This week our topic is Weathered, burned or Burning Wood.
The Worship of Agni or Fire is very sacred in Hindu Vedic Rituals. You can learn all about it here.
Men only have the authority to do this worship and both my boys have had Brahmopadesham which gives them the right to do a kind of Fire Worship. Let me tell you this is one of the easiest practices I have seen with my brother and my boys. Give boys fire, they do love it. My younger one not only does this, but makes his special brother participate in it. This has to be done everyday, but due to time constraint he does it during his summer vacation. I would say not a single year he had given me a headache of not doing it. He voluntarily does it. We live in a house that is predominantly wood, we have to be extra careful. Unlike temples, we have a special bowl that has sand and a specific kind of wood that is used to start the fire. Clarified butter, that is ghee is offered and my son is really careful to see to it that the fire safely stays inside the bowl. It is just a couple of teaspoon offerings unlike temples and religious functions but the smell emitted from this is wonderful. After the prayers, the black ash is applied with special mantras in different parts of the body. It is performed for the general well being of the person doing. This ritual is called Samithadhaanam. Below is the small Homa Kundam (bowl) my boys use to perform this ritual at home. Most of you are aware of Surya Namaskarams that is greatly practiced in yoga classes. This fire prayer is also a part of the same practice done by men regularly in olden days. By the way married men have a different set of mantras but my husband does not do it. Both me and my husband love all the rituals associated with our culture so maybe one day when he is retired and has ample time, he could do it and I would greatly support that.
This picture taken many moons ago. My younger one teaching his special brother.