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The Magic of Two Rituals

Monday afternoon the group went to Hamsavanam – Ramadri, where the World Teacher Trust has developed over the years a temple compound with a big statue of Hanuman and a number of little statues and temples.

All over the place there are installed little stones carrying pictures of Rama, Sita and Hanuman. Under them there are stone coffers containing thousands of booklets, in which disciples have written many million times the mantram Sri Ram. R is know as the seed sound of Cosmic Fire. The sound “rha” is known to the American Indians as their Sun God as well as “Rha-aam” is also the Fire God of the Egyptians. This sound uttered and written repeatedly burns up the impurities of the physical, emotional and mental planes, making thus the personality transparent and receptive to the higher energies. Thus at Ramadri the vibration of that mantram of cosmic fire has been “earthed”, emanating protection and healing power into the surrounding.

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Three couples of our group, my wife an me among them, were invited to join the ceremony of installing 16 new coffers with mantram booklets. There were about 150 persons joining the ceremony. With the sound of the mantram RAM, flowers were spread over the booklets, followed by kum-kum and turmeric. Then the coffers were closed with a plate and a small stone monument with the pictures and a flower was put atop. A coconut was broken and the content poured around and camphor-light and incense waved over the coffer – symbols of the personality opening to the soul, and the soul merging with the super-soul.

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After this ceremony the group assembled around a tree, under which a new statue of Lord Shiva was to be ceremoniously installed. In the beginning the black statue was carrying a red scarf, a sign that its “eyes” weren’t yet opened. When they are opened in a ritual it is an important moment: The eyes spread light, and through the eyes you can see the soul of a person.

During the ritual a mason built a pedestal onto which several men lifted the statue. Sri Kumar and his wife Kumari, assisted by other persons, started washing the statue with different materials – coconut water, milk, curd, ghee, honey, a turmeric paste, sugar and other materials were poured over all parts of the statue and then washed away again. This Rudra or Shiva Abhishekam (or water-) ritual is a means of charging the statue and the environment with the vibrations of the ritual.

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After the washing over, the statue was decorated with flowers and camphor light was waved over it. It was a magnificent ambiance – the lights, the flowers, the smells at this beautiful place overlooking the Gulf of Bengal, with the sounds dispersing into space and the radiance of the full moon lighting the place.

The ritual took about 2 hours. Afterwards “Prasad” (food gift from a ritual) in the form of spiced and sweet rice and bananas was distributed to all those who attended the ceremony.

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