A Place of Faith

When I saw the Sunday Stills challenge from Terri about sharing sacred spaces, I wondered how to approach this topic. Then today I realized that I don’t need to go too far – I have many examples from India that I can share.

So first in the set is a picture of the interior of a very beautiful temple of Ganesha from the South of India. It wasn’t allowed to take the picture of the innermost part of the temple which is the Sanctum Sanctorum, but it was fine to take pictures of the rest of the temple. Just in case you are wondering, the architecture styles of North and South are very different. May be one day I will share that in a post.

Another time, another place – I was able to get this picture from the outside of a Fire Temple of the Parsis (pronounced Paarsee) in Kolkata. They are the people following the teachings of Zoroaster, and they came from Persia to India centuries ago. Non-Parsis are not allowed inside the temple so I don’t know how that looks like but I know that there is sacred fire burning inside all such temples. You can see that in the stained glass window in the picture. The biggest group of Parsis in India, live in Mumbai and before visiting Kolkata, I didn’t even know that they lived outside of Mumbai too.

India, believe it or not, also had some Jewish population too where they lived in peace. I don’t know the exact time frame when they came to India but I know when they left – it was when the country of Israel was formed. Now there may be a handful of Jews still in India but not enough to fill the synagogues they made. In the city of Kolkata, there are 5 synagogues and may be 20 people of the Jewish faith!

It would be such a strange thing to not have a Buddhist temple, in the land of Buddha. Although the number of people following Buddhism is very small, but everyone knows the Buddha! And no, I don’t mean the “Laughing Buddha”. That’s a lovely icon from China but has no connection to the founder of Buddhism – Siddhartha.

There are a lot of churches in India. One fine day, I found myself present at a wedding taking place in a beautiful church in South India. It’s very interesting how local traditions are part of the lives of people of all faiths in the locality. Like here I saw the auspicious music being played on traditional South Indian musical instruments.

There are many more photos that I can find in my archives but then I will not be able to finish this post! So I will stop here.

Besides the communal sacred spaces, many of us have their own personal sacred space which may or may not have a connection to one’s religion. For me, it is anywhere peaceful, often in the nature, or an uncrowded shrine, where I can be unburdened of the past and unworried about future. Mountains, lakes and rivers give me that feeling, may be just like they would have affected the first humans contemplating about life and what or who is controlling or influencing our experience of this world.

In this blog, I focus on sharing some of the photographs that I capture, often during my travels but also in the everyday life. If you’d like to read about my travels, you can find the stories on this blog – Reflections on the River.


5 replies to “A Place of Faith

  1. Colorful definitely describes India over all, PR. Your images and explanations are perfect and celebrate the various faiths popular in India. So fascinating about the Jewish synagogues that were built and all but abandoned. Great shot of the wedding. My daughter attended an Indian wedding celebration in San Francisco and it went on for 3 days! Great to see your sacred spaces for Sunday Stills. Maybe you will have some cool purple images to share next week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your lovely words Terri 😀..I am glad that you like the post. Sure, I will find the Purples in my photos and share for the next challenge 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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