The Return of Saturn, again and again
If you're at all into astrology, you'll know that Saturn, also known as Shani in Indian astrology, has a profound effect in our lives. If you're into astronomy, you'll know that it takes may Earth years for Saturn to orbit once around the Sun. Consequently, Saturn is also refered to as the "slow-moving" one.
Hindus worship Lord Shani, imploring him to have mercy on them, and lessen negativity in their lives. This temple was very unique in that it was completely open-air, so everyone in the area could have darshan of the monolith. Another feature of this temple was that only men who were freshly showered and clothed (notice the orange fabric dhotis on the men) could so direct worship/puja here. Shani is especially worshipped on Saturdays, since that day of the week is associated with Saturn. We were there on Saturday, December 7, 2002.
Gallons of ghee (clarified butter) were offered to Shani, the form here is the black stone in the middle of this picture.
This temple was especially popular that Saturday.
Many temple stalls lead the way to the entrance, which was past this building on the right.
Places to purchase items for the home (like horseshoes and little voodoo-ish dolls) to ward off negative energy.
I was always checking out those motorcycles!
Do you remember me telling you about having one of those voodoo dolls for my doorway, and expecting to freak out my neighbors back home in NC? Well *giggle* that's just about what I did! I tried to explain to them that it's like a gargoyle, meant to scare off negativity.
Here he is, keeping negativity away outside my front door, this very minute!
Lydia had a little lamb...well it's a goat, really
It's been several months since I posted new pictures, due to my scanner acting up, other projects, etc. etc. I know what excuses are like. In any case, I wanted to pick up the pace with something fun. I cannot remember exactly where we were in our trip, other than it was near Aurangabad, but I do recall that the group had stopped along the road at a chai stall (chai is sweet tea made with lot of milk...a nice caffeine kick in the pants to get you through until dinner).
I had to take a picture of the double-decker goat bus that was stopped there, too.
There were about five baby goats being transported in the cab of this truck. Although I was usually cautious around men on the road, this guy was very nice, and even though I wasn't able to speak his language...
...I trusted him enough to hand him my camera, so he could take what turned out to be a cute picture of me.
The baby goat was so sweet and docile, that I thought twice before handing it back. I did say, "My goat!" with a big smile and started to walk away (but how would I have gotten the goat through customs?!)...even if he didn't quite understand me, we all laughed at the joke.