This post is very close to home for me, sharing not just a bit of Trinidad’s multi-ethnic culture, but my Hindu heritage and family. I do travel a lot, but when it comes to family, I find myself on a plane back to Trinidad as much as I can to celebrate religious and other functions with them.
Granny’s wish for her 80th birthday was to have a Hindu deity brought from India and placed in one of her favourite temples in town as her legacy. Granny being the matriarch of the family, when she says she wants, we make it happen. However this event we were about to undertake as a family was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Now it could have been made in Trinidad but Granny’s wish was to have it made from marble in Jaipur, India. Doesn’t sound too complicated does it? Little did we know we were about to commission a 400kg marble murti of the Surya God to be shipped to Trinidad and the elaborate ritual upon arrival to have it installed in the temple. It was similar to a mini Indian wedding with much pomp and circumstance, a definitely learning experience for all.
Surya is the chief solar deity of the Hindu religion. Lord Surya, the Sun God as he is commonly referred, is the only visible god which one can see every day in the form of the sun. He is also the presiding deity of Sunday. He is often depicted riding a chariot harnessed by seven horses which is said to represent the seven chakras in the body, seven colours of the rainbow, seven days of the week etc. Seven being a very auspicious number for Hindus.
Hindus consider a murti worthy of serving as a focus of divine worship only after the divine is invoked in it for the purpose of offering worship. Praan Prathistaa is the idol installation ceremony, which is the means of instilling the divine presence of the Lord himself.
With 300 invited guests (Granny’s version of a”small” event), we all escorted the Surya murti from her house to the Shiva Harijan Mandir; which was a 2 mile walk away.
Follow this awe inspiring event in photos as we made Granny’s dream come true.