Samstag, 9. April 2011


It is busy in and around the temples of India. Families, pilgrims and tourists patiently wait at the entrances. They carry flowers, coconut shells and money which they will offer to the Gods, of which there are many. Whereas there are six main gods and goddesses, their many reincarnations count up to 300 million. Often each family worships its own distinct God. Religious music streams from speakers, penetrating voices sing in Sanskrit and create a trance-like atmosphere. Clearly religion in India is not limited to the older generation. Old and young alike visit the temples with an attitude of implicitness that is long lost in Western cultures.
Easily one can become invisible in this buzzing temple life, where the pilgrims rush from altar to altar expressing their gratitude to the Gods paying little attention to everything else. One can observe elephants giving blessings in exchange for coins, people taking baths or simply gaze at the incredibly detailed stone carvings which decorate the temples. The endless stream of worshippers leaving uncounted amounts of money in the temples without spending much time there might seem somewhat questionable. But much less even than in other cultures is religion in India about money and power. It is the backbone of society uniting a gigantic nation that otherwise could not be more diverse. 
I leave my shoes at the entrance, hoping to find them there on my way out. I can feel the cool marmor tiles under my feet as I enter the dark temple, allowing myself to get swallowed by the mystic atmosphere.