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