sacred: valid question

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Posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on September 27, 2002 at 15:22:38:

In reply to: Re: freebie rangoli posted by Erin on September 27, 2002 at 15:05:17:

: I seem to remember reading that sometimes rangoli is drawn on walls.
: Do you know what they use for this? I was thinking it might be rice
: flour with water but that seems like it would be really hard to work
: with.

There is a Basholi women's tradition of painting on walls. Tempera,
or something that would wash easily would do, or rice flour mixed to
the consistency of thick paint. THere is also a men's tradition of
wall painting.

: Also rangoli is sacred isn't it? Will Hindu people be offended by me
: a non-Hindu using these patterns?

At present, rangoli patterns appear in women's magazines every week,
and include Bambi, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and suchlike patterns.
THere are rangoli competitions. There are commercial rangoli done for
shop openings. There are plastic sticky back rangoli for purchase in
market stalls. If we do rangoli mindfully, and with reverent intent
.... there is less problem there than doing a Santa Rangoli, or
sticking down a platic pattern, IMHO. IF we are not ritually purified
and non-menstrual before we begin the rangoli, then it's not a sacred
rangoli anyway! We're just practicing floor patterns, along with all
the adolescent girls that practice rangoli just to have fun and who
compete with each other to see who can do the fastest, most complex
pattern. There are all grades of "sacred" not simply a polar opposite
of "sacred and profane". Holiday and family celebration patterns for
the courtyard, have a low level of sacredness, and patterns for the
puja room that incorporate the feet of the goddess have a high level.

Since Hinduism is a non-congregational religion based on personal
revelation and relationship to the deities, the deity can
theoretically be approached in any time, any place, as long as there
is sincerity and reverent intent.

The academic paper part of the e-book at TapDancing Lizard would
likely illuminate that point for you.


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