There are many views of India; about any one of which a photojournalist could do an entire study, but of all the many heart-piercing sights that stay with you, perhaps two of the strongest symbols of the spirit of India are the bells and the chai stalls.
Bells are ubiquitous in India. They are a symbol of the heart, of devotion, of puja (worship ceremonies). A bell hangs at the entrance to most temples and every visitor, from lifted toddlers to the aged, rings the clapper – some say to wake the gods, some say to announce ones presence, some say to stir the heart.
A bell is constantly ringing throughout the Aarti services, especially at sundown. For the adept, that ringing sets up a vibration that transcends the physical and prepares the heart for the reception of God contact. A welcome bridge from one state of consciousness to another; from avidya (false knowledge) to adhihara (readiness).