Kathryn Myers
Devotion and Destination 4:26
2013
video
Devotion and Destination documents a morning Aarti ceremony at the Swaminayaran Temple in Ahmedabad. A typical Aarti is preceded by a loud clanging of bells as the temple priest opens doors to a shrine in the inner sanctum of the temple revealing the deity. Following this, devotees sing, pray, and the deity is honored with offerings including camphor lamps, incense and flowers. The video begins with devotees gathered in anticipation of the moment the doors to the shine will open. When the deity is revealed they will have a moment of Darshan, a Sanskrit word for “auspicious vision or sight” where their eyes meet those of the deity, creating an intense sense of spiritual awareness and connection. In anticipation of this moment, people crowd toward the temple sanctum, men in front and women behind a copper railing. As the Darshan ends and a day in the city begins, I walk from the temple back to my guesthouse in view the prominent minarets of a Siddi Bashir Mosque built in the 15th century and famous for its shaking minarets.
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