Bells and Chimes are used in cultures throughout the world in ceremonies and religious places. There is many reasons for this. But, the one that I like the most is the following –
The sound produced by a bell is designed to strike a cordial balance between our right and left brain. The striking of the bell is believed to instantly halt all thought movement, creating a natural state of awareness. This also works to soothe the mind. The ringing of the bell produces a sharp sound which reverberates for approximately 7 seconds as an echo, long enough to touch on the seven healing centers or chakras in our body.
A well designed bell can produce resounding strains of the sound of “OM”.
With that background, let me recount for you what happened today morning.
It was a windy day here in Austin. I walked into the Sri Venkateswara Temple of Austin (which had the Maha kumbhabhishekam last weekend). As I walked into the temple courtyard, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound of the bells. I just stood there for several minutes focusing on the sound and taking it all in.
Here is a short recording.
I hope the sound of the wind and the sound of the bell brings you as much joy as it did to me today morning.
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. – Rabindranath Tagore
When I was a young girl, Thatha and Appa told me – “Kovil illa oril kudi irruka vendam”.
It means “Don’t live in a city or town that doesn’t have a place of worship.”
Thankfully, I have always lived near a temple during my lifetime.
That said, I have only seen one Kumabishekam thus far.
Kudos to Craig and Jill Edwards for making it possible for me to see the second Kumabishekam in my lifetime the weekend of March 3-5.
I can’t wait.
I have a thing for temples.
I am not religious. But, I still have a thing for any place of worship. One can’t deny that there is a reason that humanity gathers at these designated places of worship…to thank, to pray and to gain strength.
Many years ago, during a Thaipoosam walk, my friend Balu Rajagopal talked about a Hindu Temple in a city called Temple(!?) in Texas. He talked about the origins. He talked about bringing the Omkara Ganapathy statue in the temple. He spoke so vividly about the Kumbabishekam.
I shared with him my fascination for Concord Murugan Temple (the temple that was our destination after an 18 hour Thaipoosam walk that day).
I never thought that life will eventually lead me to move close to Balu’s much talked about Omkara Ganapathy Temple in Temple, Texas.
Not only that.
Somehow, this month, my fate/destiny/choice (or whatever else you decide to call it), made sure I stood in front of Omkara Ganapathy Temple, in utter awe, on Ganesh Chaturthi Day.
As I get older, I am completely mystified about these chance happenings in life…that don’t seem like chance after all.
Hope y’all had a great Ganesh Chaturthi Day!