Guru Puja Celebration at Simhachalam
Sunday morning, the bus brought us to the temple of Simhachalam. The temple compound is located on a hill above the village. It is a temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha, the avatar of Lord Vishnu as the Man-Lion. It is a temple of Vishnu with in its centre a lingam, symbol of Lord Shiva, a unique combination of the energies of the 1st and 2nd ray.
Every year before the beginning of the Guru Puja, we go to this temple to be in the presence of the vibrating energies. Together with many other pilgrims, we crossed the outer and inner part of the temple before entering into the innermost part, where the lingam is installed. We chanted the mantra OM Namoh Narayanaya, connecting to the energies of the place. As a blessing, the priests gave us some water and Tulsi leaves.
In the inner compound I spoke some words to the group about the symbolism of the temple. Then we gathered again our belongings which we had to leave outside the temple. While some of the group took the bus to go downhill, I preferred to descend with a friend via the steep stairs through the forest – a most lovely pathway into the valley. It was quite hot and so we were happy to drink some coconut water downhill.
There the Indian brotherhood had again set up a little kitchen for us Westerners in a nearby court, where we had our lunch and relaxed for a while. I then had a look at the ongoing work of setting up the big hall for the Guru Puja celebrations – tents, a stage, and the altar with the pictures of the Masters – a tremendous logistic and organisational work with a great number of volunteer workers who have prepared for this occasion over several months. I walked on to the village lake to see how the area has recovered from the hurricane of autumn 2014. Though there still were palm tree trunks and trees with dead branches, life had returned. Also the nearby little palm forest where we usually go for “siesta” looked nice again, though there were still traces of the huge devastations.
At half past five the Master Kumar opened the Guru Puja with a small ritual to Lord Ganesha, accompanied by chanting of Vedic hymns by pundits. Then there was the evening prayer followed by the first discourse, in Telugu. It was translated into English, and then to Spanish, French and German. I listened to the German translation and re-translated it to English for my notes. taking notes is a good exercise for staying aligned with the flow of the Energy.
The content of the 7 discourses was an old Indian scripture describing in symbolic form the incarnations of a soul through several births, how it got stuck there and how it slowly found the way out of the bondages of the body. A fascinating story but too complex for telling here.
There were again three ritual highlights – Monday the water ritual in honour of the first Logos Shiva; Tuesday, the Lalitha Puja in honour of the divine Mother; and Wednesday the fire ritual in honour of the Second Logos, Vishnu. There were various book presentations and other smaller contributions. Of course it was again a good occasion of exchanging with Indian friends. And I also enjoyed the daily “siestas” in the nearby palm forest – it had quite completely recovered after the big hurricane of 2014.
Late in the nights we were happily falling into our beds only to get up again very early in the mornings. Now is a day of relaxing. Most group members will go back tomorrow, to Europa or the Americas. Together with 4 friends, I will do a small pilgrimage to Bhuvaneshvar and Puri in Orissa (Odisha) and return a little later.