What Nondescript Item Had The Most Impact On Your Life (How/Why ?)

Two stones.  One black and the other white.  They are called Banalinga.

banalinga white

banalinga black

These were gifted to me by a dear friend who alas is no more after he had learnt that I was getting interested in Vedanta. I had gone to the Narmada river on a number of occasions with him and he said that this was the least he could do for someone getting interested in Vedanta.

These two stones are very much part of the alcove where I perform my puja every day.

They impacted me by taking me into the study of symbolism in religion and particularly in ours. That in turn led me to explore myths and symbols as so beautifully brought out by Joseph Campbell.

His oft repeated conclusion that there is striking similarity between the world’s religions resonates with our own: Ekam Sat Vipra Bahuda Vadanti. The stones represent the Yin and Yang of the Truth.
yin yang

This topic was suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently eight of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, PadmumShackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

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16 Responses to What Nondescript Item Had The Most Impact On Your Life (How/Why ?)

  1. shackman says:

    You certainly are a member of the “follow your bliss” tribe. And yes – there are at least two sides to everything.
    shackman recently posted..What Nondescript Item Had The Most Impact On Your Life (How/Why ?)

  2. tammy j says:

    fascinating topic.
    i have kept one very tiny round river stone.
    i’ve had it for over 60 years now. through all the moves and purges.
    it was given to me by one little three year old boy.
    he told me to close my eyes. and he placed it reverently into my hand.
    he is 39 years old now. stands 6 feet tall. and is a love of my life.
    my only nephew. father now to my two great nephews Jacob and Blake.
    it is my connection to the child he was and the man he is.
    i treasure both.
    and the tiny gift reminder given to me on the river’s beach that day.
    tammy j recently posted..a not so love letter to wp

    • The giver of such river stones makes all the difference Tammy. In all traditions myths about polished stones from rivers play important parts in their rituals and rites, particularly in the rites. Agani, Joseph Campbell refers.

  3. Cathy in NZ says:

    Mind is a miniature “sports cup” (I must find it…) it has no engraving/date on it but it was probably around 1960 that I was given it. A token as such, although I had the big cup for a year.

    As some of you know I was born with both feet/ankle disability which meant I couldn’t run about like other children, I couldn’t be first in a race or make the longest long jump, or really foot it in a relay team.

    I never wanted to join Summer Evening after school athletics but my Mother said I had to show others that “even I could participate” – I often won a race, a big handicap but more than often I was almost last…Years went by, each end of season presentation night I would say “I’m not going, no one will give me anything”

    But one year, I got the cup! I think it was for “tryer” or something along those lines…
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Drifting with “hearts”

  4. Maxi says:

    You are fortunate to be gifted the Banalinga stones, Rummy. I may not be Indian but believe in much of what you have “taught” me. I have long believed in the Yin and Yang.
    blessings ~ maxi
    Maxi recently posted..What’s On The Road That You Travel?

  5. Mother says:

    Well, your post motivated me to find the DVD of “Power of Myth” with Joseph Campbell. I’ll enjoy that in my (I hope) quiet days in Mexico.

  6. Mitali says:

    can’t think of anything …

  7. Raj says:

    Blessed are you Ramana for having been to Narmada !! That is indeed a dream for me. Incidentally, I just started paaraayanam of Shiva Mahaapurana just last Friday!! Wish me luck !!
    Raj recently posted..Tara Devi Ashtakam Audio

    • There was a time when I wanted to do the Narmada Parikrama just to see if I would be able to do it. Now I know that I would not be able to! And all the best with the Shiva Mahapurana. Another thing I want to do is to start regularly listening to Sri Rudram. Hopefully I will be able to soon.

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