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February 8, 2003

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India always seems to be 'in your face' with sights, smells, and size. We start in Amritsar, holy epicenter for Sikhs and the capital of the Sikh Punjab. Visitors find the original gurus at Amritsar. The Gurus led the Sikhs to a new religion that melds Hinduism and Islam which makes an interesting brew of complex cosmology. Amritsar stands as their spiritual homeland.
Everyone smiles and offers friendship at the Golden Temple. The Temple is plated with gold and has doors on all sides to be open to the four castes.
At end of each day's prayers, the Sri Guru Granth Saheb, the Sikh Holy Book, is carried on a palki, a gold and silver palanquin, over the causeway and into a safe place for the night. Pilgrims chant and trumpets blare.
The Sikhs offer free meals and board at their major temples. We can't turn down a free meal.
Hindu temples are so much more interactive than Christian ones. This one in Amritsar offers a spiritual journey thru a man-made cave, ankle deep water, and several obstacles that force you to crawl or climb, all the while presenting an interesting idol or statue for every fancy.
Don't be a smartass or he may use that spear.