Friday, January 23, 2009

Puja for Dexter

When we were suggesting to our friend Gopal that we do a puja here at our house, he didn't realize we had a little temple in our bedroom. Immediately, he decided to do a puja here. Apparently, in his village he is the caretaker of the temple and considers himself a pujari. He wanted to meet at 6am the following morning, make pongal, and do the puja (Hindu religious service) at our house. (He and his wife, Mariama, have been asked by Gopalji's brother to take care of his daughter, Aishwarya, while she goes to college in Ooty.)

The other Gopal making pongal in my kitchen
The two Gopals making pongal

Our little temple in our bedroom

Setting things up, putting incense in the holder

Burning camphor


Gopal holding up a towel as the other Gopal performed the private portion of the ceremony

A portion of the pongal had been placed on the temple as prasad, to be blessed by the gods. After puja, Gopalji placed the pongal on a banana leaf, along with a banana, and a piece of candy. I took that outside for the crows to eat. It is believed that when the crows eat the prasad, the person blessed has eaten the prasad (in this case, my grandson, Dexter) and therefore has received the blessing from the puja. We waited for crows, at two points moving the prasad farther and farther from the houses until it ended up across the road. Success! A crow came down and ate some of the prasad.


Suzie said...

How lovely! Now which day did you do the puja for Dexter? Which day - our time?

Carolyn said...

Thursday, around 6pm your time. And the crows probably ate the prasad around 7pm. Cool, huh?