Walking through the village of Karauli in the rural countryside of Rajasthan, I am amazed at the quality of cleanliness and devotion, not only of the houses but the people. We walked through a wooded path just a stone’s throw from Ramathra Fort through the jungle known to hyena and fox and jackals that howl in the evenings.
In the distance, a bright blue building in honor of Krishna appeared. A candlelit temple. Women in bright sarees were buzzing in and out, making their offerings of sweets, incense and wheatberries like colorful bumblebees. Ganesh, the bestower of blessings, painted auspiciously orange with innocent eyes, sat seemingly cheerful. Cheeky birds with long tails, obviously guests of Ganesh, feasted on sweet dumplings called modak. It all seemed totally natural and as it should be.
Everyone was immaculate, women and men alike with every hair in place. They were coming for their morning ritual – three small temples to touch with a simple gesture of hands in prayer and a request for the day. Beautiful ladies, dressed in flowing color, kohl on their eyes, lipstick on their lips, a fresh red bindi on their forehead were full of smiles. Even the dung mixed with straw and molded into rounds rested neatly on the wall. It occurred to me that the simplicity of village life had an order and discipline that we could learn from.
Travel is the number one common denominator for breaking down our sense of superiority. Our conditioning spoils us into thinking we have all the answers, forgetting that real power comes from wisdom, not arrogance.