Early the next morning I was awakened by the various unfamiliar noises outside my inn. There was a large open square which had been empty the night before, but which was now crowded with people, camels, mules, and donkeys. The camels groaned and announced in manifold variations of tone their chronic discontent, and the donkeys competed with cacophonous screams. The people ran around in a great state of excitement, shouting and gesticulating. They looked savage and rather alarming. My dragoman explained that a great festival was being celebrated that day...
This was the marabout, astride a white mule. The men danced around him beating small drums. The scene was one of wild excitement, hoarse shouting, dust and heat. With fanatic purposefulness the procession swarmed by, out into the oasis, as if going to battle.
... until we reached the spot where the "work" was going on. Here, if possible, even greater excitement prevailed; people were beating drums and shouting, wildly... Carrying their baskets filled with heavy loads of earth, men danced along to the rhythm of the drums ... Through this wild tumult the marabout rode along on his white mule, evidently issuing instructions with the dignified, mild, and weary gestures of advanced age. Wherever he came, the haste, shouting, and rhythm intensified, forming the background against which the calm figure of the holy man stood out with extraordinary effectiveness.
C.C. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, trans. by R. and C. Winston, Vintage Books, Random House Inc., New York 1963, p. 241-242.
PLACE: Nefta, oasis in the Sahara desert.
CIRCUMSTANCE: A festival. "Several desert tribes had come in during the night to do two days of field work for the Marabout. The Marabout was the adminstrator of poor relief and owned many fields in the oasis. The people were to lay out a new field and irrigation canals to match." (p. 241)
After a while I heard rhythmic gong tones approaching from the distance. A group of Japanese pilgrims came marching up one behind the other, each striking a small gong. They were beating out the rhythm of the age-old prayer 'Om mani padme hum,' the stroke of the gong falling upon the hum. Outside the stupas they bowed low, then passed through the gate. There they bowed again before the statue of the Buddha, intoning a chorale-like song. They completed the double circumambulation, singing a hymn before each statue of the Buddha. As I watched then, my mind and spirit were with them, and something within me silently thanked them for having so wonderfully come to the aid of my inarticulate feelings.
C.C. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, trans. by R. and C. Winston, Vintage Books, Random House Inc., New York, 1963, p. 278-279.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Visiting the stupas of Sanchi.
The stupas are tombs or containers of relics, hemispherical in shape, Iike two gigantic rice bowls place one on top of the other (concavity upon concavity), according of the prescripts of the Buddha himself in the Maha-Parinibbana-Sutta.