagrin of Others, or TWDNUKTBMCO, which is not the acronym she used but is the one I'm using because I forgot hers - that is, we are numerous and we all have very pointy sticks, easily transforming into an angry mob. Therefore, knitters = angry mob.
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6 Responses to Kinda blah

  1. Tāṇḍava says:

    About choosing a singular deity. The view of God that you choose for primary worship (your Ishta Devata) will choose you! This will be connected to the path that you end up following, for example Saivas worship Shiva (usually a particular formssuch as the Nataraja, Dakshinamurthy, etc), Murugan, or Ganesha. You will know for certain when you find the right form of God. There is a nice story of how someone was chosen by Ganesha:

    As I turned the corner, my eyes fell upon a wooden image of Ganesha. A blast of overpowering emotion almost pushed me to the ground. I was reeling inside. Lord Ganesha, through the idol, had just come alive for me. In fact, He had caught me totally unawares, had taken me by surprise by this unexpectedly powerful announcement of His undeniable presence. “Lord Ganesha what have You done? Of all the idols that I had contemplated upon in my intellectual studies of Hindu symbolism, You of all the many Deities left me quizzical and wondering–You with the strange animal head, the bloated belly, the broken tusk. I could never take You seriously. I wondered how so many Hindus could. And now, what have You done? Among the bevy of beautiful, statuesque, inspiring images of Hindu Gods, dear Lord, You chose to speak to me through the strange, even comical, form of Ganesha!”

    I think that maybe after exclusively worshiping just one aspect of God and believing that this was the whole of God you need to spend some time worshiping God in different forms, and that is why you have not found your ishta devata yet.

    • HappyGoth says:

      Man oh man. The impatient part of me fools the smarter part of me into thinking, briefly, that there are easy, quick answers.
      I always discover that there are no easy answers, aside from the one that says, “yes! this is the right path for you!”

      I have a feeling that my little home mandir is going to be crowded for a while yet. And I also have a feeling that at some point, it won’t matter to me so much. I think you’re right, though. I need to understand what it really means for God to have many forms before one reveals itself to me. I don’t think I’m there yet.

  2. Tāṇḍava says:

    Also I wanted to say a little more about the “multiple aspects of God”. Most Hindus see one God (Ishvara) with multiple forms; Shiva as the Nataraja, Dakshinamurthy, Bhairava, and so on. Also the Ishvara is both male and female, often denoted as pairs: Shiva-Parvati, Laksmi-Narayan, Krishna-Radha, and so on. Though represented as a God-Goddess pair they are two halves of a whole. Sometimes the pairs themselves have multiple representations, Shiva-Parvati has Bhairava-Kali as a fierce aspect, destroying impermanence and moving us further to God.

    In addition to God or Ishvara and the multiple aspects there are Devas. The Devas are created celestial beings, and separate from God (except from at the ultimate level where there is nothing but God). These great beings are similar to angels and archangels in the Judeo-Christian religion, except that we worship them as well as God. Indeed we often worship Ganesh first of all in festivals.

    There are also lower celestial beings, asuras, who are not so close to God. These can be neutral or even malevolent. The major Hindu lines do not deal with asuras, though there are some “occultist” Hindus that do try to call them and make deals with them. Doing this will put more obstacles between you and God though,

    • HappyGoth says:

      Intellectually, I completely understand this. I like to think of it as similar to the Catholic practice of praying to saints and angels (sort of like Devas) for particular needs. However, my background didn’t include this particular tradition, so I have a steep learning curve spiritually. I haven’t connected on a deeper level. It feels awkward still (but I’m becoming more comfortable).

      I think there may be a blog post coming from me on this later, once I work it all out for myself. Thanks for the organization, though. That helps a lot!

  3. srch1ng4zen says:

    When you first started practicing, where did you obtain guidance on things like performing puja rituals? I have no local Hindu community and have had little success in my research, but I feel that daily pujas would vastly improve my peace, balance and understanding. Any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • HappyGoth says:

      Honestly, from nowhere specific. I’ve done YouTube searches and Google searches and asked questions of pretty much everybody who will answer, and slowly I’ve put together a practice that feels right to me. For a long time I was discarding the prasad after I offered it to the deities, because I didn’t have any idea about what to do with it, but was told by a Hindu lady that you’re supposed to consume it, so that none of it is wasted. So I learn as I go. The book I posted recently, Ramayana at a Glance, has a little outline of a puja in its introduction. Also, the Hindu Dharma Forums have a whole thread on what folks do in their own pujas.

      But there’s not one single “right” way to do things. Hindus in Bali are marvellously devout, and their puja practices are very different from, say a Hindu in Delhi.

      I started out with a murti of Ganesha and a small thali (one of the all-in-one kind that have an attached diya, incense holder, sindoor pot and dish for rice). I prayed as well as I knew how, and have slowly evolved my puja into something I’m more or less comfortable with, though I keep hunting.

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