How Is It Viewed?
How is it viewed? There are questions, but the words do not seem to formulate. I feel that I am coming closer and closer to a place I've known before. Dreams from years ago are becoming realities. I like to think of this journey as a boat or canoe ride on a river. There are times when the water level drops and for that period of time I have come to rest at particular points which I see as villages. Having brought with me gifts from previous villages. There is a sharing and an excange of gifts. Then the rains come and the canoe is floating again.
There was a time when almost each day was spent praying at a place called Cedar Butte. It was during that time that my grandfather's ceremonial pipe came to me. A sarong had been gifted to me also during that time. My days on Cedar Butte was a learning time, well, a portion of a learning time, the learning hasn't stopped. On one particular day, the things I thought I had packed to take to the hill were not in the pack when I got there. In their place was the sarong. It was worn that day and it seemed that I was being told that it should be worn for all of the ceremonies. A few years later the sarong gave way to use.
This past summer a feeling to find another sarong became so strong. I was in an area where there is a large Hindu community. Finding what I was loking for should not be a problem. A few searches and a store was found. I clicked on the site address and there was a glitch with the computer. I found KRISHNA.COM. Oh well, not entirely what I was looking for, but hey, they have a store. Now how cool is this? Hmmmm. No sarongs but here's something from one of the dreams a long time ago. It's called a dhoti. Okay, I'll give it a try. It's an awesome word, dhoti. It has a meaning from the Dakota dialect, to be clothed in blue, or the sky, or as god. I like that. And WOW, here's other things very similar to a few of the ceremonial things. Being Wazhazhe, there is a ceremony of going to a place of flowing water at sunrise and again at sunset. There is the bathing and the taking of the water to be shared in the ceremony because ipujapi--they thirst. There is the lighting of the fire and the prayers and offerings made because where there is fire there is warmth and where there is warmth there is love.
One thing leads to another. The rains come and the canoe floats a little further to find something so sacred called tilak, again from the Dakota dialect, to be clothed or to dwell in love. Now my mornings find me greeting the rising sun, bathing by the fire where it's warmer, wrapping and tying the dhoti, putting on the tilak while chanting the twelve vasadevas. The day has begun. Then there comes the special hour which the ceremonial bundle is opened and the pipe is taken out. Prayers are chanted over the tobacco, the pipe is filled and offered to the earth which provides for all of our needs, to the sky where the sun and moon travel and the rains come to fill the streams and rivers. It is offered to the Creator, thanking him for the opportunity to make this offering. The Gayatri Mantra is chanted and a calm comes. The maha mantra is chanted and the sensation of warmth comes. The knowing of true fogiveness to others for past offenses, seeing their actions as having been through their own hurts and disappointments. I feel love and compassion towards them. I feel at peace.
On the occassions where I do go to town, I don't wash or wipe off the tilak. It has multiple meanings to me. I have not been initiated as a Vishnava or devotee of Lord Krishna. I did read that there is such a belief of initiation through intent and practice. It has become like seeing the world through the eyes of a child, everything in wonder and true admiration. Yes, I think that's the best descriptive term, becoming like a little child again. But there is in the returned feeling of innocence the deepest desire to not offend those who are true devotees. Please, how is this viewed? I will add that for the first time in a very long time, I know how it feels to be happy.