Devotion takes responsibility, not only practice but determination. The beliefs and dreams we hold tightly to our breast are larger than life. As we rush through our days in the West, some of our brothers and sisters in the East are experiencing a different way of living and walking in their truth. Devotion takes time.
In America, we’re hard pressed to miss a conference call — There had better be shit on fire if someone is interrupting an important meeting or lunch. Our pilgrimages are ones devoted entirely to ourselves and our vanity when the only other rituals we cling to as tightly is our Crossfit WOD or training session. Devotion takes time.
Our days and minds are compulsively and habitually self-involved. Even the mindfulness/ awareness/ higher-vibrating communities are guilty of it because their sessions are devoted to snapping the perfect photo for their IG account. We find it hard to be present when were #beingpresent. If true devotion takes time, are we willing to take the time or will it become another chore?
It’s difficult to carve out time in our ever overbooked schedules to find communion with God, or with one another. Even the smallest gesture of faith and love, like a ritual offering or sharing a meal with a loved one can get lost in the mix. In Bali, the Hindus of the region offer Canang sari. The most simple of the household offerings, it’s done at least daily, but not when there has been a death in the family or even sometimes the community. Canang sari represents devotion by way of sacrifice/ self-sacrifice of the time taken to make the offering. According to Wikipedia, Canang sari is comprised of:
Canang sari has some parts; there are peporosan, ceper, raka-raka, and sampian urasari. Peporosan or the core material is made from betel leaf, lime, gambier, prestige, tobacco and betel nuts. Material of peporosan symbolizes the Trimurti, the three major Hindu Gods. Shiva is symbolized by lime, Vishnu is symbolized by betel nut, and Brahma is symbolized by gambier. Canang sari are covered by ceper (a tray made from palm leaf) as a symbol of Ardha Candra. Raka-raka is topped with sampian urasari, which are in turn overlaid by flowers placed in a specific direction. Each direction symbolizes a Hindu God (deva):
- White-colored flowers that point to the East as a symbol of Iswara
- Red-colored flowers that point to the south as a symbol of Brahma
- Yellow-colored flowers that point to the west as a symbol of Mahadeva
- Blue or green colored flowers that point to the north as a symbol of Vishnu
I find the symbols of devotion in Hindu to be completely inspiring; it’s such a beautiful custom, steeped in faith and practice older than most.
There is a distinct difference in the devotional practices of the West vs. Eastern religions. Canang sari is seen as more of penance to Westerners than the appropriate daily ritual it is. Hinduism is so heavily ingrained in Balinese culture that it’s hard to imagine that anyone living in Bali is not Hindu. It’s a vibrant and vigorous tradition allowing for many different belief systems and structures within the main “house” of Hinduism.
We need to equip ourselves better to honor our beliefs and our time here on Earth. Devotion takes time and whether you believe we get one life or many lives, it’s important to stay grounded; Finding a way to acknowledge the state of your mind in its silence every once in a while. Meditation is a perfect way for anyone to find a spiritual connection to themselves or their world.
We should take notes from Hindu and the people of Bali. When we humbly show gratitude for our lives, we elevate ourselves to be worthy of the presence of God. Understanding the power we possess as co-creators. We dishonor ourselves in a great way when we do not acknowledge the passing of days with much more than a grunt. We can feel much more fulfilled in our daily lives by this small acknowledgment. This can be a nod to your god(s), or simply a pat on the back to yourself — Make it special, make it yours.