In the name of God

This is a ubiquitous scene in temples down here. An elephant and a mahout. And of course, devotees laden with belief !

With a synchronized precision that will give a Russian gymnast some competition, the trunk is extended. A coin or two is propped into the trunk by the devotee. The trunk is then lifted and placed on the head of the devotee ! Blessings from the elephant God himself !

And of course, after some coins gather, the mahout has his way of getting the coin laden trunk to where he sits !
And at Meenakshi Amman temple, this elephant must have been doing this blessing act for some time now. For not only does the precision show, there is an elegance to it.

And the mahouts don’t even bother to stand. Any management type would be quick to classify this as a ” ‘mature process’ that runs by itself !”

Animal rights activists could cry foul. Mahouts hear a divine music in the coins that a wave of a trunk can bring. The devotee seeks blessings with faith. The elephant perhaps is now accustomed to be a stand in for God himself.
Of course, all in the name of God ! Who looks on. Perhaps with a smile. At his own creations. And their many actions.

12 thoughts on “In the name of God

  1. ♥ Braja says:

    Love it 🙂 We have one here, Laxmi-priya…

  2. Nachi says:


    …i for one, don’t mind bowing to an elephant!

  3. The elephant and the elephant-headed God (here in Mumbai) are both benign, tolerant spirits.

  4. Swatantra says:

    In INDIA we can do anything and everything in the name of religion.

    Your post is cute!!

  5. Lou says:

    Kavi, if you see it again, would you get me a blessing? It can’t hurt, eh!

  6. Jeevan says:

    Wherever, I keep a distance from elephants, in fear. I could never forget those days’ elephant comes on our street and stopping at every stop and bend those come on street seeking money. Nice snaps kavi 🙂

  7. Rush says:

    i have always loved it as a kid..its fun more than anything else!!

  8. Pearl says:

    I don’t think I’d be able to keep the smile off my face. 🙂 An elephant! That, all by itself, is enough for me!

    I have always loved elephants and have little ceramic ones at home.


  9. hehe! Reminds me this year we did go to Tirumala and my son was fascinated with that and wanted to try it, and in the process, he almost feel flat on his face when the elephant tapped him on the head with his trunk! Guess he wasn’t expecting it to be so heavy!! 😀

  10. SGD says:

    We too were ‘blessed’ by Laxmi, the elephant, at the Vinayak temple in Pondi….

  11. Ankit says:

    Interesting one. All in the name of God. For sure he did his part to have enough humour for himself.

  12. Most visited temple of Madurai?

    A) Meenakshiamman Temple

    B) Thiruparankundram Temple

    C) Koodalalgarperumal Temple

    D) Azhagar Temple


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