Archive for October, 2007

  • Peaceful


    Walking a little ways away into the rice paddy, the yagy stala looked timeless.  There was very little to give one a sense of what century this was, particularly when the farms walked their waterbuffalo down to the Ganges for an afternoon swim, followed by their daughters with herds of goats.

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  • Cooler and muddier…

    Cooler and muddier…

    The next day began with showers but they certainly didn’t change the pujas! Each element of the daily vastu puja was performed with the same care as it had been on the dry days! The dark sky suggested that this would be a rainy day, although the air was warm and so we were quite […]

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  • Chandi Havan

    Chandi Havan

    As a gesture of respect, we went to each pundit and placed a small tilak of red kumkum and a few grains of rice on his forehead.  As with most parts of the yagya rituals, this act symbolized the purity of the place and participants, and showed respect to the the ancient vedic tradition. These […]

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  • Clouds….(day 2)

    Clouds….(day 2)

    The next day starts early at 7 AM with the sky rapidly filling with clouds. This is a welcome sight because the Bhagavad Gita says that the “fruit of yagya is rain” and the priests consider this to be a good omen. At the conclusion of the vastu pujas, the priests unveil a beautiful large […]

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  • Day one ends

    Day one ends

    The yagya performance ends with aarti, the burning of camphor while mantras for Shiva and Shakti are recited.  After pradakshina, we are all tired and ready for a good meal and rest.

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  • Fire yagya (homam)

    Fire yagya (homam)

    At the end of the first day, we sat by the newly kindled yagya fire for a homam. The priests chanted Rudram and other mantras as I offered ghee andthe others offered black sesame seeds, wheat, and rice into the fire. This is always the highlight of the yagya day!

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  • Starting a vedic fire (part 3)

    Starting a vedic fire (part 3)

    The homa kund (fire pit) is four feet square and is, by tradition, supposed to be four feet below the earth and four feet above. Once the fire has been lit, it must not go out for the duration of the yagya (4 more days). It will be fed around the clock with long wood […]

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  • Star TV News – Varanasi Trip

    Star TV News – Varanasi Trip

    This is the Star TV report on the yagyas that we performed in Varanasi in 2007. The yagya was for the ancestors of the participants and it took place on the banks of the Ganges.

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  • Starting a vedic fire (part 2)

    Starting a vedic fire (part 2)

    The tool itself is very simple. The shaft rotates as you pull back and forth on the rope which is wound around it. The block of hardwood at the bottom has a hole worn into it through repeated use. Interestingly, it takes a long time to get the wood heated up to the point that […]

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  • Starting a vedic fire (part 1)

    Starting a vedic fire (part 1)

    The Rig Veda begins with a prayer to Agni as the entity who take our offerings and conveys them to the divine. And in the traditional ways, the yagya fire must be started manually using frictions instead of chemical matches. So it makes sense that the first step is to sanctify the tool with which […]

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