When and Elephant Breathes You Listen
Sep 20, 2010
Apr 14, 2011
Where I stayed
Guest House Lingiat Tradition
We were guests of the Lingum Community. This is the rural guest house in Sirigere of the same religious tradition that welcomed us to Bangalore, to their downtown temple, when I first arrived in India. The house appears like some large front columned white house like in the southern U.S., in the heyday of the cotton plantations. See us in the dining hall where were were well served by men waiters, and cooks. The real treat was a ride on the elephant of the head of this community, a swami who studied in France, who speaks several European languages, and in addition plays and composes music. (He was not there, of course, as he was travelling. When we met him in Bangalore, he had had a large audience with us as guests of honour and his followers debated an issue of the day in his presence as is his custom. Then they had a huge catered feast in his honour which was served on the roof top gardens of the temple in Bangalore. Previous to that he had had a public dialogue with archbishop of Canterbury. Note: The head of the elephant was decorated with the same ashes (3 parallel bars) that the people of this tradition put on their foreheads. I won't forgot soon the elephant "blessing" which consisted of a "hug" and very loud breathing down my neck.