What is a ceremony, initiation, blessing?
There are several vortexes of power in Lilleoru, where you can experience silence, different energies, release of problems, etc.
The fire ceremony, or havan, is a high-tech of communicating with the forces of nature. It is a tool to get rid of obstacles through a symbolic and conscious offerings; and to ask for blessings for a good life.
A yogi deals with approaching God. All his/her activities are just means to get there.
The closer a person comes to That, the more s/he will experience That and become a part of That. Various ceremonies, initiations, and blessings performed in Lilleoru are means on this path.
The main starting point for ceremonies
A Ceremony is a ritual that is performed in a way that fulfills a specific purpose. Ceremonies may be based on faith, but they may also be based on knowledge. I use the knowledge that comes from both ancient wisdom and my own experience.
In a nutshell, consciousness is omnipresent, is contained in everything, and there is only one of it. That is, there are not many different consciousnesses. The same consciousness is at the disposal of all other beings starting from atoms all the way to immortal gods. The same consciousness is at the disposal of the people and the nature around us – there is no place where there is no consciousness. It is like an endless space in which all existing is contained. This is the main principle of ceremonies.
Prayers that everything would go well in life
Essential parts of yogic ceremonies are prayer and offerings. Why are they performed? Through prayers we address those forces of nature who are able to lead our lives or whom it depends on. In India, every natural force is personified. For example, you may ask for your own health to prevent some disease from hindering your yoga practice. You can pray for those close to you, that their life would be good and that there were no conflicts between you. People also ask to make an unfavorable situation into more favorable; sometimes, they ask for experience or knowledge, and vision. There are basically no limits here. But ethics always apply; if you ask for evil, you are responsible for the consequences. The same goes for good prayers.
The principle of purification
An offering during a ceremony is always associated with the principle of purification. So, what is then purified? First of all, you need to understand the term “Yoga”.
Yoga is the merging of individual consciousness with an omnipotent consciousness, that is, unification. However, this cannot be done until the person is attached. Attachment means you consider everything to be your own, because these things are important to you in some way.
For example, if you imagine completely clean water and say about it – this is consciousness – then the attachment is that all the “things” that are living and floating in the water are important to you. You have your own opinion and reaction to every “thing” in the water. Both the opinion and the reaction itself are again “things” floating in the water, and it does not matter whether they are good or bad “things.” You are focused on “things” and therefore do not notice the “water” you have forever lived in. With such priorities, Yoga cannot be achieved.
Yoga as a method involves purification inextricably from attachment, i.e., releasing consciousness from the “things” in the water and directing it to experience the “water.” The consciousness itself at the person’s disposal is not capable of attachment; that is, it is still initially pure. Attachment is created by the mind that thinks in your own behalf, and it is supported by emotions. Together they create the ego and its reactions. Consciousness persists on the ego issues, and therefore, it seems that you are these issues. You do not notice the pure “water.”
The process of liberation from the ego
Thus, offering is a process of liberation from one’s ego, during which “water” is purified. All the things that burn become ash. Ash is a symbol, which means that we should not overestimate things – they are all evanescent. For this reason, fire is important at every purification ceremony.
For offerings, we use things such as flowers, a mixture of cereals, fruits, water, incense, ghee etc. Why? Because each of these things symbolizes attachment to something that is similar to this substance. For example, if your problem is pride. What would pride look like? Like a rose? Or would it be a beautiful red apple? But what would ego be like? Would a coconut match it? What does anger or self-righteousness look like? A mixture of cereals can symbolize stupid thoughts that endlessly circulate in the head. All such offerings are made in metaphorical sense.
Places of worship and power vortexes in Lilleoru
In Lilleoru’s Flower of Life Park, there are a number of power vortexes initiated during ceremonies. The gate of Kali is dedicated to universal primal energy – creative power – in Sanskrit to Ma Kali, which is the principle of unification of the non-living and the living. The midpoint of the Flower of Life is represented by a geometric figure, or yantra, which expresses the presence of Kriya Babaji, the source of Kriya Yoga taught in Lilleoru; and it too has been initiated during a special ceremony. Dhuni is a place where Vedic fire ceremonies or havans are carried out. The stone circle is the first initiated holy place in Lilleoru, and the “pillar of light” (jyotirlinga) that stands in it represents the presence of – Shiva – the Primordial source of everything; and here it is good to experience silence (going into the circle is not allowed).
The holy statue (murti) in the white temple or in the sanctuary has been made according to the legendary Siddhar or a yoga master, old Haidakhan Babaji who lived in the Himalayan Mountains and achieved perfection. Here he is called Maha Munindra (maha – endless, muni – silence, saint). Maha Munindra’s statue is soulful and reflects yourself to you. In front of the temple the bull Nandi, a symbol of supreme achievement – an uninterrupted focus on Shiva – is lying and looking towards Maha Munindra.
Guru Purnima festival
The annual Guru Purnima (see Wikipedia) is a festival during which students traditionally pay respect to the Teacher’s principle (Guru Tattva), the natural force that leads to liberation, back to the original source. On Guru Purnima’s day, guru’s blessings are sought. On that day, those seeking to be his disciples, offer their master their commitment and the fruits of spiritual practice through gratitude and love. On this day, every disciple updates his/her declaration of intent to perform more spiritual practices, to better understand the guru’s teachings, to perform selfless actions (Guru Seva) and be worthy of guru’s blessings – the Teachings. By focusing on the guru that day, the blessing or darshan can be received.
What is a blessing?
A blessing is the disciple’s personal experience that is passed on to him/her by the teacher, either through understanding, inspiration, intuition, touch, or distance.
The ability to give a blessing indicates the level of teacher’s achievement. The teacher himself/herself chooses whom s/he will bless and whom not. Who is ready for it and who is not yet ready. A blessing is the experience that transforms the recipient.
Through different ceremonies, you can discover your true nature – your consciousness, which is the most accessible, and subsequently the True Self. These two are the basic ones, but they also have their depths. Then it is possible to discover the Global Self, called God. Here too are steps. How to do all this – this is the science of yoga.
Havan, or fire ceremony
In early 2001, when I was in India, I obtained the right to carry out havans from Shri Muniraj, head of the Haidakhan Babaji ashrams. Havan, or fire ceremony, is, for me, a high-tech method of dealing with natural forces.
A havan is composed of a complex and precise course of action. Legends say the fire ceremony dates back to the beginning of Treta era, when people began to lose their living contact with God. In order to be able to still reach him in the ever-darkening ages, the saints of that time created a special technology – the holy fire ceremony. Until now, the ceremony includes all the various activities, details, and tools of this technology. The technology itself is not easy to understand and needs years of learning and the emergence of deep understanding.
At the heart of the fire ceremony grounds is the hearth. Mantras are pronounced, which are addressed to the various facets of divinity, i.e., the forces of nature, and offerings of various substances are made to the fire (cereal mixture, flowers, melted butter, etc.).
During the ceremony it is important to remain in a conscious state, but the skills of a fully conscious offering are achieved over time.