Hari-ki-PairióBathing at the Footsteps of God

by Melinda L. Alderman-Vajaria

I want to visit the Great Mother
says the young woman.
She journeys from abroad, 
en route to scenes 

of Godís motifs in stone;
home of the river goddess that streams 
with devotion out of Shivaís matted hairó 
the Himalayas. She descends, near Gangesís west banks

as priests gift, sunset offerings of shimmering flames; 
set to drift the deityís downstream ripples. 
Their offerings of lights, become 
their holy meditation of Mother Ganges.

Iíll need flowers for Mother Ganges
says the woman to riverside merchant 
vending marigolds
and his pious wares 
where prayers of flowers are brought
to the riverís edge to toss

to the goddess, 
while Hindus hold onto chains set into the ghat-steps;
assuring themselves with firm grips, so 
Motherís curls of water will not brush them away.

She dips alongside devotees
into Gangesís holy waters 
and washes her sins away.
Namaste Ganga MaiyaÖ

© 2003 by Melinda L. Alderman-Vajaria. All rights reserved.