Intention set in stones,

Carving of Hanuman by Kasinath Jena for Gokarna Temple
Carving of Hanuman by Kasinath Jena for Gokarna Temple

Prayer stone in stacks,

As we cross through Gokarna, we watched master craftsmen create an idol in granite, which was no doubt beautiful but nothing really divine or drawing about it.  yet these are the very  idols that energizes and empowers us when it is in a temple. I found it intriguing, here on the high way the idol was being created, with nature interacting with it freely, no purification or taboo, just an expression of an artist blending his knowledge and imagination.

As we travel there are points beneath trees, and intriguing natural stone structures that have been sacredized. There are sides of roads, trails or pathways where stacks of stones look like random sculpture.  There were hikers who left these are clues for people to come. I  like to think that those were markers for either for a geographic travel or a spiritual travel depending on the traveller. Adding a stone blessed with a prayer to such a mound, is supposed to help us achieve our intentions. May be our prayer and intentions merge with those who have left stones before us, empowering us all.

Coming to think of stone has played a role in spirituality from the moment we have begun to externalize  sacred vision. We seem to give form to their devotion by scratching images of our deities into rock faces carving holy statuary and building stone shrines.

The earliest were nothing more that  stones of particular formation being honoured as sacred places, sometimes there are revelations, people and events associated. Sometimes i wonder if it is a simple and beautiful way of externalizing our own spirituality.

Those statues at Gokarna, make me wonder if associating a prayer with a particular stone alters the substance and the formation of a prayer mound can balance and intensify the energy of that site, hence the power of various teerthas. Even the mere act of choosing a stone can inspire mindfulness, as we lose our selves in the moment seeking a pebble that speaks to our souls. And placing a prayer stone on towering cairn is a meditation in patience – slowness and stillness allow us to find our stone’s centre of gravity so the delicate ceremonial structure before remains intact.

Just think about it, when we mindfully place a prayer by beginning a stone heap or adding to an existing mound, our thoughts and intentions are left in the care of fate itself. The cairn of which our prayer was one of the many may be unintentionally knocked out, or destroyed my Mother nature herself. This destruction could be releasing the potent energy of our prayers spreading it outward in the direction of the   reach of the universe.

Next time we could add a stone blessed with a prayer to a mound and let our intentions merge with those who have left stones before us.

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