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Lalitha – Celebrating the Divine Mother

Tuesday morning the ladies assembled in front of the dais for the Lalitha Puja: Pictures of the Divine Mother were distributed along the rows, together with flowers and red kum-kum powder. While the melodious hymns to Lalitha were intonated, the women poured flowers and kum-kum over the pictures, in worship of the Mother of the World. The soft vibration of the female energy permeated the air filled with devotion.

The next day (14th January) Sri Kumar answered a question concerning the meaning of the Lalitha Puja as follows (my notes, might contain mistakes):

“The ritual of the Lalitha Puja relates to the ritual of universal consciousness. The Mother is seen as universal consciousness, the Father is seen as the background behind. The father is pure existence, and the mother is the emergence of that existence and awareness. This awareness manifests the whole creations. How she conducts it, 1008 functions of the Mother have 1008 names. We chant those names and worship the Mother. Every name is a profound aspect of the mother, meaning universal awareness. It is male-female god. We also exist and have awareness. Only in awareness we work in the day and in the night we are with existence. The Mother emerges as the light from the Father, how she conducts, meaning the various aspects of cosmic, solar, planetary planes. We sing the names and try to see the light. We do similar thing when we sing the 1008 names of Vishnu, the primary aspect is the Mother, the secondary aspect is Vishnu, the Lord of Love and Wisdom. The first logos is Will, the third logos is Intelligent Action. We have 1008 names as a tradition to the Mother and the second logos. … When you chant you relate to the pure light and people do this kurkuma, which is symbolic of the Mother. The also put kumkum, a yellow powder mixed with saffron, which is red. The yellow is the wisdom aspect, the red is the will aspect. After the ritual they put the point here (on the front), There is will and love put here. Likewise in the heart there is will apart from love. It is related to love and will. Normally they regularly chant and remember all the names. They close the eyes and chant the names, remember them and see the light.”

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The ladies during the Lalitha Puja. This year the assembly hall was at the site where in previous years there was the dining hall, as the old assembly place wasn’t available this time.

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