India never ceases to astonish. A mornings shopping in Ranganathan St, Chennai, became a tuk tuk ride to the Kapaleesewarar Temple. Our tuk tuk driver then took us to the centre founded on the life work of Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekenanda, two Indian spiritual leaders whose work and philosophy have attracted many followers worldwide.
The library at the Ramakrishna Math centre was inspiring: books old and new on every conceivable topic and referencing the spiritual insights of every major religion. The complete works of Freud, the writings of Carl Jung, Bertrand Russell, the Bible, the Quran, the Torah, all included, respected and studied in a spirit of religious tolerance and unity. The most amazing thing was the huge range of people in their utterly absorbed in their studies, taking notes and researching, all for free and with earnest dedication to whatever book they were reading. And not a single cell phone or computer in sight except at the lending desk.
This was followed by a visit to the temple then a visit to a shop owned by Kashmiri Muslims who were incredibly and unexpectedly knowledgeable about Indian mysticism, Tibetan Buddhism and Tantra...
India continues to have much to offer the world about spirituality in many surprising ways.