India Art Journal July3,4,5 By Meera Rao
One of the first things I always do when I get to India is to visit the Ganesha Temple right across from my parents' house and give my thanks for having had a safe journey over seas and continents :) At the temple there is always tasty 'prasada' that is distributed to the devotees. In most of the temples, leaf bowls are used to make it easier for all to either consume it right there or take it home while also being environmental fiendly- a practice that is actually very ancient.
Most all Hindu household yards have a little special 'pot' where 'tulasi' plant is grown. Tulasi is considered as sacred, used in religious services and worshipped every day. It also is proven to have potent medicinal qualities and used in traditional treatments.
The lady in the last skectch is decorating the temple entrance with rangoli - elaborate designs that are drawn free hand with rice powder. While chatting with her I found out that she does this almost every morning as a volunteer 'seva' to the Lord. I definitely did not do justice to her beautiful 'rangoli' design.
I would like to end with a quote by Mark Twain from an account of his trip to India:
"In religion, India is the only millionaire....the One land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined."