Wednesday, April 21, 2010

a daily puja

another from the prayers and processions series:

Malini Srirama, and her daughter, Madhu, stand still and reverently gaze into her kitchen pantry.

Not at food, but at their shrine.

The rustle of Malini's sari breaks the silence, and she gently places petals of a camellia flower around a statue.

“It makes me feel happy,” said Malini, of the Hindu tradition of puja, or worship. “It makes me feel calm.” Malini, a Hindu, is originally from Bangalore, India. She now lives in Norfolk.

According to Malini, many Hindu households have a main deity that they worship. Theirs is Vishnu – known as preserver of the universe – a principal god in Hinduism. “It's an image for you to hold in your mind when you pray,” says Malini of shrine.

The puja is something Malini has passed onto her children. “I want my children to pray everyday. I want them to be spiritual to understand that there's something more powerful out there.”

Madhu, who was born in America, is happy to honor her mother and the tradition of the puja.

“I've been doing it since I can remember,” says the daughter. “It just feels comfortable. I enjoy doing it with her.”


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