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Text & Photos: Corneliu Cazacu.
Pushkar, the second holiest of the Hindu places of worship after Varanasi (although some might deny the holy city on the Ganges its spiritual supremacy) cast an aura of mystery and spirituality from the very moment I set foot on Sunset Point.
I had arrived at the best possible time of the day – dusk – when the golden dial of the sun falls with tremenduous speed behind the Maharajah´s palace by the opposite shore of the lake, when the chanting drums fill the incense-laden air with a pounding, trance-inducing rhythm, holy men wander through the pilgrim crowds to give them their holy blessings, and writings in an unknown language on the old house walls are made to glisten by the sunset light.
My arrival was greeted the same night by the appearance of Lord Brahma – under the guise of a red dog (reminding me of Lucien Blague´s verses: „... les êtres de la nuit, chiens rouges et soucis“) who followed me ominously to the entrance in my hotel. I enjoyed the most serene and tranquil sleep until the early morning when suddenly I had an unusual feeling of levitation in the entire body not, as usual, in my sacred lingam. Floating between dream and reality I distinguished the chorus of the monks in the invicinated ashram raising a „Hari, hariharihari haaari Raama!“ chant which took a high-pitched turn at the end, a sign that the hordes of demons having attacked them throughout the night still had the holy men by their small and shrivelled and there still was a long way before the sins of the flesh were defeated.
Well before sunrise I walked slowly to the lake, prepared my magic box for stashing away in its memory the morning mood when the first worshipper crossed my path offering me flowers and his assistance in the ritual of becoming one with the divinity. This operation called „puja“ and implying a short ceremonial in which water and flowers played the most important role should have ended with a red string tied around my right wrist and, as I knew from the holy (traveller’s) books, with a donation. It was not long after I rejected the offer of the first holy man that a second, a third and innumerable others offered their services as well.
In these difficult moments I suddenly remembered the wise words of Ueber-Lord Zappa:
The mystery man came over
And he said "I'm outta sight!"
He said for a nominal service charge
I could reach nirvana tonight
If I was ready, willing and able
To pay him his regular fee
He would drop all the rest of
His pressing affairs and devote
His attention to me
But I said "Look here brother
who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Now who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Look here brother, don't waste your time on me"
The mystery man got nervous
And he fidget around a bit
He reached in the pocket of his mystery robe
And he whipped out a shaving kit
Now I thought it was a razor
And a can of foaming goo
But he told me right then when the top popped open
There was nothin' his box won't do
With the oil of Aphrodite, and the dust of the Grand Wazoo
He said "You might not believe this, little fella
But it'll cure your asthma too"
And I said "Look here brother
Who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Now what kind of a guru are you, anyway?
Look here brother, don't waste your time on me"
*(Don't waste your time)*
"I've got troubles of my own", I said
"And you can't help me out
So, take your meditations and your preparations
And ram it up your snout!"
"But I got the crystal ball", he said
And held it to the ligh
So I snatched it, all away from him
And I showed him how to do it right
I wrapped a newspaper 'round my head
So I looked like I was deep
I said some mumbo-jumbo, then
I told him he was going to sleep
I robbed his rings and pocketwatch
And everything else I found
I had that sucker hypnotized
He couldn't even make a sound
I proceeded to tell him his future, then
As long as he was hanging around
I said "The price of meat has just gone up
And your old lady has just gone down!"
And I said "Look here brother-who you
Jiving with that cosmik debris?
Now is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?
Don't you know, you could make more money as a butcher?
So, don't waste your time on me"
Don't waste it, don't waste your time on me*
and the premonition of Master Singh, the driver of my Chariot of Fire: „Many self-named holy men, not seeing through your disguise, will attempt to lead you astray and make a profit of your assumed candidness. But do not show mercy, smite then mightily with your three-armed staff and blind them with your lightning and if they don´t step back, take their faces and freeze them forever inside your magick box“.
Thus spake master Singh and the birds in the trees, the cows in the dust and the pigs in the garbage all stood still and listened.
No sooner came these words to my mind that my right hand raised the three-armed staff and my voice turned thunderous: „You unworthy lowly mite, how can you substitute yourself to your Lord Brahma? Aren´t you afraid that it will turn you into a maggot for this and all your future incarnations?“
Hearing these words of might and truth a true brahmin appeared as by magic, kneeling before me and uttering: „Do excuse him, my Lord, of course you are free to wander as you please and take with you the memory of any face you would deem worthy of your magick box!“
Thus spake the brahmin and a flock of pigeons surrounded us amazed at the words of wisdom that spread through the air like incense.
Many are the miracles of this world but none is like the holy city of Pushkar and its ghats!
Every second you are reminded of the greatness of the creator and gods galore descend from the heavens to present themselves to the eyes of the initiated. I saw Lord Rama in the guise of a sacred black cow (actually a bull with testicles worthy of a god), several embodiments of Hanuman as monkeys (he was so humble as to take a banana offering directly from my hand, and quick at this he was!), holy black pigs, donkeys and dogs, let alone the swarms of holy mosquitos whose role was to kindly but firmly (and stingingly) remind us of sacred place in which we found ourselves.
I was also amazed at the generosity with which the sacred Rama the Black Cow and Hanuman the Flying Monkey offered their sacred dung and piss on the ghats and the supreme wisdom of the Hindu custom that does not allow humans to walk on the holy ghats with their shoes on, the holy dung and piss they constantly step on enhancing contact with the Oneness.
My eyes fell again on the ubicuitous writings on the wall, which I took for the word of the Apocalypse, but later a holy man from the city of Ashdod tasting the food of Kali and sounding like he were in trance, since he had lost track of the passage of the days being deepened in meditation, explained to me that it was his religion´s writing and his brothers and sisters, sick of the wars and mischief of this world and having lost compass in life, see away from their old gods seeking peace and tranquility in Buddha.
Thus spake the pilgim from the North in the holy city of Pushkar.
This is a true account of his marvellous revelations in the year of the lazy cow, month of the mangy cur, day of the grinning monkey.