Today’s A Journey through Aesthetic Realms will be presented in Hindi and English, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

A warm welcome as we invite our honorable viewers to join us for the second of our 2-part show about the 3-day Hindu prayer traditions. In particular, the Yaagam Prayer is being conducted at the Vinayagar Ganesha Temple in Klang, Malaysia. Siva Sri Nandakumar Gurukkal shares with us the main and most important prayer, “Ukra Ratha Shanthi Saubakya Maha Yaaga Puja.” Hindus consider this a very auspicious occasion and a sacred privilege to be able to receive the puja’s, or prayer’s, benefits.

These particular prayers are specially conducted for the people who are suffering from sickness, marriage problems, in their 9-planets problems, and their karmas who are disturbing their life. They cannot grow in the particular prayers and pujas all the time, and the mind disturbs, and the work problem, working-wise, cannot grow.

So all together, we did this big Yaagam to get rid their main karmas, and after this Yaagam, follow the particular way to reach God and grow in their life. In 60 years’ experience in this temple history, this is the first time we conduct this biggest prayer for devotees around the area, because this is a very heavy and very big ceremony. Very difficult thing also to conduct this type of prayers.

The puja performed was very meaningful, it has never been performed in Klang, and it is a grand puja and is very meaningful to the people. My main reason for coming here is to receive blessings from God for all aspects of my life. Besides that, I’d like to know... I got to learn about the beliefs of our religion. I am very happy to have participated in such a special puja. I hope this kind of puja can be performed more often in all parts of Malaysia.

Before the commencement of the main Yaagam Puja prayer, the priests lead the congregation in reciting the daily ritualistic prayers, in reverence and worship to various gods and deities.

Afterward, the 9-Planet Puja offers respect and prayers of worship to the nine planets of the solar system. Worshippers hope for smooth sailing in their daily lives.

The priest will sprinkle water to the food and offer to the gods to get the blessing from the nine planets. The Balibida Puja is going on at the moment to get rid our bad karmas before we enter the temple.

The notable and auspicious prayer for the memorable event, “Ukra Ratha Shanthi Saubakya Maha Yaagam Puja,” is paramount to the puja being accomplished successfully. Favorable benefits are imparted to all worshippers who participate in it.

Now, the special puja’s already started, this is called Yaagam Kundam.

In the Yaagam Kundam, or fire worship, special mantras are chanted, invoking the presence of deities’ supernatural essence. Eleven priests continuously chant the Sri Rudram prayer of the sacred Vedic scriptures. At the same time, a combination of herbs and spices will be added into the fire as an offering and entreating the respective deities to bless the devotees.

Special permission to carry out this particular prayer must be obtained from the head of the temple.

What you’re seeing now is the temple’s president and his wife are leading the ceremony to get Sangalpam. Sangalpam means we have to have a goal, and why we are doing these prayers and what are the reasons to get these prayers done well. The president’s permission must we have, so we call the particular president’s blessing.

The priests proceed with the Yaagam Kundam. The fire worshipping is almost complete. This is Punjahareti, referring to the five decorated lamps.

While the prayer session is being conducted, the priests will call the particular devas to guide and oversee the Agni Homam or fire worshipping. They call upon Intran, Agni, Yeman, Niruthi, Vayu, Varuna, Kuberan, and Eesanan, to ensure a smooth and successful performance.

The Archana, which means God’s names, is a repetitive intonation of the different names of God. Flowers are offered after every name is chanted.

After the prayers and chanting, the devotees take the ashes or darpei aasanam to place on their foreheads, it signifies that the person’s soul has been purified through a puja.

The mantra chanting, or Sri Rudram in the Vedas, have to be conducted 11 times and is called “Ega Dasha Rudram.” Toward the completion of the ceremony, devotional songs are sung by the priests to the deities.

After the ceremony, the big kalasam is carried around the temple. The priest who carrying the holy water pot, kumbam, we call it, they have to wrap their head and their garland. Now, the kalasam is being brought down by the priest. They have to carry at the head and chanting particular mantras continuously. And the classical music must be played and the bell must be rung. The kalasam is going around the temple following the classical music. We’re going around the temple clockwise.

The holy water is being brought down by the priest, who will get ready to enter the temple to pour it over the deities as a purification ritual.

The 5-wick brass ghee lamp has a special place in Hindu worship and signifies the dispelling of darkness, thus leading devotees to spiritual energy and light. The 5-wick ghee lamp represents our 5 physical senses which must be pure and bright all the time to merit God’s blessings. Holy water is also sprinkled on the devotees and is part of the ritualistic purification process.

Now after the ceremony is complete, whoever participates in these prayers, the priest is going to bathe them by the holy water, and get rid their bad karmas. Now, a new dress is given by the priest. Not only the clothes have been changed, also our mind needs to be changed. The old things, negativities, all are thrown away and get the fresh, positive mind towards God. The participants who participate in this special prayer (with the) garland by the priest, that shows that a particular blessing is already given to them, to respect them. And their body, their soul has already cleaned, and they have to continue their life in a clean manner.

After these prayers, they have to change a certain particular character, and body, mind and soul towards God, and what is taught by the priest. The garland, another meaning, that is, there is God inside our body, so we need to respect the inner God who is handling us until our end of the life, so we need to respect the inner soul.

At the end of the main prayer, another set of prayers are specially conducted to bless different age groups. This prayer reminds us of the circle of life from birth, youth, marriage, and finally to old age. A small boy, a young girl, a married couple, and an old sanyasi (Hindu ascetic) represent these four age groups. After this prayer, they would circle the temple to bless the vegetarian food prepared for everyone at the end of the event.

Along with the main prayer, there is also the prayer to the cow god, or Goo Puja, reminding us to learn the good qualities from the cow.

Cow is as our mother to give milk to live in this world while we’re a baby, and he also never expect anything from us in return. So that is the main point why we pray to the cow. Like the cow, there are no other thoughts coming, bad thoughts like this man is good, that man is bad. He never gives that kind of thought. Good thinking like this must come to us always and we get the cow’s blessing.

This is horse prayer. Ashwam means success. All the success must come to these devotees. The mantra is chanted by the priest… and put flower to get the particular horse blessing. The elephant god – the face is elephant face, and the body is Asura. Asura means is against devas, the people who doing violence. And below the hip, normal human’s legs.

That means, in human’s mind, sometimes we become acting like an animal, sometimes we act like a normal person, sometimes we act like an asura. So we (do) special prayers for the elephant to show Asuragunam, that means the bad thoughts will need to go away from us, and we get blessing from the god Ganesh.

At the temple, vegetarian food is served after the prayer. In Hinduism, we call (it) Saivam. Saivam means vegetarian. Vegetarian is the food which can bring you to the peace. Your body, your mind and soul only become at peace by taking the vegetarian food, to keep our mind very free and more calm. Then, next step (is) to God.

These meticulously planned and detailed Puja prayers display the devotion and sincerity of Hindu devotees to God. We thank Siva Sri Nandakumar Gurukkal, the Vinayagar Ganesha Temple, temple personnel and devotees for sharing these sacred ways they come nearer to God.

Thank you for your sincere company today. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Our Noble Lineage, after Noteworthy News. May your life be blessed with God’s love and peace.