Tuesday, October 20, 2015 – Morning: October 20, 2015, Avatar Day, a special day to the entire Sai Fraternity, was extra special this year with the Athi Rudra Maha Yagna. With the bold and beautiful décor all around the Yaaga shaala, calicos of Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvathi at the entrance of the Yaaga Shaala, the whole place exuded powerful vibrations.
As the warm rays of the morning Sun pierced through the clear blue skies, the atmosphere was resplendent with powerful vibrations attributed to the spirit of devotion and sincerity in all the ritviks, who have been chosen by Swami for this noble task in His grand mission for universal peace and prosperity.
Rudram chanting started during the early hours of the day along with other rituals, initiated by the Chief Ritvik. The ritviks performing the rituals did it with great fervor.
Swami arrived to the Yaga Shaala by 10.30AM and proceeded directly to the Hrudaya Mandiram. Today as part of the Durga Homam, the Durga Mandala Puja was scheduled. The pattern drawn on the ground adjacent to the Sri Chakra and Dakshinamoorthy Yantra reflected the same. It had a combination of radiant yellow, red and other vibrant colours. Swami has been appreciating the patterns each day he has graced the Hrudaya Madiram much to the delight of the ritwiks who have labored tirelessly in creating them.
Swami went to the Durga Puja first. He blessed the garland of Mother Durga before it was offered to the Mother. He then started distributing sarees to all the ladies seated inside the Hrudaya Mandiram with His own Divine Hands. Swami asked them all to wear it for the special Durga Puja scheduled the day after.
Durga Sapthami marks the seventh day of the auspicious Durga Puja during which Nava Patrika/Mother Durga’s form is taken for a holy bath, to the Pushkarani and then brought back to the pandal (puja venue). In West Bengal, Durga Puja is the most popular festival celebrated with a lot of colours, sweets, blowing of the conch and music. The recital of the shlokas in a very musical manner and the aarti transported all those seated inside the Hrudaya Mandiram to Kolkata! Every day the proshad (prasadam) that is offered to Mother Durga is a mix of rice flakes, fruits, dry fruits and authentic Bengali sweets. This is later distributed to all the devotees who come to see the Mother and seek Her blessings.
Swami then proceeded to grace the Navarathri Homa. After taking blessings from Bhagawan, the ritviks commenced the Homa invoking the blessings of Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. A saree, bangles, lotuses, flowers, coconuts, dry fruits and nuts, fresh fruits were all part of the sacred offering to the Mother. Her glories were extolled, as the one who takes Her devotees from darkness to light!
The Devi photo was decorated with garlands of fresh fruits and vegetables. The holy basil adorned the Shri Chakra and the Dakshinamoorthy Yantra. With the students chanting Sri Suktam, Durga Suktam – joy filled the air. Four kumaris (unmarried girls) and five suhasinis (married women) were seated and puja was performed to the nine of them in the Divine presence. This was symbolic of worshipping Devi. The Chief Ritvik took a plate with a saree and other ceremonial paraphernalia to Swami to be blessed. Subsequently, these were given to each of nine ladies. Swami looked very happy and pleased.
After aarti at the Hrudaya Mandiram, Swami proceeded to the Athi Rudra Yaaga Shaala where puja was being performed. This sacred Homa, Swami, in one of His earlier discourses had said was done to sacrifice the evil qualities, which took one away from ones original nature.
Swami accepted the Maha Mangala Arathi and left for Premdeep by around 1:00PM
Watch the proceedings below: