Know God! Use God! Be God!

We look up and a brilliant white light appears like a great star. Or a shimmering figure arms outspread blessing the couple below with trembly lines of shivering light.

Cut to another wedding, the settings very different from the lofty arches of St Mark's Cathedral. You're in a temple in Banashankari. It's dark. Lamplit. The couple sits legs folded on tiny decorated planks. As the Priest's mantras build. A great force, deep heavy throbbing with power as if from the heart of the earth rises up and coils around all of us in deep hypnotic bonds of life. Surrounding binding blessing.

This is wedding season. And there were 5 weddings of our various CC babies. Interestingly 3 were cross-religeous. And 4 were cross-cultural. Two stood out, Tanya & Rahul's Wedding in a church and Ro & Steve's Wedding at a Temple. Both were spectacularly powerful, deeply meaningful and yet in such vividly different ways. Looking at them, understanding them gives us insight into varied cultures, and spiritual approaches.

First both of these weddings we've chosen to juxtapose were genuine. A real force was called. This is unfortunately not true of all weddings.

And so the first insight must be that the ceremony of marriage can and does bless. At intense levels. Before you skip around shouting heresy. For this is a heretic thought in a post renaissance world. The fact is it's true.

At a recent wedding, R Chayan {Read R Uncle}, the family iconoclast trotted out the familiar argument that marriage is just a social convention. Merely sanctifying sex and signifying social acceptance of the progeny to follow. Our aura observations point out that this is untrue. Marriage does genuinely call on greater forces. Secondly, sexuality itself is extraordinarily blessed, it is a physical act implanted deep with cosmic ecstasy. A reminder that the physical is incense that the body is a temple.

In both Weddings cosmic forces were called on. The signature of the forces were different. The Christian marriage ceremony was transcendent, the force came from above and shone downward. The Hindu ceremony called on a deep immanent force. Arising from the deeps upward and encircled and surrounded. The particular Hindu Wedding called on Lord Ganesha and momentous Shaktis. The Christian Wedding we are focussing on invited Lord Jesus and Arch Angels. Obviously a Kannadiga Hindu Marriage and CSI Christian Blessing do not encompass the sheer variety of weddings possible. So we must conclude that in varied ceremonies and incredible variety of forces are called on.

And so the second insight must be that various spiritual traditions are precious because they call on a rich spectrum of spiritual being. They house in human terms the multitude of the cosmic.

Which of course leads you to deep puzzlement. How can each of these Gods be so varied? Is there one God or many? While some will retreat to the easy answer of my God is the real God and the other are demons or rakshasas. Such a glib confrontationist attitude is far from acceptable. For while there are a host of ghosts, misguided negative entities which men have worshipped, in fact being attracted often to the most fanatic of all cults and in this we include that rag tag religion called science. Both the beings in these two weddings were genuinely limitless cosmic entities. And so one is lead to the possibility that there indeed are many entities. Their difference poses issues. For a worshipper of Lord Ganesha and that of Lord Jesus have radically opposing directions. Is one wrong and the other right? Are both right? Or are both half understood pointers to an encompassing rightness? Are the Gods merely facets of a great being? Or are they independent entities, integral limbs of a great entity? Answers you will arrive at as you walk closer to the life.

In both the Priests were inspired. In The Hindu Wedding the Priest was a mantra master and chanted from memory slokas for an hour and a half. In The Christain Wedding the Power came from faith. Of the priest. And the yearning of the bride. As a broad generalisation, the Priest is an important figure in the sacrament. Is he or she essential? The couple and their involvement is obviously significant. Since however both these weddings were transreligeous the cultural affinities of only one of the couple is often directly activated.

Now to more obvious features: The Hindu Wedding used more physical symbols of earth's grace like coconuts, flowers, garlands, water, fire… The Christian Wedding used fewer elements all that were abstract symbols. As a result, the setting, the church, the congregation becomes vital elements.

The Hindu Wedding blessed the couple in practical ways, joining, clarifying and strengthening their bonds. Asking for prosperity, for loyalty, for physical, mental and spiritual riches. The Christian Wedding did nothing directly for the ties of the couple. But it inspired each to be the most each could be.

In energy terms the Hindu wedding worked heavily with etheric, shadow body, astral, causal and divine levels… The Christian Wedding or rather the protestant variation worked only with the inspired mind level. In Christian orthodox traditions, the lower levels of energy are strongly bestirred.

In a cross-religeous wedding we attended recently, one side was suspicious, everything it did was half-done, ‘naam ke vaste' {namesake}, resentful and ashamed… were they dancing with the devil. The priest while conscientious was not inspired. He retreated into mere textual recitations. Except in brief flashes one just went through the motions. This particular tradition uses rites that call on dark forces that threaten the marriage and bind them, the half commitment made it dangerous. For the forces were called the binding weak and nerveless, we had to step in inwardly and deal with the forces, absorb them transform them.

We've studied two very different weddings of two very different traditions. We've learnt that both call upon the cosmic, but what arrives at the end of different invocations are very different cosmic entities, both weddings bless… but with different gifts. Both focus on different aspects. And so we are pushed beyond regionalism… not to a bland globalism but to a multi-regionalism. Appreciative of the great richness, the rainbow multiplicity, the impossible complexity as man & divinity dance.

High like stars the cosmic shines around. Once a great flaring, now a many branched tree of flaming life. Dizzying out. Beneath we, with bodies turn and twist on beaches, at river beds in forest groves… or the lesser caves of 5 star hotel or resort or home. And the sparks that burst out of our body shiver out into the darkness. Like brief candle flare. That sometimes rivals the smile in the eye of the creator… who has no eyes and so must borrow yours.

 

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Two cross-religious weddings allow us to discover the spiritual riches that weddings can bestow on us.

Wedding blessings are real!


by Tarun Cherian, feb 2010