You may have noticed that I have not been blogging much lately. If you are a blogger, then you will understand how much work it is to blog. Cook. Take photographs. Edit photographs. Write post. Upload photos. Maintain blog. It is a b i g commitment. Every blogger needs a break every now and then.
But I have not been idle, and I thought that you might like to know what I have been up to. I have been cleaning a temple. From my lounge room.
Just a note that the photos in this post are copyrighted to Himalayan Academy and were taken by Thomas Kelly, our intrepid photographer.
When I was in India just 12 months ago, one of the incredible places that we visited was Ramanathaswamy Temple on Rameshwaran Island. Rameshwaran is a small island between India and Sri Lanka. It is an island and a town focused around an amazing and huge temple, a town where every inhabitant is in someway connected to the temple. Selling artifacts to the visitors. Providing food and lodging for the pilgrims. Working at the temple. Playing in the temple bands. Hauling water from the 22 temple wells. Providing clothes for pilgrims. …
The temple is a very auspicious temple in India – one of 12 Siva Temples (a Jyotirlinga Temple) and the only one in South India. It is ancient, centuries old, with incredible architecture including one of the longest carved corridors. It has 22 wells (the first being the ocean) where one can be drenched in the water of the well be washed clean spiritually if not physically. It is a temple with great significance spiritually, culturally, historically and architecturally.
It has millions of visitors each year – no exaggeration. In our time there we had amazing experiences, but at the same time, noticed how it suffers from the effects of all of those pilgrims. It is a challenge in India, to maintain these amazing places with limited funds and the taxes that the government imposes on Hindu temples (but not Christian or Muslim Temples).
Our group decided that we could help. We decided that we would donate to help clean the temple. We thought that if we found enough money to clean a brick, we would clean it well and let it shine to inspire others. If we raised a bit more, we would clean a column and that would shine as an example. And if we raised a ton of money we would be able to assist with the management of the water in the temple. With such a high water table and the amount of water that gets sloshed through the temple from the bathing pilgrims, it is a real problem.
We have a website. I would love it if you had a look. If you feel that you can donate a dollar or two or ten or a hundred, then I am sure that blessings will flow to you from the temple.
The temple itself is excited about the fund. I had the Commissioner of Temple Endowments in Tamil Nadu call me from India to personally thank us for the fund. We have a liaison officer in India who will apply the funds and ensure that the specified work is carried out. I also will visit as soon as I can. In this recession affected world, it won’t be as soon as I would like. :-(
There is a lot of information about the fund that we have established on the website. You can read about it. In summary, the fund has been created and is managed by Hindu Heritage Endowment Funds. It is an endowment fund which means that the principal remains and the interest is provided to the recipient. This way, the fund gives year after year after year.
Join me, won’t you, in cleaning this temple from your lounge room?