For the past two days, I have been totally
re-visiting my past...and all the places and festivals/celebrations I have ever seen occur...all those things that shaped and molded me into who I am
It all started with a mental/astral trip back to Java, Indonesia and Candi Prambanan, Candi Sukuh and Candi Borobudur - the 7th wonder of the world!
I recall sitting on the very summit of these old Shiva temples, looking out over the lush green valleys of terraced rice fields and banana plantations towards the rolling green slopes of Gunung Berapi (an active volcano which was churning out thick plumes of smoke).
I went on Google Images again to refresh my whole memory...of all the stone inlaid friezes and what they represented/what stories they told as I walked around, gradually ascending both the outer and inner levels...just marveling at the whole Tantric layout of the architecture to represent the Shree Yantra in full-on shastric display.
After mentally walking around those sites again (I must have been to each of those sites bout half a dozen times in real life), I took in a You-tube performance of some Javanese and Balinese traditional dancing, portraying stories out of the Hindu epic, The Ramayana...and I think I have seen the part where Shinta (Sita) gets abducted by Ravana about half a dozen times, until Hanuman comes to the rescue with his 'monkey army' performing the Kechack ritual before going in and rescuing her and of course, she has to prove her chastity to Lord Rama again after that whole ordeal...I LOVE all the costumes they wear and the whole celebration of the Hindu culture and all the epic stories through drama and dance:
...and here's that temple complex which takes my breath away:
So, after a performance of the Ramayan classical dance with a backdrop of that beautiful ancient temple dating back to about 900 AD, I settled in to another celebration...that of the Wayang Kulit puppet theatre...and this time, they were enacting a scene from the Mahabharata (another Hindu epic) where Bhima fatally wounds Duryodhana...and yeah, I've seen that infy times too, but I always get a thrill, a total buzz out of watching my whole culture become celebrated and enacted like this:
After that, I watched the Barong dance again...a local fertility celebration calling on the 'nature spirits' to bring the rain, the sunshine and good crops, which usually ends up with men going into trance and trying to stab themselves with blunt kris daggers...lol
I recalled all
of the local festivals and celebrations we had...the Hindu festivals of Diwali, Holi, Ciwaratri, Ram Navami, festivals to celebrate the Hindu 'rites of passage' and also the local festivals and celebrations like Melasti, National Day and Nyepi - the day of silence! I LOVED Nyepi...I did a lot of intense spiritual stuff during it, culminating in burning a huge effigy called the ogol-ogol to banish evil spirits and clear the local energy vibrations...so yeah I watched all
of that again and pretended like I was back there doing it again...Living in Indonesia for a time was like a non-stop celebration of life, tradition and culture...very rich...very deep...and it was how I became what I am now!
From there, I went a bit further abroad to Malaysia (been there half a dozen times too). I started off in the Tiger Balm Gardens in Singapore...a total treat on the Buddhist stages of karma, hell and punishment which is like a series of horror-show sculptures, before making my astral way up to Batu Caves in Malaysia and that huge Venkatesh temple there...and of course, I wanted it to be the celebration of the festival of Thaipusam and I wanted to carry the Kavadi...I wanted to get pierced with the 'Vel' and of course the 'Vel' in my case would be Lord Shiva's Trishula (trident)..straight through my tongue so I could not talk anyway. lol
I wanted to go into full trance and join others similarly god-intoxicated...just celebrating the existence of the Divine and showing total gratitude for life and being alive.
After Thaipusam was over, I took in some more cultural dancing, but this time, it was the Kathakalli...it was a Tantric Tandavam Dance between Lord Shiva and Parvati that they usually do before getting down to the 'serious' business of having 'cosmic sex' and it was accompanied by traditional classical instruments of South Indian (Dravidian) origin...so yeap, I took in another performance of the Kathakalli on Youtube before heading up to Noth India and to Pashupatinath Temple for a glorious full-on worship of Lord Shiva as the universal 'Dionysus'....as the master of all
While I was up there in Nepal, I picked up a copy of the Shiva Sutras by Swami Lakshmanjoo and studied it all (again).
So, that's what I have been doing with my past two days...and I still haven't finished astrally 'spiritually globetrotting' yet...off to Cambodia now and to Angkor Wat next...I haven't been there before.