Blogs about Ekatvam's current activities, pujas, programs, travels etc.
Mahavatar Babaji Consecration
Sri Mahavatar Babaji has been guiding Swamiji and Amma in various forms from their late teenage years. When Babaji's statue arrived into the Singapore home ashram by his grace, there was love and joy. The consecration ceremonies were held from 26 Aug to 28 Aug 2011. The following is a writeup of the ceremonies. A writeup, especially of such kinds of high energy ceremonies, cannot do justice in describing all facets of the ceremony, but nonetheless is an attempt. Video of parts of the ceremony are included below as well.
Friday morning was the 'abhishekam' ceremony of Babaji. Abhishekam is a sacred ritual where the deities are bathed and honored with various liquids like water, milk, honey, yogurt, rosewater, sandalwood paste, vibhuthi paste etc. Babaji statue was placed on a copper plate on a table. Sacred hymns and chantings filled the air. Swamiji carefully bathed Babaji with various liquids one after another while chanting mantras. All the other deities were similarly bathed. Amma then carefully applied vibhuthi and kumkum to the Babaji statue, and adorned it, making it look very lively.
A powerful Pratyangira fire homa was performed on Friday evening. A homa is a Vedic ritual where a sacred fire is consecrated in honor of the presiding diety. Swamiji, with the help of some devotees, set up the homa kunda with bricks and sand. The kunda is a geometric arrangement of the pit in which the fire is lit. Everyone present in the home ashram was full of anticipation for the homa. Amma and Swamiji were solemn, as they were holding the energies of the Divine Mother in full intensity. To invite the energies of the Divine Mother Pratyangira, Amma starting chanting the 1008 names of Pratyangira. As each name was chanted, devotees responded by chanting Om Ksham (Ksham is the beeja mantra of Pratyangira Devi). The energy was magical, with the call and response being in high resonance and vibration. The chanting of the 1008 names took well over an hour. As soon as the chanting was over, inviting the energies of Mother Pratyangira and Babaji and various rishis and seers, Swamiji lit the homa fire. For the next hour and half, various kinds of herbs and tree twigs and ghee and fruits as prescribed by the Vedic tradition, were offered into the homa amidst continous chanting of the Pratyangira mantras. All the offerings signify feeding of the Gods and Goddesses and rishis who are astrally present in the homa kunda. As the homa fire danced away, the intensity of the energy got higher and higher, and could be perceptibly felt by all who were present. It was a blessing for all when Amma went into the Bhava state, everyone felt the Mother Pratyangira's energies strongly.
Saturday was a relatively quiet day, with everyone taking time to ground themselves from the high energies of the previous day. It was also a time for all to prepare for the ceremonies of the following day.
Babaji Prana Pratishta was performed on Sunday morning. A Sri Chakra mat was laid on the floor. Nine kumbhas (pitchers) were elaborately decorated with thread, leaves and motifs, filled with water, and placed at key energy points on the Sri Chakra. Fifteen Nitya yantra drawings, each representing different phases of the moon and each representing a different goddess, were placed as a triangle on the yantra. Each yantra had a small candle light placed on top of it. A small representation of Mount Kailash was prepared and placed at the apex of the yantra, on which Babaji's statue was seated. A small Maha Meru (3-dimensional form of Sri Yantra), Shiva Linga and Nandi were placed at the center void point of the Sri Yantra. Swamiji and Amma read the prayers of all the people who participated in the pujas, and placed the prayers on the yantra for people to receive the vibrations of the puja. Amma started chanting the Lalita Sahasranama (names of the Divine Mother), with a response from the devotees after each name was chanted. As each name of the Mother was chanted, Swamiji and Amalananda offered flowers and petals to the center of the Sri Yantra, one flower at a time. After the chanting was complete, Amma started chanting specific mantras for each of the 15 Nitya Devis. As each mantra was chanted, the candle light of the corresponding Nitya Devi was lit up. The mantra chantings of the Nitya Devi's were very powerful and high vibration. After all the Devi's were invited into the Yantra, Swamiji blew the conch to invite Babaji's energy to enter into the yantra and into the statue. It was a powerful moment to witness.
A few days earlier, Amma felt the message from Babaji that he would like to have Tibetan monks draw a mandala and do the traditional chantings during the Prana Pratishta. However she was not sure how to make it come true. That very day, Amma shared her vision with a family friend, who immediately offered to help, because he had connections with the Tibetan community. And so, by sheer synchronicity and by the grace of Babaji, the Tibetan monks were at the home ashram at 5:00 PM. They immediately started on their work of drawing the mandala. A large white square canvas was taped to the floor, on which geometrical shapes were drawn. The mandala that was being drawn was one to help ward off negative energies, and invite the positive energies enter the lives of all participating in the pujas. After the geometrical shapes were drawn, the monks started filling the shapes with different colored sands, creating an extremely striking and beautiful mandala. The process of creating the mandala took over two hours of intricate work. During the whole process, at the monks' behest, Swamiji and Amma kept the energy high by singing bhajans. The bhajans were largely call and receive bhajans, with the devotees, and especially Swamiji and Amma's young students happily participating in them. As the mandala drawing was coming to a close, the Tibetan monks started their traditional chanting. The chanting was rythmic, and the vibrations felt very peaceful. Later everyone performed three pradakshinas (circumambulations) around the mandala, chanting 'Om Mani Padme Hum'.
Traditionally, after drawing a mandala and performing all the pujas, the colored sand used to draw the mandala is all brought to the center. It may appear that several hours worth of hard work is being wasted, but on the contrary, it is a means of physically disseminating the energies of the puja to several people. The sand used to draw the mandalas contains powerful energies and vibrations, and can be given to people so that they can put it on their altars or fill lockets that can be worn. So, at the end, several people joined hands, and pushed all the colored sand towards the center. The main Tibetan monk wore traditional priest robes and blessed all the people present at the ceremony. What a blessing it was, to be in the presence of the powerful energies of the pujas.
Jai Ma Pratyangira !
Jai Sri Mahavatar Babaji !
Jai Swamiji, Amma !