Archive for January, 2008

  • Yagya fire

    Yagya fire

    This is from the January Navagraha Yagyas in Kumbakonam, south Tamil Nadu.  It took place in a patasala where young brahmin boys are learning their veda and then to become priests.  This photo was taken after the final offering (poornadhuti) was made along with a lot of ghee!  I always think the fire looks so […]

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  • Temple elephant

    Temple elephant

    It is very charming how many temples in Tamil Nadu have their own elephant who plays a vital role in the celebrations and rituals at the temple.  I recall during my first trip to India that we went to a temple for a big yagya and at one point at the beginning of the event, […]

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  • In every breath…

    In every breath…

    .     in every breathif you’re the centerof your own desiresyou’ll lose the graceof your belovedbut if in every breathyou blow awayyour self claimthe ecstasy of lovewill soon arrivein every breathif you’re the centerof your own thoughtsthe sadness of autumnwill fall on youbut if in every breathyou strip nakedjust like a winterthe joy of springwill grow […]

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  • Transmission

    Transmission

    In the vedic tradition,  a deity can be invoked in a person’s body, darba grass, a kalasha pot, fire, or a murti.  In the photo above you see our Chief Priest, Seetharama Shastry, performing the invocation portion of a puja.  What is happening is that mantras are chanted to take the energy of the deity […]

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  • Suvasini puja

    Suvasini puja

    Part of the Navaratri pujas is a very charming puja called Suvasini Puja in which women of all ages are considered to be incarnations of the goddess and a puja is performed to them with all the traditional ingredients.  At the end of the puja, each woman is given traditional gifts of a new sari, […]

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  • Abishekam

    Abishekam

    One of the great things about the vedic tradition is the wide variety of ritual performances; pujas, yagyas, and my favorite, the abishekam.  It is essentially a bath for the murti.  The ingredients can be varied but center around water, milk, turmeric, and sandal. The performance is quite simple just pouring the ingredients over while […]

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  • Modaka balls, sugar cane, and grass

    Modaka balls, sugar cane, and grass

    At the beginning of Navaratri, we start with a big Ganesha yagya that features his favorite food; modaka balls.  They are a sweet desert and one is offered with each of the 1008 mantras of the Ganesha Sahasranam. And why stop there?   We also offered fresh sugar cane, honey, and pieces of pineapple. And […]

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  • Aarti

    Aarti

    During the month of December, we sponsored a yagya in Varanasi on a day called Moksha Ekadashi…a special day of the year when it is particularly auspicious to perform a yagya to speed up and smooth our individual path to enlightenment. As usual the pundits in Varanasi did a wonderful job in a local temple […]

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  • London or Varanasi?

    London or Varanasi?

    After I got home from the trip I was sorting through all the photos and an English friend of mine happened to look over my sholder and saw this photo. He asked, “Is that in London?”. I suppose the tight lane, the red brick and the arched white painted windows make it difficult to tell.

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  • Done!

    Done!

    At the end of the yagya we took all the flower garlands, the clay kalasha pots, and offered them into the river. The funny thing about this yagya is that you’d think it would be odd worshiping a river like this. But it was a very soft, subtle and joyful experience. I am not sure […]

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