Ultimate Shakti Fire Ceremony

Our most recent experience was an extraordinary fire ceremony known as homa, havan or yagna. We’ve experienced countless ceremonies like this over the years, but this one was different and amazingly powerful.

First, the ceremony began with a ritual that we learn in our mystery school. This powerful healing Tantric ritual fashions tumeric into an shape that is representative of the remover of obstacles (Vighneśwara). Many of us turned to each other in recognition as we noted that procedure and the mantras that we’ve learned to chant.

The next part was the fire ceremony that began with the homa nyāsa followed by the homam, which was extraordinarily powerful. It was to the Ultimate Shakti, invoking Her as Brihadnayaki (the ancient leader).

Although we have learned to offer mantras and offerings in the sacred fire, there was a fascinating vibration during the priest’s rendering of particular mantras, mudras and offerings, something that cannot be put into words. Some of us went into a trance.

In the final part of the ceremony, we went from the outer section to the interior of the temple during which we chanted the entire Rudram while ablutions to the Shiva lingam was conducted in the holy of holies. This practice also we learn in our school but it is something else to experience it in the temple.

At the end of the entire process, we requested the head priest to lead our group in the Durga Suktam, which he did in the Shakti shrine. There was an amazing coming together of minds and hearts. Even students who had never studied the Durga Suktam chanted out the phrases aloud.

What an experience! And that was only one half of the day. We then returned to the ashram, rested and then went out climb a holy hill chanting to Shiva all the way up and down. At the end of the day, we did circumambulation of another Shiva shrine in town that is part of a large temple complex. It was magical to walk in the moonlight whispering the names of Shiva to the trees.


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