The Sri Vidya Temple Society in Rochester, New York, is celebrating its Maha Kumbhabhishekam from July 1 to 11. The central deity of this temple is Rajarajeswari, the Supreme Being in a feminine aspect. A Kumbhabhishekam for a temple normally happens once every 12-years. Renovations and repairs are made to the temple and then the temple undergoes a consecration ceremony.

Maha Kumbhabhishekam literally means ritualistic pouring of sacred water from the great vessel. A simple summary of what takes place is this. Deities are invoked and worshiped in great rituals of fire ceremonies called yagnas and homas, which are performed in the open. The divine energy invoked by appropriate homas are transferred into kumbhas – brass or mud vessels containing water mixed with powders and a range of natural products. Mantras from the Vedas (central scriptures of Hinduism) are chanted. The energy in the water in the kumbhas are then transferred to the statue of the deity in the temple by pouring the water on the gopuram (top of the temple tower) and on the statue of the deity. This pouring from the kumbhas is accompanied by the chanting of appropriate mantras derived from the Vedas. Now the temple and the statue of the Deity are re-energized.

I’ll be posting more photos and updates over the next few days. The temple website has more information about the Kumbhabhishekam. Click here.

Giant tents have been set up all over the 22-acre property. The largest tent, shown in the photo, is where the fire ceremonies (homas) are taking place each day

The entire inner perimeter of the tent is lined with wooden shelves on which sits the kumbhas (vessels). One thousand and eight kumbhas in total.

The main homa kundam (fire ceremony pit).

Surrounding the main homa pit are 120 other smaller homa pits. Each will have a devotee chanting and invoking the inner world beings 3 times a day for 11 days.

All the tools needed for the ceremony. Each homa pit comes equipped with these trays

Everything has been set up so perfectly. What an amazing display of love and dedication.

The vessels are being filled with water before taken into the tent and placed in their strategic locations

Devotees making their way back to the main tent

The crowd gathers for some preliminary ceremonies. Tomorrow begins the first day of homas.

 


A video highlighting some of the places we will visit during our upcoming 16-day spiritual adventure in Nepal and North India (in October). From the majestic Himalayas to sub-tropical jungles, ancient villages to bustling Asian cities, our spiritual adventure will enthrall you with a kaleidoscope of experiences that will capture your heart. We will venture into the depths of us in classes covering the essential tools of yoga as we explore the ancient Hindu teachings and its practical application in today’s world.

Meditation Retreat in the Himalayas of Nepal and North India

 

Sketched this map today of Nepal and its neighboring countries. We will be exploring Nepal in the upcoming Himalayas spiritual adventure in October of 2010.

Map of Nepal and neighboring countries (China-Tibet, Bangladesh, Bhutan and India)

Map of Nepal and neighboring countries (China-Tibet, Bangladesh, Bhutan and India)