Short 3 min video clip of the Chariot procession in Wimbledon this morning.
Short 3 min video clip of the Chariot procession in Wimbledon this morning.
Happy Thai Pongal wishes to all my friends, fans and family around the world. Pongal is technically the first day of the Tamil new year.
Traditionally On this day we honour the Sun god, bless crops and fields..and symbolically do work in the fields. Following day is Mattu-Pongal.. (Madu / Mattu means Cow in Tamil.. and it is a day to honour the 2nd most important thing for a farmer, next to The Sun.. which is cows/ cattle).
Those celebrating will be getting up early, have a shower, wear clean / new cloths, visit temple, and also cook milk-rice in the light of the Sun.. offer it to the Gods..then share in the meal with family and friends. `Pongal’ is the act of the boiling milk-rice frothing to the surface in the pot.. and it also is the name of the milk-rice dish itself.. It is the act of the auspicious cooking completion (as food is sacred and a blessing).
Carrying a Kavadi at the Chariot Festival (at Ealing Kanaga Durga Amman temple, London):
A year ago I decided and made an offering to do this `Kavadi dance’ at this year’s Chariot street procession at the Ealing Durga Goddess temple in London. That divine offering / prayer was fulfilled on 13/8/17.
The day started with a 5am wake up in my tent… and we got to Ealing temple for the big annual chariot festival by 7.30am. The Kavadi procession (dancing with this ritual `mountain’ prop) began around 10am and we returned to the temple after street procession and dancing throughout ..by 4-5pm (culminating with a final dance inside temple).
Personal history: long ago when i was little..I did this with a tiny version of it around a local temple (Sanathy Murugan temple, near Jaffna, Sri Lanka) .. which started my ritual dancing and drumming..which has evolved into my shamanic trance drumming & dancing.. So it’s apt that I’ve come full circle. It’s been a divine privilege..
Next year I will be constructing my own `Kavadi’ ..and hope to do this in 2 different temples (Wimbledon Ganapathy temple, and Ealing Durga Temple again).
Many thanks to my mother Rani Navasothy for accompanying me, providing me with water etc during this 6+ hours of procession and keeping me `safe’ as I completed my promise.. (and in and out of mild dance-trance). Am also grateful to Varathan Uncle for bringing the Kavadi and helping me with initial set-up & preparations.
Ganesh Chathurthi is a special festival that honors the birth of the Hindu elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha (Ganapathy, Vinayagar). He is said to remove obstacles and bring good fortune.
Ananta Chaturdashi is the 10th and penultimate day of the great Ganesha Utsav or festival that begins with Vinayaka Chathurthi. At the end of this day, Lord Ganesh is given a grand farewell and the idols that were installed for the festival are carried to the nearby river, lake or sea front and immersed with a lot of devotion and fanfare.
I first did this ceremony last year (in 2015) by the river Thames, in Richmond, London, UK. There were about 5 of us. And a photojournalist friend. And to our pleasant surprise, we found that nearby (about 10 metres away)..a local Hindu community was also doing a much bigger scaled version ..immersing their Ganapathy statue in the Thames.
We waited till they had done their ceremony, then went to the water and immersed our Ganapathy.
So come join us this year (tomorrow).
Here is a map of the area where we will be.
meetup link for this event.
I attended the Ther (annual chariot festival ) at Ganapathy temple yesterday with my mother, and met a few relatives and friends 🙂 Also managed to to Ganapathy mantra 1000+ times (counting on fingers ..without my chanting Rudraksha was a bit difficult at times.. as we’re all walking..and much was going on.. )
It was amazing, spiritual and absolutely festive as ever. This time around I was able to focus more on the different aspects (forever studying and decoding the intricate ritual aspects and their meanings.. much of it is not usually taught in schools..except to Brahmins who are training to be Hindu Priests).
So here are the tons of photos. You can see full explanations under each photo in my facebook album.. (it’s my intention to preserve the meanings, and share that with those interested).
Om Maha Ganapathy Nama!
there are many who honour and worship the Hindu Elephant-headed God Ganapathy (Ganesh). He is a remover of obstacles! In London, this time of the year, the Ganapathy temple conducts their annual festival..which culminates after many weeks of celebrations and special poojas, with the Chariot Festival (Ther).
I will be attending this, and walking with the deities with the large chariots ..along the side roads.. to gain full divine blessings of Lord Ganapathy.
You are most welcome to do so.. (even if it is only for part of the journey).
Buses will be diverted in that area.. Please check TFL website for updates.
Nearest Tube: Wimbledon (District line)..Then bus 200 goes closer to Effra Road. `Colliers wood’ and `south Wimbledon’ are also nearby tube stations (Northern line) ..from which you will need to either walk 30 mins..or take buses to get to Effra Road.
125-133 Effra Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 8PU.
The Chariot Festival will begin at 8.30am in the morning,.and conclude around 1pm…Then deities will be taken inside temple..fore more prayers / poojas..
(I aim to be at the temple by 8am. On this occasion, I will NOT be waiting to collect / organise anyone…as following early morning shower/ purification and meditations, I will be observing silence and get to the temple asap..to begin worship).
As some are already aware, last year (2015) in Autumn, I began organising/ facilitating `Hindu Magic Rituals’ in outdoor venues…
There has been a little gap. With this Ganapathy festival, I will be re-starting a full set of Hindu Magic rituals.
I will of course be sharing these events also in my other meetup `London Woodland Witches & outdoor Pagans’ .
Hindu auspicious Dates 2016 (July – December).
Hi All, apologies for not doing this 6 months ago.. I have put together this list for Hindu auspicious dates/ rituals take place in 2016. (dates collected from various online sites, as well as the booklets published by some of the major Hindu temples in London that I frequent). As many know, Hinduism is just full of so many events, fasting days, auspicious dates.. So this is just a part of that spectrum.. (one’s that are of interest to me at the moment..where I do Hindu magical works). Note that this list is also published as a page under my main menu (submenu under Hinduism) so you can always find it there. Bright Blessings. -Mani
1st July- Prathosham – special day for Shiva worship (bi monthly)
7th July- Sathurthi – special day for Ganapathy (monthly)
15th July- Ekathasi – special day for Vishnu (monthly)
17th July- Prathosham
22nd July- Kodi etram at Ealing Durga temple (hoisting of flag- annual event)
24th July- Kodi etram at Wimbledon Ganapthy temple (hoisting of flag- annual event)
29th July- Ekathasi
31st July – Prathosham
6th August – Sathurthi
7th August – Wimbledon Ganapathy Ther festival (Chariot through streets)
12th August – Varaluxmi Pooja – sacred day for worshipping of Luxmi (Lakshmi) Goddess of Love & wealth (equivalent of Venus). She was born of the churning of the seas, and God Vishnu marries her.
14th August – Ekathasi
14th August – Ealing Durga Temple- Chariot Festival
15th Aug- Prathosham
25th Aug – Krishna Jayanthi
28th Aug – Ekathasi
29th Aug- Prathosham
4th September– Vinayagar Sathurthi (Chaturthi) – Birthday of God Ganapathy / Ganesh celebrated .( It falls on the fourth day after new moon in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada)..The festival begins with the installation of huge elaborately crafted statutes of Ganesha in homes and podiums, which have been especially constructed and beautifully decorated. It’s forbidden to look at the moon on this first night as legend had it the moon laughed at Lord Ganesha when he fell from his vehicle, the rat. On Ananta Chaturdasi (the last day), the statues are paraded through the streets, accompanied by much singing and dancing, and then immersed in the ocean or other bodies of water. (see below for blog).
12th Sept- Ekathasi
14th Sept- Prathosham
26th Sept- Ekathasi
28th Sept- Prathosham
1st October – Navarathri begins . Nine nights of the Goddess festival/ rituals for Durga, Luxmi & Saraswathy. (see below for blog)
2nd Oct- Wimbledon Ganapathy temple- Chandi Omam
4th Oct- Sathurthi
9th October- Saraswathy Pooja.
10th October- Vijayathasami (vijayadhasami) – the 10th day after Navarathri festivals is celebrated as a day of victory and special day (also said to be when Lord Raman returned to his kingdom, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after having been exiled in the forest for 14 years). see below for blog.
12th Oct- Ekathasi
13th Oct- Prathosham
26th Oct- Ekathasi
27th Oct- Prathosham
29th October – Deevali / Diwali (Deepavali – Tamil for path of light) – major Hindu festival of light.
31st October – kanthashashti fasting (viratham) begins – sacred time of worship for Murugan, god of war (brother of God Ganesh)
3rd Nov- Sathurthi
5th November- Kanthashashti / *Sooran Por (demon war) – Murugan defeats the Demon.Sooran Por (skanthashashti) – final day of the sacred rituals for Murugan.
6th November – Thirukalyanam– wedding of Murugan.
12th Nov – Prathosham
26th Nov – Prathosham
3rd Dec- Sathurthi
10th Dec- Ekathasi
11th Dec – Prathosham
12th & 13th Dec- Karthikai Villakeedu – Day of light for all hearth & homes. Homes are decorated with many small lamps on doorways, entrances.
24th Dec- Ekathasi
26th Dec- Prathosham
Divine Battles within:
As much as I like to `resign’ from Life, Universe and the internet :-p there’s just too much crap going on in the world…for me and anyone with Gaia-consciousness to stay on the sidelines and look for Himalayas to retreat to.
THIS is our battle.. to keep the divine faith in our souls, hopes in our hearts, stay cautiously optimistic, unconditionally positive, challenge any and all ill-doings elsewhere and everywhere.. and stand up for a better world – no matter how gloomy things may look.. and how close the Four Horsemen seem to be. This is where our warrior-energies are need… not to fight, to hurt, maim or kill a fellow human..but to put to flight the welling darkness and rising illusions and delusions.
This battle is not fought with side-arms & arrows, mace or missiles – but with patience, endurance, inner strength and a strong belief within.. Doesn’t matter what god or goddess or divine being you believe it…but believe it.. and make him/ her/ it be your peaceful power and strength.. !
The inner child may be afraid.. and throws tantrums, seeking attention. But it is seeking safety, support and love. Not just yours or mine..but all the Inner-Children of the billions of people on Earth! As adults, we can exude positivity, assurance, offer support, emotional acceptance and understanding.
This is the time for all of our Love, light and compassionate, nurturing, empowering thoughts, feelings and deeds to rise to the surface and spread.
Bright Stellar Blessings!
This year, Navarathree (Nine nights of the Goddess) takes place between 13th -21st October, with Vijayathasami (Victory Day) on 22nd Oct.
We’ll be getting together in October, to participate in our own Luxmi ceremony.. for wealth, love and abundance).
he many Hindu Temples in London will have 10 days of celebrations, rituals, Abishekams, Poojas and prayers. I thought it would be lovely to hold our own Ceremony in the park in a natural setting.
It will be lovely for all of us to post ideas and co-create this special event. (Many years ago I facilitated a very simple Luxmi chant / event in Trent Park).
About Goddess Luxmi – she is the Hindu deity born of the Sea, married to Lord Vishnu, and symbolises Love, wealth, material foundations.. Usually seen as seated on a red lotus flower. She has similarities to Venus.
What we will be doing / ceremony:
Once we have gathered everyone at the Fountain area, we’ll all walk up to a nearby quiet area…along the Serpentine lake.
–For most part we’ll be seated on the ground.. so bring cushion/ ground sheet/ blanket etc..
• –Altar set-up: A Luxmi altar will be set up on the ground.. Feel free to bring your own deities/ritual/ ceremonial items to place on altar.. Flowers welcome. we’ll have holly ash (thirnoor), sandal wood paste and kungumam for annointing our selves (on forehead). Incense sticks will be lit..as well as candles in lanterns.
• –ceremony begins with bell ringing 3 times.
• –Chanting of Luxmi name 108 times (`Om Luxmi Namaha’). During this time (may take 10-15 minutes), we shall all still our minds, attune and connect to Goddess Luxmi.
• – Arti / flame offering & consecration:
• Arti is the ritual waving of a flame (camphor block burning on a censor) over the deity and ritual offerings and tools. This flame is then said to carry the energy of the deity..and it is offered to all participants..for consecrating themselves (touch flame and place hands to eyes or forehead).
• All attendees may also do the arti to the deity (careful: the metal censor will be hot).
• -Various Luxmi chants/ other chants. (15-20mins)
• -Flowers will be offered to Luxmi.. during chants.
• Bell rung 3 times – ceremony ends.
• -picnic & social
venue: (confirmed).- Hyde Park, Italian Gardens.
We’ll meet by the Italian Gardens.. near the central fountain on the edge of Serpentine River . Then we’ll move to a more secluded spot (to be decided on the day for the ceremony).
Time: ** Please be at meeting point between 2pm- 2.15pm. Some of us have evening events..so we will start this Luxmi Pooja promptly at a chosen location at 2.30pm. Best come join us from the start…
The date – now confirmed – saturday 17th October’15