Deepavali, the Festival of Lights
I braved the Singapore transit system and headed into town to partake in the grand Festival of Lights. I have found myself both confused and fascinated by Hinduism and the history of the many gods and goddesses. This is the largest festival of many; one of the reasons l like this religion is the many varied and elaborately celebrated festivals. In seeking a good time I found a spiritual experience unexpected.
As I posted before, this is the celebration of goodness over evil and light over darkness. Light certainly won out on the streets of Little India last night. I walked the entire lit up street, dined in a small café and joined the thousands of traditionally clad celebrators in the street.
I bought several small goddess statues and learned that the main goddess celebrated at this festival, Lakshmi, was the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Learn more here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakshmi
I stopped by a large temple, following a huge crowd. After removing my shoes I entered the room filled with the faithful. No one seemed to notice me although I certainly did not fit in. The people were there on holy purpose and oblivious to other distractions. I am a real “when in Rome do as the Romans do” believer so I bowed at the goddesses and lined up for a blessing.
A holy man passed about with a smoking candle and blessed each of us with a smudge on the forehead. I am woefully ignorant of what this signifies but I felt a deep connection and physical awareness that something significant had just happened. I have had the same experience before when partaking in rituals I did not understand but knew they were real. It would seem that God connects to us through many channels if we open our hearts.