Dear all, I am organising this ritual tomorrow in Richmond.. Details below.. All welcome.. No prior knowledge of Rituals or Hindu ceremony / magic required as I will give a full explanation .. Best wishes & Blessings. Mani
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.
This year, the festival begins on 17th September and culminates on Sunday 27th Sept, which seems ideal for us to meet for our own outdoor special event.
I had previously witnessed participated in `Durga in the water’ event in London (Putney) over a decade ago, and was inspired to start river Thames-based seasonal rituals (Tamesa London Circles). Those then evolved into Thames-Isis rituals (and still continue.. ).
However it’s been a long term wish to return to the the roots…and do a Hindu ceremony.. so here we are! 🙂 For this ceremony of `Ganesh in Water’, I will be creating a new Ganesh sculpture out of Willow tree branches & bio-degradable strings..
It (he) will then be used in our special water-side ceremony by the river Thames. It will take place in a `clean/ clear’ section of the river Thames (Richmond area).
I will begin making a Ganesh figure tomorrow morning and will bring the figure (probably 1′ x 1′ x 1′ – bulky to carry).
On the day, `he’ will be placed on the altar..and we can all add items, leaves, twigs and other bio-degradable decorations.. while Chanting & prayers take place.
Then we will place Ganesh in the Thames and send him on his way.. 🙂
Date: Sunday 26th Sept’2015
venue: Riverside at Richmond, London (closest landmark: Terrace Gardens, Richmond)
Time: Please gather at ritual spot by 3pm.
Map to ritual spot
ps. This is a mirror event from my `London Hindu Magicians’ meetup group. All are welcome of course. 🙂
Dear all, it gives me great thrills to announce the launching of a new meetup group – one that I have been thinking about and planning for almost half a year. Well, now seems the right time! I’ve named it `Hindu Magicians’ as it’s a blend of many things – the devotional activities that Hare Krishnas often do (chants, jubilant, devotional singing), my roots in Hinduism, Vishnu worship, and recent 20 years of Western Magical/ Pagan ritual magical practices. I’ve scheduled 4 great special events/ socials to start us off.. and will add / develop more… Some events will be meditative, walks in parks, simple ceremonies of worship & celebrations, while others will be extensive (I have some friends who are experienced in Sanskrit, Yoga and a variety of Eastern / Hindu matters). The first one is on 31st July – a Social on the date of the Blue Moon (because this is the first group of it’s kind, as well as the most obvious one of colour Blue being associated with Lord Krishna of course) 🙂 Below are graphics for each of the events (so far).
Blue Moon social & visit to Krishna Temple
Luxmi Pooja (Navarathree)
The current blurb for this meetup says..
“This is a very new meetup group for all interested in Hare Krishna & Hindu Magic as the focus. It’s envisioned as a relaxed group gathering for enjoyable socials & spiritual work – such as picnics, meet & greet, drumming & chanting in parks – simply for the joy of it. The Hindu- Magic part of this is about exploring some of the myths, adapting special Hindu festivals & Rituals such as Navarathree, Shivarathree, Luxmi pooja and such – and perform lighter adapted version of them in natural places (woods, parks) practices, creating yantras / charms for personal empowering purposes. You can effectively think of them as mini-poojas in parks & woods.
(Important note: It is NOT the intention to have an intense group that is steeped deep in sanskrit ceremonies – we leave that to trained and highly experienced Priests & Brahmins in Temples and Ashrams all over the world.. Instead, we are down to earth explorers adapting ceremonies, mantras, interpretations).
Hindu spirituality has been around for thousands of years, and in the modern world, it has spread and permeated into many civilisations, countries and cultures and other mystery traditions. It’s now common for a wiccan/ witch to do a `chakra opening’ before doing a full moon ritual, millions doing Yoga workouts in fitness centres, thousands exploring Tantric rituals & sexual unities. Also common are many a Western psychic to wear a turban, trendy youngsters with some earth spiritual affinities sporting `Om T-shirt’, and millions of psychics & mystics to light an incense stick bells that were made in India or Nepal.
It is pleasing that Hinduism has spread so far and wide – even if many don’t realise it. But it’s also sad there is quite a bit of the underlying depth getting `lost in translation & interpretations’.
I’ve been a Hindu all my life, and have lived in London for some 35 years. I am experienced (20 years) in Western Pagan / Magical religions and practises. I’ve been re-exploring Hindu ceremonies and realising the magic within much of it..and am on a personal journey of blending the two together in my own life. Last time I checked, there seems to be nothing like this in Meetup (not for 100 miles around me in London). So I’ve started this.
Let us meet & greet – as equals with extraordinary souls, in the parks, in the woods, in the forests, gardens, by rivers and streams.. at dawn, at dusk, at noon and nights, in rain and shine, to be..just be.. and if we must do something.. to praise, sing, drum, dance, chant and be merry – in the names of the divine Gods & Goddesses, the Great Spirit within us all..
Let’s meet, and see where it takes us..
*Om Shakthi * Hare Krishna * Bright Blessings
So if you like the sound of all this, and like to join in.. either as beginners or as experienced person looking to do more of these with like-spiritual-souls.. You do not have to be heavily involved in Hare Krishna or steeped in Hindu cultures or religion to be part of this. This is not a study group or missionary one that aims to preach or convert. If you are a fan of the great Hindu epics – Mahabharatham & Ramayanam – if you are new to it or have been interested for years / decades…all that is fine.
Here is the extended version of what I recently wrote on my facebook wall, about Hanuman. He is a monkey – who is supposedly an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Hanuman is the son of of Vayu (God of Air) and a mortal Lady Anjana. He can also fly.. well he’s a monkey and is able to leap over mountains and stay up in the air.. (Son of Vayu..god of Air). Another ability that Hanuman has is to grow into a giant form.
In the epic story Ramayanam, Lord Raman and his brother travel through the various forests looking for Rama’s wife Sita who has been abducted by a Demon King called Ravanan. Raman comes across a Monkey-Prince who is living in fear in a cave with his close ministers and confidants (one of whom is Hanuman). Once the brutish and most powerful Monkey Lord Vali has been defeated by Rama, Hanuman and other monkeys choose to help Rama help with the search for Sita.
It is Hanuman who leaps across the oceans, lands in Lanka (kingdom ruled by the demon King Ravanan) and eventually finds Sita ..who is imprisoned in a forest prison. Hanuman manages to meet Sita, pass message from Raman, takes a message from Sita, and eventually returns to Rama.. Great war ensues and Raman & his army defeat Ravana and free Sita.
Three events that are worth highlighting..
1. Burning of Lanka: After secretly meeting Sita in the forest prison, Hanuman causes problems and is caught (he allows himself to be caught) by Ravana. When his tail is wrapped in fabric and it is set on fire by the demons, Hanuman escapes…takes up his giant form..and using the lit tail as a burning torch, he sets flame to many parts of Lanka… before leaving….(to go back to Rama & Lakshman and tell them he has located Sita).
2. Carrying the healing mountain: During the war itself, at one point, due to magical trickery, both Raman & his brother Lakshman are mortally hurt and appear to fall in battle and die. A special healing herb was required to help them.. So Hanuman leaps off to find the herbs that only grow in a certain mountain range. As he was unsure which was the correct her, he uproots the entire mountain..carries it to the battle zone…where upon the essence of the herbs waft over the fallen Raman & Lakshman…and they awake. (Hanuman then returns the mountain to its proper place).
Hindus worship Hanuman as a powerful demi-god in his own right, and Hanuman is often depicted as flying with the mountain in his hands.
3. Giant Chariot in War: In another moment during the war, Raman’s chariot is destroyed by the demon king Ravanan. And Raman is left standing on the grounds of the war zone. Hanuman immediately assumes his giant form, and carries Raman and Lakshman on his shoulders, so that they may continue to fight the war on equal footing.who helped Raman & Lukshman win the war against Ravanna the Demon. In one of the stories, Hanuman opens up his chest to reveal his heart..where an image of Rama & Sita could be found. Hanuman is the Son .
Hanuman and Sani (Shani) or Saturn:
It is also said that Hanuman rescued Sani (Saturn) from the clutches of Ravana (when Hanuman was bound up by Ravana and set fire to his tail..)
Perfect Devotee of Raman :
In one of the chapters of Ramayanam, Hanuman opens up his chest to reveal his heart..where an image of Rama & Sita could be found. In another section, (after Raman & Sita return to their kingdom), Hanuman is given a gift of pearl necklace. He then set about pulling the necklace apart, and breaks each pearl. When asked why he was destroying the pearls, Hanuman answers that he was merely looking to `see’ if he can find Raman & Sita inside each pearl.
These two incidents illustrate Hanuman’s devotional nature towards Raman & Sita. All he wanted to do ..during and after the war was to worship and serve Raman & Sita.
Tale of monkey tail (meeting Beeman)
In the other great epic Mahabharatham,, one of the pancha-pandavas (5 brothers on the side of good) was going through the forest when he comes upon an old monkey sleeping on the side of the path..with his tail across the path. Beema (being the strongest man in that story) demands the monkey move. The monkey refuses but says that Beeman may pass if he can move the tail aside. Aggravated, Beeman tries to brush aside the monkey’s tail..then lifting it.. He fails…and realises his own ego.. And the monkey reveals himself to be none other than Hanuman. It transpires that Beeman is also the son of Vayu (God of Air). So the brothers embrace. Beeman then asks Hanuman to help the pandavas in the coming war. Hanuman says he is tired of wars and will not fight again, but promises to watch over their welfare.
The lead archer Archunan (one of the 5 brothers, the Pandavas) rides in a chariot (piloted by none other than Lord Krishnan himself..another long story). This chariot flies a flag that has the image of Hanuman.. and this is the `blessings’ that Hanuman had promised Beeman.
Well, I grew up reading the Hindu epics Ramayana (and Mahabaratham) ..so Hanuman is one of my favourite Gods.. The above are things I have written from a long term memory ..(it’s been over 30+ years since I read the hindu epics).
It is worth saying, that I am now starting work on an art/ writing project connected to hindu epics, and so will be re-reading Ramayanam & Mahabharatham (in tamil) soon.. Watch my blog for updates in the coming months 🙂
ps. I have used when possible, the Tamil pronunciations for the various Hindu epics and characters. Tamil versions usually end with an `m’ or an `n’..where as the Hindi / English way of writing ends with an `a’. For example, Ramayanam (Ramayana), Mahabharatham (Mahabharatha), Raman (Rama), Ravanan (Ravana).