When I want to deeply feel the joy of spirit, I go to India to visit my “sisters”. They bring out in me the connection to humanity that I am seeking. There is such joy and feeling for life. There is no other place on earth where I feel this amount of joy from my inner spirit. I feel the joy while stopping to talk to families who are camping along the highways. The women are wearing beautiful saris while sweeping the dust from their tent or cooking over an open fire. Though curious about why I am there, they are welcoming and eager to show me their camp.
India is a place where a visitor can drop into people’s everyday life and feel welcomed. I visited a small village busy with preparations for a wedding. I walked by the house of the bride as they were hanging decorations outside. Invited in to watch pujas (special sacred rituals) being performed by the bride’s family, the warmth of acceptance that I felt was so special. I was no stranger, I was a “sister” brought into their family.
India celebrates life. I experienced this celebration in full by participating in Holi, a day in March when people of all ages celebrate the coming of spring. Colored powders are thrown everywhere and on everyone. Holy men and women make a pilgrimage to Vrindavan, the holy city of Lord Krishna. Special performances are held which portray the love of Krishna for his consort, Radha. Flowers are showered on the performers and the audience. I will never forget the pure joy and warmth I was offered. It resonates just as strongly now as then.