The Deity Arrives Broken

Naturaj arrived broken, dancing Shiva completely separated from her base.

When in India, it’s natural to buy deities. Not as objects of worship, but as symbols of guidance, art for the home, inspiration.

So it was that I purchased a Naturaj, featuring a dancing Shiva symbolizing transformation, a really big one to put in our new home, symbolic of all the change and foundation we have here. It arrived yesterday. Broken.

Dancing Shiva, broken free. Symbolic of my own freedom?

Clean cut in two. I believe someone at customs opened it to see exactly what this heavy package was from India and somehow pulled the lord away from its base.

No matter, the phone number I have for the retailer in the little alleyway shopping district of Rishikesh is not a good number. Thank God for Visa – you can dispute a charge when all else fails.

But I wonder – what is the meaning? Why does the god arrive broken? Katherine texted, “You’re breaking free!”


Or mere frustration.

When you meditate every morning, when you begin your work day with a prayer, handing the control and the anxiety and the anger over to the angels, you can’t care too much about a broken statue at your door.

It just doesn’t matter.

I spent money on this, some, not a ton, not a small amount, and so I’ll deal with the transactional elements in kind. It’ll work out. And the deity – well, perhaps this one is not meant for my house after all.

I’m still waiting for the Prayer Buddha to arrive. It’s much smaller so I doubt there’s much opportunity for breakage.¬†That, and I trust the retailer from whom I bought it. We’re friends. He’ll stand by his product to the end.

That’s the thing about discovering foreign lands. They remain foreign until you really know your way. And if you don’t know your way, you just have no resolution at all.

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