Sunday, November 29, 2015

Known By Different Names

Duomo, Florence, Italy
As scenery and cultures reshape from country to country, the changes become more pronounced as continents are crossed. Dress becomes quite different, languages change, customs and taboos change, foods and the ways of its preparation differ, and worship as well. As necessary as food and clothing, so too is worship. I have noticed wherever I am—whether in America, Europe, Africa, Asia or South America, a universal need to express worship of The Creator. People come together united by a common belief to build shrines, temples, churches and sanctuaries devoted to worship. It is everywhere.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

It is fascinating to watch the transformation from churches in one land, to mosques in another, and temples elsewhere. In Italy, the epicenter of Christianity for centuries, there are tens of thousands of churches, some dating almost to the time of Christ. Step south across the Mediterranean Sea to Northern Africa and churches are replaced by mosques. Cairo, Egypt alone has over two thousand. Landing in India, temples and shrines are abundant for Hindu worshippers. The city of Varanasi has an estimated 23,000. Moving further east, to where I find myself now in Thailand, Buddhist temples are also called pagodas with an adjacent stupa. All these places have a religious order that acts to supervise and attend the holy grounds. All are created with great devotion and sometimes are awe inspiring in their artistry and beauty, shining like the crowning achievement for a community.

Baha'i Temple, New Delhi, India

The outer form changes, but what is common is the need to worship and give reverence to the Divine Being . . . known by different names but essentially THE ONE CREATOR OF ALL.
Buddhist Temple, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hindu Temple, Varanasi, India

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