After the Temple of Lord Brahma ( which has no relation to Brahma Bulls, or the Brahmin caste) we walked to Lake Pushkar to take part in a ceremony of blessing our ancestors, and asking for all things good in our lives to come. We could take pictures as we approached the lake on a red carpet, no less. But then had to stow cameras and shoes once more. Most Indians actually bathe in these holy waters, and they just dont get wet, they have to have the head in the water. Obviously, we weren't going to submerse. A holy man said ritualistic words and we repeated, even in Hindi. He spoke pretty fast, and some of the words that came out of our mouths, probabaly weren't correct..maybe even funny...well, hilarius. But it was a serious and solemn ritual, so no chuckling. Most men stripped to white clothes for their bath. The women kept on whatever veils and gowns they were wearing. Also, most women used a seperate "ghat" as the holy bathing areas were called. It really was beautiful.
Then we opened our palms and the holy man placed rose petals in them....no sniffing to the nose, just relax and hold the delicate flower petals while we repeated more words. Then saffron was sprinkled on the rose petals. More chanting. Then we asked for good Karma, good health, good business, more money, more happiness for all our relatives too. We also asked for good Karma for everyone in our family who had died and would be reborn. It was starting to get to me. So serious.
The holy man made the red paste and placed the mark on our foreheads, then we walked to the water and gently tossed the petals into the Holy Lake. Coming back to our seats on the steps, the Holy man asked us if we were married or not, and tied the yellow and red string on the appropriate wrist. Hmmmmm. 😳
Finally, we said more "prayers" following his lead, and finished the ceremony. It was a real. I liked it, and now I feel sufficiently blessed by Lord Brahma. Interesting morning.