Hari Om Everyone,
i hope this email finds everyone well...
Puja (ritualistic worship), is an effective sadhana (spiritual discipline) to purify our mind. Employing our body, speech and mind, we perform puja for inner development. Physical action like offering flowers and ringing the bell, vocal actions like chanting mantras and singing hymns and mental actions like feeling the presence of God, constitute the procedure of ritual. As we sincerely do it day after day, our devotion to the Lord further increases and flows as an undercurrent all through the day’s activities. We shall in fact find that God is within us at all times. --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda
Why engage in sadhana? How to think Divinely? Where does Bhagavan live? So many questions about Puja! We are trying to answer some of these through our study of the philosophy of a simplified universal guideline for worship shared through our E-Vichara...
E-Vichara (April 16, 2012) --- Atha Puja Vidhi: Invoke
-Atha Sankalpah (intention): The hands are clasped and the purpose of worship is shared with oneself, with others, with the Omniscient - with a purpose, a potency until then unavailable, becomes available (i.e. sincere parents sacrificing for an infant, etc.)
-The highest purpose of puja is to just Be - as a catalyst to tune into our Nature, we engage in worship for knowledge, independence, devotion, wisdom, humility, etc., all Divine qualities naturally guiding us to the Divine
-Atha Dhyanam (focusing): With the eyes closed the mind is directed to focus on the name of the Divine which directs the mind to focus on the form of the Divine which directs the mind to focus on the qualities of the Divine - the more the mind is able to focus the more the mind is able to 'manifest' the object of focus (i.e. studying for an exam, watching the sun set, remembering a loved one, etc.)
-When we sincerely reflect on the Divine we inductively question where the 'source' of the Divine is and astonishingly discover the Source is us - this focus is a well thought out step/preparation for creating a 'conduit' for Bhagavan (Brahman expressed) to 'emanate'
-Atha Avahanam (invoking): We touch our heart with one hand, we touch an icon of Bhagavan with the other, symbolizing the invocation of the Infinite from us to our altar - if we sincerely believe God is Infinite how can we or any be excluded
-The mind is limited and so the field of the mind naturally is limited too (i.e. names and forms) - through an idol (limited), an ideal (the Lord) is to be worshiped with the body, speech and mind for this is the ONLY way to gain 'access' to the Infinite
Our next step is Welcome…
We are exactly 4 months away from celebrating the 5 year Anniversary of Chinmaya Dhara. We have grown from renting 1,600 square feet to owning 16,000. We have grown from 10 Bala Vihar students to 50. We have grown from 10 Study Group members to 50. We have grown from moving Bhagavan's pictures to established murti-s. We have grown from praying Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda would visit our Centre one year to him doing so three years consecutively! With Chinmaya Mission Buffalo to the southeast and Chinmaya Mission Halton to the northwest, Chinmaya Mission Niagara has grown within one of the smallest geographical parameters of all 46 Chinmaya Mission Centres in the West, being able to reach out to a maximum population of 250,000. And all of this grace and guidance has manifested in less than 5 years...
To help us celebrate, please participate by joining us on Wednesday, August 22. To help us celebrate, please support us by sponsoring Bhagavan Radha-Krishna's utsava murti for $1,008. What is an utsava murti? A moveable representation of the immoveable idol. This sacred icon is used for worship, festivals and simply to be closer to the Lord. As we are all learning how to practice puja, we tend to think this only takes place in the Temple or with an Acharya. Conversely, this should happen at home with oneself. During our Anniversary Celebration, Pujya Swami Iswarananda will be inaugurating and worshiping our Ashram's utsava murti-s. All our sponsors will have the opportunity to a) sustain Dhara's dynamic presence b) participate in the puja with Swamiji c) be gifted with utsava murti-s for one's home to continue one's sadhana...what a rare opportunity! Come together as an individual, as a family, as a group, as a community, as a Centre to participate and support our selfless service...
Please contact me on how you can give (http://chinmayaniagara.org/contact.htm). Thank you!
"If we can change ourselves, we can change the world. We're not the victims of the world we see; we're the victims of the way we see the world. This is the essence of compassionate listening: seeing the person next to you as a part of yourself." --- Dennis Kucinich