Tuesday, August 12, 2003


The nicest thing about people is that they say "thank you,” For what ever it is that you gave them. Even if it is the finger or a long ramble about your pain and troubles. Of course people sometimes pay you back in kind: eye for eye and a bow for a blessing. I've had to listen to a man's whole automotive history just because I answered his "whassup" with "car trouble;" (why else would any one ride the bus in St. Pete?)
A while back, I sold a woman an elaborate Nepalese medallion with six yin yang Tao symbols. I didn't remember her name but the sale was complicated. She wanted to know specific information about the meaning, energy and power of the amulet. I told her some ways that she could make up her own meaning since she had it for a gift. Her friend was in the hospital. All she could do was be there for her. A gift like that is a way of leaving your presence behind. (Remember me when you wear this) the more I down played the power of the amulet the more her interest grew. The truth is that I can't sell a thing; only help you to see why you want it; and only if (god willing,) you want to see.
Stephanie was back today. (That’s her name)
I had snuck off from the vending tables to eat extra food (so that I don’t die) and when I came back Masha and Denny wanted me to tell her the story of Ganesh. (Hoping that she would buy an amulet or a pendant.)

I love that story because I'm sure I didn't make it up and it sounds like a twenty first century Kipling kiddy tale.

Anyway, It all starts out in that far off time when there were gods on the earth and they didn't always have to conform to the strict guidelines of behavior that people demand of them nowadays.
Shiva was then, as he is now, god of all gods, creator of worlds, words, music and the very dance of life itself. Naturally he had his own god-fathers and mothers, but for the sake of my simple story, he was the top god.
In that time, Shiva, master of discipline and order was wed to Shakti who was also called Pavarti, the Goddess of spring, growth and the messy business' of life and birth where most of us find our moments of pleasure and delight.
Shiva too found his delight in her and they spent their wedding night in a grand pavilion set in the midst of a wondrous garden.
Early the next morning Shiva arose to meditate on the top of the highest mountain and practice the discipline of yoga, which purifies the mind and brings order to the senses. He often did this, sometimes meditating for days or even months at a time. So, Pavarti, curled up in her sheets, to wait for him and after a time, enfolded on the womb of sleep, she bore a child.
Ganesh, she named him, and he grew rapidly as young gods do. By noon he had achieved the stature of a young man and learned all the arts of music, dance and war. Pavarti, then wearied by labor and by teaching the young god, answering all his questions, and showing him things that a god should know, retired to her bed, and asked Ganesh to stand guard out side
Her tent, telling him, "Let no one enter until I am rested."
The Shiva came home, refreshed and purified by his meditations, also filled with his passion for Pavarti. At the entrance to the tent, he found the young Ganesh, still guarding. "Let me pass!" said Shiva, but Ganesh blocked his way.
"No one may enter until the Goddess awakes," said Ganesh.
"But I am Shiva Lord Of Lords! No one stands in my way!" Enraged, the god tore Ganesh to pieces, striking his head from his body and casting the parts into the Ganges River. Then he tore aside the veil to Pavarti's tent and woke her, demanding, "Who was that man I slew out side your door?"
"You have killed our son," Pavarti cried!"
"Then we must save him," Shiva said, and the two rushed out to find what they could of Ganesh. A crocodile returned the torso, which he had prepared to eat for lunch; some monkeys found the arms and fished them from the river with long sticks. Birds, fluttering in the highest treetops found his feet and brought them down. But nowhere to be found was Ganesh's head. (Another tale suggests that two hungry rats found the head and mistook it for a coconut) Far and wide Shiva and Pavarti searched but no one had seen the head. (Except the rats and they were not about to tell.) At last the two came upon an elephant that said that he would help. First he drank up the Ganges with his trunk, but they found nothing there. Then he tore up whole forests and even uprooted mountains, but still they found no head. At last the Elephant bowed before the gods and said, "I have done all that I can, and yet I have failed: take my head."
Shiva and Pavarti were so impressed by the elephant’s generosity that they accepted, saying, "Our son could have no finer crown than the head of this wondrous creature." Thus Ganesh was resurrected whole, with the head of an elephant. He had also the nimble hands of monkeys, the grace of birds and the hunger of a crocodile to thank for his renewal. (And of course he knew at once what had become of his real head, but he forgave the rats for they were hungry and could not be blamed for their indiscretion.)
Stephanie didn’t buy the pendant but she thanked me for sharing.

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