The Power of Puja  — by Mukti (Sandra) Carter

I knew it was my time to step into the India experience.  I have been a Svaroopi since 1996 and a Shishya from the beginning and yet… I still experienced resistance to many things – especially puja (worship).

You have heard many beautiful descriptions of Ganeshpuri and the full and varied, yet singly themed events that happen daily. Everything here is about devotion; devotion to Nityananda, to the Guru, Shiva, Ganesha, Vishnu and more, and to the Self.  Ganeshpuri is infused with Grace and devotion.

My first true personal experience of this Grace and the power of Puja was my fourth early morning abhishek.  I was sitting, listening to the Brahmins chanting, watching them lovingly bathing Nityananda before they dressed and adorned him for the day. I closed my eyes hearing their rhythmic chants and picturing what they were doing when suddenly it felt as though water was being poured over my head with love, devotion, great care and respect.  Nityananda was sharing his abhishek with me. He was immersing me in my own Self showing me I too am Divine, that whatever unworthiness I felt was maya.  My true Self was worthy of such devotion.  The whole thing lasted only a moment but felt like eternity.  As the day progressed I wondered, questioned, even doubted the experience.  There’s that resistance again.

But the Grace of Ganeshpuri does not give up! A few days later I held a personal puja. You can choose whatever you wish as your focus for your puja; yourself, family, friends, a problem or obstacle, you decide. My puja was held at the sweet little Shiva Temple next to the Nityananda Temple (where Nityananda’s abhishek is held each morning).  My Brahmin, Balakrishna, directed me to the Vishnu statue set in an arched alcove at about chest level.  I was about to experience abhishek on a small and very personal scale.

Vishnu puja with BrahminMy priest chanted and began to carefully direct me through the steps of bathing, adorning and honoring Vishnu with great respect and love. As I was pouring water over Vishnu and gently rubbing him clean, feeling the cool marble under my hands I began to feel an immense sense of love, devotion and gratitude for Vishnu.  He was listening to my prayers as I listened to the Brahmin chanting.  And suddenly, again, as I was performing abhishek on Vishnu, I began experiencing it on the inside.  I was being cleansed with love and devotion, Vishnu showing me my Self, that Divinity worthy of puja.

And it (finally) dawned on me that these rituals that I am so resistant to, these care-full processes and steps, that seemed rote and even tedious before now, are so precious.  Yes, you are focusing love and devotion and intention on the murti AND the murti is giving that experience right back to you.

As Swamiji says, it’s all about me, all about the Divinity that is me. These ancient processes are there to show you how to adore and devote yourself to Consciousness.  As you experience this on the outside suddenly the experience appears on the inside. Through the process of puja you are honoring and devoting yourself to your own Divinity.

Come to Ganeshpuri and find your Self.

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