I had never been the person who would go in for elaborate rituals. Never had that much patience. At home my mother used to light the diya by herself at the altar and each would offer their obeisance at their convenience. I had to go to the altar room every day in the morning after bath of course, but she never insisted that I say any mantra specifically. But then I liked to converse …..with God. It could be as mundane as ‘I want to get good marks’ or ‘I hate that girl’. And these conversations went on the whole day.
I remember I used to converse at an audible level until one fine day my mom said that I was quite grown up and would I reduce the volume of my monologues because everyone was taking me to be a bit …you know ‘loose’.
And so soon the conversations stopped.
In college my friends would keep some or the other vrata while I never did. But yes my morning ritual of paying obeisance carried on.
And then the toughest time of my life began and then I realized the power of prayer. It filled me with strength, peace and a balanced mind. It was during that period that I discovered various shlokas. Near to my working women’s hostel there were three temples. I used to visit all three and learned that I enjoyed there too. I mean unlike people who get irritated with too many people around, I didn’t. It was a place where I had the direct connection with the deities.
And then I got married. Unlike my parents place at my husband’s, sandhya aarti is an elaborate affair. There is bhajan, aarati et all. And I discovered that I enjoyed that too.
Today I do not pray for something to be got or hurdles to be removed. I pray to remain always at the Lotus feet of the Lord. Nothing gives me more pleasure than serving HIM or his devotees, eating prasadam, singing and dancing to kirtan and of course writing about HIM
With our busy life and the traffic jam on the roads, this festive season I would opt for a Lakshmi Pooja pack, because I would get everything for the Pooja in one pack and there would be no need to go hunting for things in different places. The energy saved can be used to making delicious prasadam, and of course to sing and dance.