Shoreline Submission

May 1, 2018

What I saw in Kataragama

Filed under: Uncategorized — irajdealwis @ 2:27 am

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Be it Rumi, or Hafiz or Attar, a recurring theme in Sufi thought is the imminence of the divine in every aspect of our life, and a critique of the divisions made by systematised religions. While most of these writers don’t continuously harp on the multiplicity of faith, Prof. Asani showed how their thought leads to inclusive practices. My first encounters with Islamic practice happened in a temple in the South of Sri Lanka shared by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and indigenous faiths. The deity shown in the center is venerated as Bodhisattva, the second son of Shiva, as Al-Kidr and as a local mountain deity by the four faiths. As I a child I wandered through the gardens of the temple visiting all shrines. Designing the mosque, as an Islamic space, took me back to this temple where every devotee is forced to respect and acknowledge other faiths, and how such a space can create a deep appreciation for multiplicity.

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