I had my first puja there. It was short, it was a little puja for non-hindu tourists I suppose, but the place va authentic, the priest was nice, the lake was full and the ghats were quiet and almost deserted. The water of the lake was covered with rose petals thrown by worshippers. Some monkeys were hanging around the place but the staff had to chase them by casting stones at them because pilgrims were afraid. There were also cows, gulls and ravens. The monkeys did not want to leave. They were nibbling the roses on the water and sometimes, they skipped here and there, and they looked at us with their childish eyes and their short grandad beards.
Pushkar is one of the few towns in India dedicated to Brahma. Why so few places? There are different stories that I am going to tell you further, in another post. Brahma is one of the gods of the Trimurti : (= Hindu Trinity), he is the god of creation. No wonder he created Pushkar by dropping lotus petals onto the ground. According to French writer Catherine Clément, Brahma is a weak god. He created the universe, human-beings and the author wonders if he was not too exhausted after this effort of creation, which could explain his weakness.
He lost everything for love, including his fifth head because of Shiva who had a finger in every pie, as usual! Brahma is not the most popular god. He is not a winner. He is not a big mouth or an aggressive character. That’s why I like him. He is a kind of anti-hero and I like anti-heroes. He symbolizes everything I admire: humility, mind, self-confidence, knowledge, wisdom, purity. Strangely enough, when I have a look at his representations, I feel he looks more human than any other gods, despite his four heads!
So we were asked to sit on the steps of the ghats. Married couples had to be on the left and singles on the right. The brahman gave us rose petals and my cousin next to me started to smell them with pleasure. The priest jumped at her and he started to shout a little, tapping her hands to make the impure petals fall. The petals were replaced, I stopped giggling and we started to pray. I am not a good prayer, I did not manage to repeat the incantations very well. There were god names. Then, the priest put a stain of vermilion on our foreheads, plus grains of rice. I took photos of myself and my third eye.
But it was not over! We also had a red thread tied around our right wrists. I was very proud of my red thread which became pink after two showers. My guide and other people met in India, had plenty of red threads and all the threads together looked like a big bracelet. I did not know I would keep my thread for about 6 months before losing it one day; I do not know where it fell. I wish I had been able to keep it in a box or in my photo album about India. I know it is childish but it does not harm anyone to be childish, does it?
By the way, the fantastic childish artworks below have been made by myself! Don’t you thing they’re sweet?