Jyotir Lingum Yatra
Sunday, December 08, 2002
This is my first time in Aurangabad. It is the home base point for several of the long day trips we are going on over the next couple of days. Today was a free day, so I went for some shopping in the Gul Mundi market area with one of the Indian woman on the trip. Actually, she and I kind of snuck away on our own at first, figuring that we could cover more ground more effectively just the two of us, but the group eventually caught up with us! This was due partly to the fact that the rickshaw driver was taking us on a "Mr Toad's Wild Ride" (I hope you all remember Disneyland!) driving us around in circles, it seemed, which is typical Indian rickshaw driver behavior.
In the market itself, I was unimpressed with most of the quality of the merchandise, but I did buy a few fun odds and ends, like funky/fancy shoes to play dress-up with, for about $4-5 each. I did get an addition piece of luggage to bring presents home in, since my suitcases were getting maxed out. I should be able to make some more room in them after I get rid of sheets and towels at the ashram.
From Aurangubad we are taking several days trips over the next 5-6 days. I will keep you posted about those places, as the itinerary I sent many of you has changed.
The Saturn temple we visited yesterday was pretty neat. It was unusual in that it was open air, and only men were actually allowed to do puja, another situation where the women watched from nearby. We were given several tokens after the puja to help protect us from the negative influences of Saturn in the future, including, interestingly enough, a horseshoe to mount over our front door, in the same fashion that cowboys might mount a horseshoe for good luck. These kinds of parallels are very interesting to me. Also, there is a little black doll, along the lines of a voodoo doll, that we can hang in the doorway to also ward off negativity. I am just wondering what my neighbors back home might think! *giggle*