Interesting read

I’ve been slogging through a very brainy yet very interesting book, and I thought I’d share:

The Many Colors of Hinduism: A Thematic-Historical Introduction

It’s an interesting perspective – it looks at the history of the vast collection of practices that a grouped under the term “Hinduism,” including village and women’s practices. I haven’t gotten too far, but what I’ve read has been very informative.

Somewhere in there, I let go of the need for an ishta devata (a need which was totally manufactured by my nervous mind). I was surprised to find myself being content with whatever form of God is present, be it Lakshmi or Shiva or Rama or whomever. That’s not to say that at some point I won’t be drawn to a particular personal deity, but I’m pretty okay with letting it happen in its own time. This gets rid of a portion of the stress I was feeling about going to the temple (the one closest to my house is two – one for Balaji and one for Shiva), because before I couldn’t figure out who to pray to. At the moment, I’m comfortable just praying, because I know God will hear me.

(And I came to a decision about Easter – I spent the time I would have spent in church meditating, and then watched some Stargate, and then hung out with some friends for a while in the evening, which is the usual thing we do on Easter, minus the Stargate.)

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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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4 Responses to Interesting read

  1. surya says:

    Great. You sound like a classic hindu now, no one is pushing you around anymore, no ‘must dos’ on the religion plate, and there seems to be all the room in the plate. You can try both the mandirs (temples) once in a while, if not the god you may choose the crowd eventually, since all gods are manifestations of Brahman as you very well know. I shall try to read the book, sounds interesting and am bound to see lot of diversity there. Thats again typical hindu anyways.Namaste.

    • surya says:

      The author in his introductory 10 pages made some huge blunder by completely omitting any mention of the BHARAT or Bhaarath (bha as in bob with a strong emphasis on B, RA as in Russel, ta as in path) and Bharatiya concept altogether whilst painstakingly explaining both Hinduism and India and elaborating the semantics associated with the latter two. For Indians their land is called as Bharat, and bharatiya is the adjective that describes everything that goes with the land. Every federal postage stamp from there depicts India in English and Bharat in hindi scripts. Thus if someone is looking for the native term to identify the land mass it is the bharat one is looking for. King Bharata was the predecessor of the Mahabharata Kings and as you know Gita, an 18 chapter poem, was taught to Arjuna by Krishna in the Kurukshetra battle field (18 day war ) faught between cousins Pandavas and Kauravas. That is again chronologically some 5 thousand years old. The book thankfully mentions the word Bharata in its index though. Namaste.

      • HappyGoth says:

        I don’t know why he left it out, except perhaps not to confuse his readers (although that argument isn’t particularly convincing, since he introduces many many Sanskrit terms throughout the course of the book). When I first read that, I didn’t know the difference, except to find it strange that he doesn’t mention Bharat at all.

        A lot of it could do with honest unwitting omissions that occur in the process of publishing an academic work, but I do agree that in a conversation about India, those three things should be mentioned early on in a conversation about Indian identity, at the very least King Bharata and Bharat, since those two are so closely linked (and, by extension, bharatiya); I’d think it would be natural to bring up that the name of the land comes directly from a figure in one of its most cherished epics.

        Who knows. Perhaps in future editions he’ll include it. It’s used as a university textbook, so it’s conceivable.

        (Thanks for the explanation about bharatiya; I didn’t know that term before you mentioned it!)

    • HappyGoth says:

      🙂 Thanks! Whatever I sound like, I’m a lot less stressed out than I was before. I will probably find new stress to work through, but that’s all part of the process, right? So far, this particular set of temples stands out, both for ease of travel and because I’ve met some very welcoming people there. I think I’m happier going some place where the community fits, than trying to make a community fit because a particular murti is present there. That seems a backwards way to go about things.

      I keep hearing the same advice – “just relax” – and while it’s hard to do that, it’s the thing to do. I’m getting better!

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