The Devas and Rishis implored Lord Shiva to save them from the wicked demon Tarakasura and his brothers who had conquered Heaven and were terrorizing the three worlds. They had boons that they could be destroyed only by a son of Lord Shiva Himself. As the Great Lord was not married, this presented a difficulty, and the Devas and Rishis went to great lengths to arrange His marriage to Shri Parvat!. Eventually the wedding was performed but due to His Yogic powers, Lord Shiva remained immersed in the bliss of union for a thousand years while Tarak wreaked havoc in the world. Finally Shri Agni, the god of fire, was chosen to disturb the Lord and remind Him of the need for a saviour.
Golden seed glowing with intense heat emerged from the Three-eyed Lord and He instructed Shri Agni to carry it in secret and place it in the river Ganga. Six lotuses appeared with a baby in each which were found by the six Krittikas (river-nymphs) who nursed them. There was a dispute over whose babies they were, but when Lord Shiva's wife Shri Parvati held the children they merged into one, a sign that She was the true mother. Shri Karttikeya is therefore known by several names from His different carers and progenitors.
Shri Karttikeya destroyed Tarak but his two brothers realized the folly of their ways, were granted Moksha, and became the God's peacock vehicle and the cockerel which is His chariot-emblem. Shri Karttikeya is the God of War and is normally depicted as a beautiful youth holding a spear and seated on a peacock.
Puja is the Sacred Art of generating vibrations and expressing devotion through worshipping and making offerings to the Divine.
Performing Puja with devotion, sincerity and humility is more effective than adherence to strict protocol. It is better not to be tense but to enjoy performing the Puja.
We are authorised to do Puja through our connection to Her Supreme Holiness Shri Mataji and our subtle systems get cleansed with floods of Divine Vibrations. In Puranic lore, five offerings are made in Puja, corresponding to the five elements-DTpa (light-fire), Dupa (incense-air), Pushpa (flowers-ether), Gandha (perfume-earth) and Naivedya (eatables/amrut- water).
The simplest Puja can be performed every time we meditate.
1) Clean Shri Mataji's Photograph.-Wipe with a damp cloth, or wad of cotton wool, dampened with a few drops of rosewater. Work clockwise.
2) Offer light and incense Light candle/ oil lamp and agarbatti (incense).
3) Perform Aarti to The Photo- Bandhan the Photograph 7 times with the light and incense.
* Offering flowers and decorating Shri Mataji's bindi, hands and feet with kum-kum are also good.
*Any photos of Shri Mataji kept on display should be worshipped thus regularly.
Performing Puja (Part 1) 'Ganesha Puja' You will need:
a photograph of Shri Mataji's Feet, sealed between glass or otherwise waterproofed.
a thali, or any dish or bowl to catch the water, almost anything except plastic or aluminium. Copper, brass, silver or ceramic are fine, and once in England Shri Mataji gave the Sahaja Yogis stainless steel bowls specifically for this purpose. a jug or bowl of warm water.
a kumbha (metal water pot) or small jug, to pour the water. kum-kum (Kanku or sindoor mixed with water, rosewater or perfume) in a small container.
a towel. Usually red, and not used for any other purpose.
flowers. There are certain flowers which are considered less auspicious. Use your vibrations.
perfume (perfume oil normally).
prasad. Something to eat; roasted channa, fruits, sweets etc. laid out on a plate. a small plate to offer Prasad to Shri Mataji.
Have everything ready. Items should be clean, brass polished etc. All items used in the Puja and everyone present should have a bindi of kum-kum, made separately from the paste used in the Puja and applied with the right Agnya finger, and a swastika drawn in kum-kum inside the bowl that Shri Mataji's Feet are to be washed in. One or two people sit beside the bowl to act as Pujaris.
Dedication of the Puja.-State time, date and place, invite all the Deities to be present and request the Deity to be worshipped (Shri Mataji in Her form as..) to accept the Puja.
Say Shri Ganesha's mantra (once or four times usually)
Say Shri Ganesha Atharva Sheersha (or other praises). Shri Mataji's Feet can be washed while saying this.
The sealed photograph is held over the bowl and the warm water poured over it. People come and wash Shri Mataji's feet in turn, normally children first, then women and lastly men, performing namaskar to Shri Mataji before and after washing.
The water is poured clockwise over Shri Mataji's Feet as the devotee rubs the photo clockwise with the thumb and fingers of either the right hand alone with the left hand supporting the right forearm, or both hands. The water becomes vibrated and is good for plants or can be put on the earth or in a river, but not normally consumed if it has been touched*. After washing Shri Mataji's Feet, the wet hands can be applied to the Sahasrara and Agnya Chakras.
During the Puja, bhajans can be sung, Names of the Deity or other mantras intoned, readings from sacred texts or silence.
Everyone present should keep the attention on the Puja and not close the eyes. Everyone present should wash Shri Mataji's feet if practicable. The Photograph is then dried and decorated with kum-kum (normally swastikas on Shri Mataji's Feet and decorating the toes and ankles) and perfume oil is applied to the photo. Some ladies can hold a sari as a screen around as this is done.
Flowers are offered and placed in front of the Photograph, ideally by everyone present, and the plates of Prasad are offered and placed by Shri Mataji's Feet.
Everyone stands to sing Shri Mataji's Aarti with clapping and bells. A conch can be blown at the beginning and end of the Aarti.
Other mantras may be said while standing (Jay Jagadambe, Allah hu akbar, the Lord's prayer etc.) and people pull their earlobes to ask for forgiveness for any mistakes in the Puja (and to bring down the ego and superego) The Three Great Mantras are said or sung.
Everyone namaskars at Shri Mataji's Lotus Feet (see the following note on Namaskaar)
After a few minutes meditation with the Attention on taking in Shri Mataji's vibrations through the Sahasrara, the Prasad can be distributed, first offering some of each kind to Shri Mataji on a small plate. Shri Mataji's Prasad can be eaten the next day or offered to the Mother Earth, the river or consumed by animals.
People should raise Kundalini and take a bandhan before leaving the room after the Puja.
*Alternatively the water can be poured over Shri Mataji's Feet without touching. It can then also be used to drink or in food. Vibrated water can be used to clear the vibrations ofplaces by sprinkling around, applied to the body for healing or applied to the Sahasrara as an aid to meditation. It is not recommended to use vibrated water or vibrated salt in footsoaks; however a few drops can be added to a matkar (lemons and chillies).
'Devi Puja'. The next level of Puja includes offering Amrut -the five auspicious foods. These elements help to clear our Koshas (subtle bodies) and work on different chakras.
-a large bowl (can be the same one) and a supply of warm water. -five small pots containing-1) melted ghee ( butter ghee or butter clarified by standing the container in hot water)
2) plain yoghurt
4) runny honey (may need warming)
5) sugar (white cane sugar normally) Optional- some saffron stalks in the sugar.
These should be from new packets or ones only used for Puja before.
-after washing the Photograph of Shri Mataji's Feet and drying, but before decorating, clean or change the bowl and offer the elements in the order written (greasiest first) by pouring over the photo of Shri Mataji's Feet clockwise followed by a little warm water. Do not touch with the hands. The Photograph is then dried and decorated as described above.
-after the Puja the Amrut is mixed (a little warming helps) and distributed for the devotees to drink-a spoonful in the palm of the right hand traditionally, drunk and the palm applied to the Sahasrara - or served in glasses.
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