\n\nI had heard about the Kamakhya or Kamakshi temple through a scientist friend recently. He was intrigued by the world of Tantrics and as he talked about his fascination, he mentioned that this temple was important in that world.\nThe main temple, is a stunning old stone structure.\n\nAs with all major temples, the approach road is filled with colorful products that commercialise religion. Whether they result in devotion and peace, I do not know, but they did result in great photo subjects for my camera!\n\nLegend has it that this is the spot where \u2018where Sati used to retire in secret to satisfy her amour with Shiva, and it was also the place where her yoni fell after Shiva danced with the corpse of Sati. The middle chamber leads to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in the form of a cave, which consists of no image but a natural underground spring that flows through a yoni-shaped cleft in the bedrock.\u2019 (wikipedia).\n\n\n\n\n\nin conversation with the gods?\nBeing the Goddess of Desire (Kaam), it is natural that this temple is on the must-visit list for newly-weds asking for blessings.\n\n\n\n\na priest negotiating the price of prayer\nTraditionally, it is believed that prayers accompanied by the sacrifice of an animal tend to get heard better\u2026so a courting couple prays with a pigeon offering:\n\n\n\nAnd so the population around the temple, included pigeons and goats and buffaloes amidst bridal groups, colorful priests, tantrics, kids playing with kids and the para military \u2013 making it a visual treat!\n\n\n\n\nA shed near the entrance of the main temple, is reserved for the animal sacrifice.\n\nThe wooden contraption for doing the deed was covered with sindoor and flowers \u2013 ritualistic offerings that confer a \u2018holy\u2019 aura to the sacrifice.\n\n\n\nThe two priests seated in a corner declined permission to be photographed and were shooing me away with a dismissive wave of their hands.\u00a0 So I pointed to the main altar indicating that I would leave them alone and just take shots of the sacrificial altar. Fortunately their conversation re-engaged them and they let me be.\nIt was dark inside the shed and I needed to adjust my camera settings. I was nearly ready when two other priests suddenly strode in with a black baby goat and went directly to the minor altar\u2026.\nIn the flash that this huge event began unfolding. My brain registered what was going on and my companions asked whether I would like to leave or continue watching\u2026\nI stood fixed \u2013 unable to think or decide \u2013 and the rest of the sacrifice unfolded before my eyes and before my Nikon :\napplying sindoor to the goats forehead\noffering water\n\n\n\n\n\nDone. Sacrifice complete. Prayer conveyed to the Gods. I had just watched my first real life, large creature death.\nMy reaction? None. Totally untouched. Totally unemotional.\nI\u2019d just watched a death.\nWithout feeling ANYthing. It didn\u2019t seem sad. It didn\u2019t choke me up. It didn\u2019t make me question the laws of life. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.\nMaybe I am dead too.\njm\n25th Dec 2010\nThe post Sacrificial Lamb at Kamakhya temple, Guwahati appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.