Vishnu is a deity with a very different energy from Kali: a very different ‘face of the divine’. I now describe a puja to this very different deity to further convey to you the power of Hindu devotional puja in bringing into yourself the energy of a god.

Vishnu bestImagine what it is like being Vishnu. The god, Vishnu, lies back smiling in timeless immeasurable bliss, reclining sublimely on the coils of the world-snake, Ananta (endless), dreaming in ecstasy – utterly beyond, creating new universe after new universe, sustaining them until they fall away from perfection (go too far from the divine source), then reabsorbing and dissolving them – for fresh creation to occur.

The Vishnu temple at Skanda Vale offers another irreversible irruption of deity into our human consciousness. Ineffable, the God reclines in beatific ecstasy on the coils of the snake. Ananta’s heads loom protectively over him and he rests eternally on the cosmic waters. The image is situated in a small lake. Around it wild birds fly and call. The God sleeps with a smile of blissful oceanic abandon, dreaming new universes in and out of being over unimaginably vast aeons of time. Around his sacred landscape gather other deities in endless silent watch: Ganesha, Skanda, Jesus, the Buddha, Shiva, Krishna, Saraswati. Next to him is Lakshmi his consort, voluptuously smiling, sensuously big-breasted, proud, beautiful, protective and beneficent.

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