churchofchai

a view into the sordid life i lead

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Vaidya

The vaidya’s son assured me that when I finished the term of medication the effect would be permanent & not just fade away to how it was prior to taking them. I am delighted. I cannot remember when I felt so free & easy. I have had some pain in my neck & upper back for at least 15 years. It has left me. After so many years, chiropractors, massages, etc. it was a lack of some necessary mineral. My God, I’m so fortunate to have stumbled onto this.

Of course, I ran back to him to get something to send to my mama with Jennifer, who can post it from the States. I only hope Flowie gets some relief to the extent I have. It’s really like a miracle for me. I hadn’t realized how much that pain was a part of my existence until it was gone. I’m so happy.

The run on the Rajdhani was an excellent overnighter & “poof”, we were in Calcutta. That’s when things really got sucky. The pollution levels overwhelmed my already weakened state & after a mere 5 hours in the reeking area near Sudder Street I succumbed. Luckily, we determined to head to Nabadwip that evening following unsuccessful attempts for lodging in Cal. When we arrived I was already down for the count & spent the next 2 days in near delirium while the denizens of Nabadwip, with Sajal at the helm, prepared for the fire sacrafice that it turns out we were playing an integral part therein. Just in time I recovered to sit 3 days running next to a raging dhuni fire, nearly either passing out or scorching my poor self by. This was presided over by a 90 year old, plus priest who pretty much sat by that fire reciting mantras non-stop for the entire 3 days. Occasionally, we had to join or Sajal was controlling other parts of the sacrafice, but that old priest kept chugging away. Right at the end of the final blessing a wind whipped up & rain drops began to fall. Vayu & Indra & the Gods had arrived to bless the sacrafice. As the last words of blesssing & Ganges water hit our bowed heads, the old priest looked beamingly upon us, stated that he was very happy & “give me rupees” escaped his lips. We wer relatively taken aback for a second or two, then quietly asked Sajal how much we should give him. Sajal boomed, “No, this guy knows we have a contract, don’t give him!”. “But, he asked us.”, we murmured. Sajal came back with, “Just give him one rupee.” So we ended up giving him a couple rupees each. It is, after all, the quintessential India: the divinely sublime mingling with the uncontrollably silly.

Next came the snake ceremony. This tended to be a lot heavier undertaking & the old priest demanded extra help with the ritual as it could have a backlash & he wanted to spread out the consequences a bit. So, for about 2-3 hours on Saturday morning there was all around discussion & preparation made for the picnic style set up of the ritual down by the ghat near the cremation grounds. By coincidence, & unbeknownst at the time, the spot chosen under a banyan tree by Arthur the day before, had seated under it right there a murti of the Snake Goddess. Sajal only noticed it as we began to set up the sacrafice. It had only been seen from behind the day before & now it bvecame very pertinent & fortuitous.

The actual ceremony only lasted 2 to 3 hours. After having had to endure the fire sacrafice for the past 3 days it seemed surprisingly short. Interestingly, however, there was asmall herd of cows & another of goats that kept menacing the sacraficial preparations & had to be constantly kept at bay. Sajal said he’d never seen so many of these animals here & theywere trying to disrupt the sacrafice. Once the actual ritual began they stopped coming. At the conclusion the old priest said to me that it was good. I asked Sajal if he felt it was successful. He replied that he had been so engrossed in his one-pointed concentration on “Kenny Hardin” that he hadn’t noticed if the fire had surged up or extinguished when the bananas & ghee were offered. Arthur said he had noticed that the flames had gone higher, so Sajal said this was a good indication. Later on that evening we got further confirmation of success, by way of a policeman showing up at Sajal’s door & requesting that Sajal accompany him to the police station, ashe wasunder investigation as a gun-runner. An excellent Rahuvian style backlash onto the main priest for taking on the karma successfully of another, we all agreed. There is but one small sacraficial detail that Sajal is fasting for today. He finishes it up alone as he feels we are incapable of yet another day of fasting.

Tonight we leavefor Darjeeling & although Sajal was initially told not to leave town for a month while the investigation was in progress, they eventually lowered it to 2 weeks, then 1 week, then a few days. So he determined to go with us today, as it has been 2 days now.

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