"From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
In the clamor and the clanging of the bells."
-Edger Allen Poe
I'm not a big fan of Poe but these lines, put there by some long ago English class no doubt, have been running through my mind a lot lately. Because we hear LOTS of clanging sounds like bells.
There are set times each day that our neighbors appease their deities by lighting incense, clanging bell-like sounds and blowing horns. There are extra bells and horns every time it thunders because someone in the lane behind us is obviously afraid. We hear thunder and we know what's coming!
We're headed into 'puja' season here where there are different days where different deities are worshiped. It's a bit like the Christmas season to them. Our kids even get two weeks off of school pretty soon! And there have been lots more bells lately.
From what I have read the bell is rung to block out sounds that might distract during the ceremony. It is also the sound (the 'OM') that links to the deities they believe in, to call the 'good' ones and drive away the bad. It's all pretty complicated! And it's all based on fear. Fear that you will do something wrong and incur the wrath of the g0ds.
I'm so glad that I serve Someone who loves and cares about me! Who was Himself the sacrifice for any appeasement that I'll ever need. Someone who brings me peace not fear.