Thursday, February 26, 2009

I see dead people

Today I had my first real religious experience in India!

Got up early, or rather was forced to by the 6 am chanting of the mosque (the North has more Muslims).

So I decided to put on my walking boots and head for the Old Town aka the Pink City.

Sanjay's place is in the outskirts of Jaipur, so it was a good walk to the center. After a few streets I was drawn to quite a large pink building. As I got closer I could here the chanting going on and what sounded like a hundred drums and bells.

It had a bit of spooky feeling... Clearly something was happening here so I stepped through the gate of the building to do some exploration. I was greeted by a young man. He didn't speak any English but his bodylanguage suggested it was ok for me to enter. I followed the sound of the 'hundreds of drums' but ended up in a small temple where a Sadhu was doing a ceremony. The 'hundreds of drums' appeared to be an ingenious automized drum-and-bell machine. An old man smiled and gestured to sit down, which I did. Sat there for an hour and watched the Sadhu do his thing. The drums and bells didn't miss their effect and there was this 'trance thing' going on, which stopped after half an hour. We just sat there for a while, very relax. The Sadhu, the old man and me. Saying nothing, just being there in the little temple. It had a really good feeling...

Time to go so I got up. They gave me some food wrapped in newspaper. On the way out I crossed the young man again. In sign-language I asked if this was a temple or an ashram or whatever. He took a long time to find the right words and then said "dead people...burn...". I sat in a temple in a cemetery, no wonder I looked a bit spooky...but hey, you gotta start somewhere :-).

Took some pictures, try to upload them asap.

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