Postcard from Nepal 11 -2010 visit

6 Nov 2010

It is an amazing night – Tonight it seems as if the whole of the Kathmandu valley is lit up with coloured lights…. Outside, the night is filled with singing and bands playing from every direction punctuated every few seconds by the sound of fireworks..

Today, and especially tonight we celebrate Divalli (Tihar) – the festival of lights – and seek the coming of Lakshmi who represents wealth in the Hindu tradition….. The Hindu Sacred Texts Vedas call Mahalakshmi as Lakshyayidhi Lakshmihi which means she is the one who has the object and aim of uplifting mankind.

Earlier on the way to school, riding through the back lanes of the suburbs, I noticed the first signs of ‘worship’ – many of the local dogs wore garlands of flowers, a sign that they had been drawn into the ritual world of Lakshmi.

I had another meeting with the school principal, and as all the children were crammed into the TV room watching “CID” , I returned back to the resort early to finish off the proposal for getting year 10 started at the school. I wonder at the kids all watching the police show CID in the afternoon, and I guess soon they will graduate to the more forensic police shows kids in the ‘more developed’ countries watch!

I finished the proposal just before 6pm.. and thought how auspicious to complete it on the night of Laksmi’s coming…. uplifting humankind with light, wisdom and wealth.

Evening Prayer was a delightful mix of east & West…. I started by placing small t-lights at the door of my ‘suite’, two at the front door, two at the back door, and two at the door to the bedroom. Light to welcome Lakshmi, Light to welcome the light. The Prayer book, for Friday evening seemed to follow the auspicious sentiments of the night:

Peace to those who are far off – peace to those who are near.

Father (OK they got the sex wrong) of lights.. make us a light for the world.

and the evening collect

lighten our darkness, lord, we pray…..

It felt like Lakshmi was summoned with the recitation of “Hail Mary”… and that in our prayers we make sense of the world and maybe the world makes some sense of us…. I then went out into the streets to soak up the delight of the lights, children going from door to door singing for sweets.. The streets were filled with the hope and the delight of Christmas.

Two scruffy barefoot children singing in front of a door – inside the door, one room – the whole home of a family, mum and dad and a small baby delighting in the song being sung… everyone delighting in the song that heralds the coming of light… this is the song I seek to sing, and delight when I know its rhythm within…

It is an auspicious time….. Rejoice in the coming of the light


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