Review of the Book “Meeting God – Elements of Hindu Devotion” by Stephen Huyler

As the author takes us through the villages of India, we see the various ways by which the ancient Vedic rituals that are thousands of years old are still being practiced by billions of people everyday. To take part in a pooja or Hindu ritual is a life changing experience.

The book provides hundreds of pictures of temple Goddesses who are worshipped daily by cleaning, cleansing and mantra japa (chanting of spells). The people wake up to the rhythmic chanting (women and men can be priests) while they prepare their houses for early morning rituals in which they become the priests themselves.

The houses are decorated with large symbolic motifs hand crafted with brightly colored rice powder, The holy basil plant is watered and the leaves are used for the rituals. Brooms are used to clear away the debris from the front of the houses and water is splashed over the ground to cleanse it and prepare it for the day’s rituals.

Men and women pray to the Sun God in the morning by circumambulation or standing in yoga postures. Then they go inside the house to a pooja room (the altar) where they chant mantras and decorate the deity with flowers and sweets.

Stephen also mentions the importance of conquering all the senses while doing daily rituals. Bells are used to drown out other sounds, incense is used to focus the smell and relax us while flowers are used in a ritualistic motion to keep our hands busy. Brightly lit lamps and the use of camphor are used to focus the eyes and keep our attention on the rituals and meditation practices.

The author also takes us through several chapters which explain Worship in the home, Honoring the spirit of the community, Embracing the Ephemeral, Healing, Sacred Vows and the final stages of Renunciation or Reincarnation.

Overall, a very captivating book for anyone interested in the origins and popularity of one of the oldest magickal religions in the world.

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Rose Ariadne: Providing “Magickal” answers to your Pagan, Wiccan, Witchcraft spell casting questions since 2006.

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