There seems to be something about some simple sights which just leave an impression on you for a lifetime. The picture above is a simple click of two children playing. Somehow this picture just goes right up in my favorite sights. This was clicked in Thikshey Monastery in Ladakh. The children were blissfully unaware that they’re the reason for that smile on my face.
A childhood memory came to my mind while I was there. While growing up, a group of us used to play hide and seek in a temple at the end of the street where we lived. The priest at the temple was a content old man who would look forward to our visit every evening. He would give us delicious sweets (prasad) after we finished our games and would spend time talking to us and telling about history, religion and culture. At that point, it just seemed to make so much sense to visit the inner sanctum of the temple and sit for a few minutes and wait patiently for the prayers to get over so that we could get our share of the sweets and a chance to talk to the gentle old man. One day there was a new priest at the temple, and that is when our hide and seek games at the temple came to an end. At that time we didn’t understand why we were stopped from playing at our favorite playground. I still don’t understand why they wouldn’t let children play in temples.
While all these memories were flowing through my mind, I came back to the present sight and thought that perhaps sacred is only truly understood by children. No malice, no harmful intent and only pure thoughts. It would certainly be a pity if this prayer wheel is taken away from them by some self righteous priest with a warped definition of sacred. More than once I’ve seen children being told not to do this or that because its “sacred”. Do you think God/Allah/Jesus/Bhagwan/Buddha or any of the million forms of God would every object to children swinging on a prayer wheel?
As far as I’m concerned, this is the purest form of offering prayers I’ve ever seen.