The Los Angeles Times “great reads” pieces are the place to go for articles that often touch on the things GetReligion talks about and their recent piece on how Hindu beliefs affect life in a village in India’s Maharashtra state is a great example. Thoughtful articles on Hinduism –- other than links about yoga or intro pieces about the neighborhood temple –- are hard to find in American media, which is why I latched onto this one.
For those of you unfamiliar with Maharashtra, the story takes place near the city of Pune, a better-known city south of Delhi.
Here we go:
Nanasahib Bankar, a prosperous farmer and entrepreneur in this small temple town, worries about a lot of things: sugar-cane prices, the health of his cattle, the success of his son's new hotel.
One thing he doesn't worry about is losing his keys. His house, like nearly all the others here, doesn't have a door.
Standing under the bare door frame of the red-brick house he shares with 12 family members, arms folded over his protruding belly, the 64-year-old patriarch says simply, "This is the way we have always lived."
Legend has it that Shani, the Hindu deity to whom the local temple is dedicated, watches over Shani Shinganapur, a town of about 15,000 in western India, preventing crime and punishing thieves.