ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Goddess and the Owl

The Goddess and the Owl WHEN briefly in England in 1955 Nirad C Chaudhuri, the no longer- unknown Indian, tried to discover in English homes something corresponding to what he found in every Hindu home. I quote from "A Passage to England", now available again as a Papermac: "So I never asked an Englishman how much love of money he had in his heart, but looked out for symptoms. Naturally, I looked for those which were the easiest to come upon in Hindu society, that is to say, the religious symptoms of the love of money. If I visited the house of an English family I tried quietly to find out if in any part of it there was a private shrine for a god or goddess of money, or for an economic form of their own God. Those Englishmen who would consider this to have been a fantastic thing to do should remember that such a shrine is precisely the thing I cannot escape noticing in every normal Hindu home, even though it may be Westernised up to a certain point. In all these homes there is a little sanctum, unfortunately most tawdrily furnished and decorated in these days, which is devoted to the goddess Lakshmi, who confers prosperity. Of course it goes without saying that I did not find any such shrine in any English home, though in a number of great houses I saw private chapels, which were, however, devoted to normal Christian worship".

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