A visit to a Shiva temple in Chennai brought us another beautiful day of blessed synchronicities.
When we got lost at the Chennai bus drop, a young Hindu woman graciously negotiated with an auto rickshaw driver who took us directly to the right temple.
The woman in charge of the shoe depository at the temple gate loaned us a plastic chair for me to sit and meditate on inside the temple.
As Remedia was carrying the chair and holding my arm while I walked, another kind soul offered to go to the temple’s office for a wheelchair. When she learned that I was from California, she brightened and said, “My son was in California. Now he works in Michigan.”
“Does he come home sometimes?” I asked.
This time her face glowed radiantly. “He’s coming in June.”
A man escorting his grey haired mother to the temple saw me struggling to get out of the wheelchair and cross the high stone lintel of the temple door. After helping me, he appointed himself our guide, explaining everything about worship to us. Remedia really enjoyed his guidance on performing the rites properly.
He told her how to give her coconut, flowers and fruit to the priest who took them into the inner sanctum to offer them to Shiva. We watched while he made the offerings and broke the coconut.
Remedia followed his directions to drink the holy water, eat the holy ash and rub a bit of the ash on our foreheads.
I began seeing inside the stone Shiva statue lit with burning ghee lamps.
I saw a blazing mantle of living orange/gold energy shot through with sparks arcing about. Inside the mantel of energy was a pure, steady, eternal flame.
Suddenly, I understood the reality of Shiva and how he destroys negative energies. Only purity could possibly survive the flame of Shiva.