Saturday, January 7, 2012

A few random pictures from our 3-temple day

This is me in Auroville on the road to Certitude. It's taken me 35 circles 'round the sun, and as some know, I've had some twists and turns, but now I really feel like I'm headed the right direction.

These are two pictures of a site we saw I think leaving Auroville, or maybe leaving the sacred grove of a nasty-looking deity. You can't see it very well in either of these shots, but this enormous figure is seated cross-legged with a human lying across his/her lap. The human's stomach and chest have been ripped open, and the horrible-faced god is holding streaming entrails up out of the cavity of this person. Who is this? Anybody know?

Here is a monkey I fed a banana to at the Sacred Grove.

And here are some of a heard of little goats that came past our bus as we departed the Sacred Grove. I really love goats, it turns out.

 I'm thinking if I don't get tenure if there are career opportunities for a still-life-video-whistle-soundtracking (cf Alan Cooper's post) goatherd in central New York. I hope I'll never have to find out


  1. A quote from Francois Gautier: "Where is the root of this massive unconcern for one's environment; this total disregard for beauty, whether it is the terrible ugliness of the cities in Punjab, or the appalling filthiness in Tamil Nadu ?... And, maybe, for once, the Hindus are to blame. The Ganges seems to be the perfect illustration of a religion which enjoins a thousand purification rites and yet has allowed her own Mother earth to be defiled. Here is a river that Hindus have held most sacred for centuries, nay millenniums; to bathe in it is to purify oneself of all bad karma; to die here is to be reborn in Light. Yet what do all Hindus do with their sacred Ganges? They defecate in it; they throw in all their refuse; they let their dead float down the mighty river, AS IF THEY THOUGHT THAT THE SPIRITUAL PURITY OF THE WATER CAN NEVER BE OBLITERATED BY MATERIAL DIRTINESS.

    Why this contradiction? Why this immense paradox which may be indeed at the root of India's sure slide towards ecological catastrophe? Not the politicians, nor the British, but an apparent flaw in the Hindus' mentality? Sri Aurobindo believed that at some time in their history, the absolute, intense aspiration of the Hindus for the beyond, their eternal quest of God, got so one-sided, that they started neglecting Matter. India's sages began thus withdrawing more and more in their lofty caves in the Himalayas, her yogis slowly lost track of the physical envelope, this earthly body, which after all holds the soul and is the sacred house where we live and has to be kept clean and healthy -and neglected this earth, which gave us so much beauty and hence has to be preserved and protected as the symbol of gratitude from our soul... ...And gradually, an immense inertia, a terrible indifference, a great tamas overtook India. It is this great Tamas, this tremendous spiritual negligence for the Material, that allowed successive hordes of Muslims to sweep over India. It is this disinterest to the worldly that permitted the British to submit her for two centuries. It is this apathy to the physical, that tolerates today India's rape and plunder by those politicians, who are messing up Her future and jeopardising Her very existence. But Sri Aurobindo also tells us that it was not always so. the Rishis of the Vedas cared both about the worldly and the other-worldly. They has been farther than any seer in ancient history, yet catered to the material:: "O son of the body, O Fire, thou art the Son of heaven by the body of the Earth (Rig-Veda III.25.1.). Thus once, India was a land of beauty and abundance; its inhabitants had respect for its trees, its animals, its water, because they believed that everything was God. Her forefathers had devised spiritual guidelines for all aspects of life, from the highest to the lowest: the great art of Hata-yoga which has come down to us throughout the ages, or the ancient medicine of Ayurveda, are symbols of that ancient all-encompassing divinity in life."

  2. this may be a depiction of Narasimha killing Hirahyakasiph, There is also a temple to Kali in that area, who did some killing as well.