Not far from where I live there is a fabulous Hindu temple, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, in Robbinsville. This incredible work of art, this holy creation, is open to the public, and I have visited a number of times, and taken several "tours." During one tour, I asked about the many elephant sculptures placed low, as if to literally hold the place up. I've heard there are 91 sculptures of elephants: as individuals, pairs, family groups, playing musical instruments, carrying baskets of fruit, etc. I was told that the sculptures honor the important role of the elephant in creating these houses of worship. Before the advent of modern machinery, people depended on the immense power of bone, sinew, intellect, and cooperation of the elephant to build these sacred structures. I was told that the sculptures also recognize and celebrate the elephant as a symbol and example of family and community, because they are intelligent, social creatures and depend upon each other for wellbeing.
While we may not be involved in the building of a mandir, it appears to me that we all build energetic temples. The idea of our body as temple is almost cliche at this point. But, we also build energetic temples (sacred energetic fields) of family, friends, and community. Join Open Heart Circle on Saturday, July 21, 2018 and explore these temples that you are building. We will remember and honor Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles, and - if it feels right - ask for assistance in seeing and removing whatever blocks our way to realizing happier relationships. And we call on the Spirit of Elephant to help us, with wisdom, confidence, and patience to create the energetic temples of family, friends, and community that best support us and our planet. Circle meets in East Windsor, NJ from 12-2 p.m., Saturday, July 21. Door opens at 11:30 a.m.; please feel free to arrive a bit early and find a seat. Please RSVP to me if you plan to attend, so that I may have an appropriate number of seats available. Suggested donation is $10. Drums and rattles are available to borrow. No journey experience necessary. Please note that Open Heart Circle is not a therapy group. It is intended as an opportunity for people to explore direct experience of divine guidance and healing, safely and in community.
I am not Hindu and do not speak with expertise about Ganesha or the role of elephants in Indian culture. I beg pardon and ask forbearance from those with more experience and knowledge.
Please visit https://www.baps.org/robbinsville for more info about the BAPS Mandir. The first two pictures here are from their website. The one below is the altar for the Open Heart Circle gathering on Saturday.