So there we were, sitting on the ghats, on chairs (most pple were sitting on the floor) and in prime position for the arti ceremony thanks to our hosts at #UPTWC16. It was a full moon night, the ceremony was underway, conch shells had been blown, lamps were lit, bells were ringing and devotional songs were being sung. Pilgrims were captivated by the spiritualism, tourists by the spectacle.
All of a sudden there was a commotion in the crowd. Several people moved rather quickly before the inevitable jostling started and an rapt audience formed around where the incident was taking place. One rather officious looking chap piled into the melee and came out with the cause of the disruption to this most important and holy of ceremonies and,, to be fair, the reason most tourists visit Varanasi.
A snake had somehow made its way onto the ghat, right where the ceremony was taking place.
It is true to say that Varanasi is the home of Lord Shiva, who is both the creator and the destroyer. Snakes are part of the symbolism associated with Shiva. Now my Indian friends, my question to you is, “Was this somehow auspicious, or am I just searching for some sort of deep rooted Indian mysticism where there is none”?