This past Friday, the monastery observed Ayudha Puja in our kitchen.
"Ayudha Puja" simply translates to "implement worship," and is performed on Vijayadashami - the day immediately following the last night of Navaratri.
At this time, whatever items used to do his or her profession or other duties are cleaned well, adorned with vibhuti, chandanam, and kumkum, flowers, etc. and offered arati and incense. No matter what items are being blessed, some form of printed knowledge (books, magazines, iPad, etc) are usually included.
Any tool that is personally or professionally vital to the devotee is blessed. This could include computers, motorcycles, power saws, dish washers, calculators, musical instruments, theatre make up, farming trackers, etc.
This particular Ayudha Puja was performed in the monastery's kitchen, so things such as our blender, food processor, oven and stove, cutting boards, knifes, spoons, scouring sponge, rice paddle, pots, pans and more were worshipped.
The blessings of Goddess Saraswati are invoked, as well as Lord Ganesha.
This custom is an ancient and meaningful one, with the sentiment behind it being the acknowledgement that work is worship and that the tools we use to conduct said worship are the power, the shakti, that works behind it.
Yesterday, the Aadheenam began its new phase with a homa. This sacred fire ritual is among the oldest of sacred Hindu practices and Gurudeva asked that it be performed every week in Kadavul temple. A sanctified fire acts as an in-between, a channel for energies to pass between the Bhuloka (earth plane) and Devaloka (astral realm) and the Sivaloka (heaven worlds of the Gods). The practice of burning written prayers is a very important part of our morning homa, as the burned notes create an astral counterpart which can then be read by the devas and acted upon. The monks use this means to communicate very clearly with the inner worlds, coordinating events, travels and many other small or large tasks. Just as one would communicate with someone in a physical body, clarity and practical information are always appreciated.
The morning's notes from devotees and monks were burned and the homa soon concluded, to be followed by an upadesha from Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami.
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