Sunday, February 26, 2012

Khajuraho's Kinfolk

In the early 1970's, as a wandering renunciate in the Hindu tradition, I happened upon the ancient temple complex known as Khajuraho. While most tourists are astonished at the spectacular size and number of temples, upon which are carved copious depictions of explicit sexual acts -- I was stunned by the exquisitely pure, ecstatic spiritual energy that permeated the entire area. I spent more time simply sitting quietly absorbing this state of Being than I spent wandering around and studying the carvings.....

Decades later, in fact it was just yesterday, I visited the ruins of another ancient civilization -- one that populated the American southwest. This particular complex covers many square miles of territory, with structures built into caves throughout the river valleys... The naturally formed sandstone sculptures and spires throughout the area resemble those temples of Khajuraho.

They move the spirit just to see them.

I thought back to the month I spent in Khajuraho....

Can you see these naturally formed temples? And within the caves are structures where the people once lived. This is but one of countless examples:

Look again at comparison photos. Here are some of the highly carved temples of Khajuraho...

...and here are their counterparts in the American southwest.

Wandering through the valleys filled with these soaring natural forms, I felt that same deep inner calm, and expanding love for all creation, that I had felt when wandering Khajuraho.