Monday, October 19, 2015 – Morning: The seventh day of the unique Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam began as usual with Vedic chants. It was indeed a pleasant, sunlit morning. The clear blue skies were resonating with holy vibrations that sanctified the air. The Yaga Shaala, adorned with thin bamboo shoots and a mix of floral arrangements, was a feast to for the eyes.
On this auscpicious day , the Sapta Dhravya Mrutyunjaya homa was being performed as a part of the Navratri Homa. The Hrudaya Mandira hall had a large rangoli (decorative and colourful floor patterns) of the Shri Chakra made by the Ritviks the previous evening (it had taken them hours to make the large designs). The Dakshinamoorthy Yantra rangoli also adorned the floor of the hall with its neatly aligned squares, which consisted of an outline of 12 Lingas within the larger square. The brilliant colours sprinkled across the floor of the hall made it indeed a divine sight. With devotees spread across the two Yaaga shaalas, the Ritviks were busy with their preparations for the ceremony before Swami’s arrival.
A miraculous and wonderful occurrence in the Hrudaya Mandira was the talk of the morning when it was noticed two trail lines across the Shri Chakra design revealing the Devi’s entry into the Shri Chakra the previous day.
With the Dhakis (traditional ceremonial Bengali drums) the music reached a crescendo. Durga Shosti (Shasti) as it is called in Bengali, was celebrated today as a part of the Durga Pujo celebrations. The priest started performing the rituals and lit the sacred arathi. He was holding a Bengali saree in his hand, swinging his body to the music, inviting Mother Durga and empowering her with holy music and chants. It was a sight to behold!
The whole ambience, this morning, was filled with sounds of bhajans, rhythmic chants and the Dhakis. In this backdrop, Swami came to the Yaaga Shaala at 11:00AM. He first went to the Hrudaya Mandiram to grace the end of the morning puja of Mother Durga and the Navarathri Homa.
As Swami went around the floor patterns made by the Ritviks, He was very happy to see the Dakshinamurthy Yantra. He commented that the squares were perfect and it was very well made. A silk saree, fruits and dry fruits were offered into the sacred fire.
The Chief Ritvik took blessings from Swami and explained the significance of the Homa. Offering his prayers to Maha Tripurasundari and Bhagavathi (who destroys the evil forces), the Ritvik told all assembled that Swami had instructed him to tell that all the divine forces had already made an entry into the Yaaga Shaala. He went on to tell that the Ritviks were able to sense and also find explicit signs of the Mother’s entry into the Yaaga Shaala. Just as the prince goes through a series of worship before he is crowned, he said, this was the Bhakthi Bhavana Pattabhishekam for all of us. The Dwadasha Lingas signifying the 12 Jyothir Lingas – were represented in the Yantra; this signified the unifying of the divine forces thus igniting the fire of Chaitanya or Supreme Consciousness in each of us (that does not get tarnished under all circumstances).
After the Mangala aarti inside the Hrudaya Mandiram, Swami moved on to the Athi Rudra Yaaga shaala. He sat there till all the rituals were completed, which included not only the Rudram chanting, but also other musical Vedic chants, songs etc. The atmosphere transported all present to a totally different plane of existence.
With the Maha Mangala Aarti at 1 PM, the morning proceedings came to a close.
Watch the proceedings below: