Better Than a Rock Star
In the early morning of the last day with Sakthi Amma at Peedam, I sat in the Vishnu temple in front of the huge statue twice the size of a human while the three priests performed water puja which they do every morning. As the small statues are washed and cleansed so am I, on the inner plane. This ritual enables me to release any troubles from my life. It brings my higher self closer to me. This ritual is for everyone, with the objective for the well being of all living beings in the Universe. This is part of Sakthi Amma's purpose. Her purpose is much greater for she is an Avataar of Goddess Mahasakthi Sri Narayani which is the combination of the three attributes of Goddess Sri Saraswathi (wisdom) Goddess Sri Lakshmi (abundance) and Goddess Sri Durga (strength). She has manifested in this Avataar to make the world prosperous with these three attributes.
The evening was the full moon and celebrated with a great Fire puja. I was so glad to have witnessed this event at least once in my life. The fire was fed with ghee and planed branches. Baskets of fruit of many kinds, neem leaves, rice, coconuts, flowers etc sat prepared and waiting in front of me. Each offering was given to the fire accompanied with mantra sung by two groups of singers, male and female, sharing the lead with each other. The fire and its smoke fed the celestial beings.
We were so excited to be there we arrived early dressed in our saris and placed our cushions at the front to get good vision. The full moon puja is special for all the Indians. They arrived after work with their children and parents and filled the large hall over the four hours. At the end Sakthi Amma walked through the centre throwing theertam (holy water) upon everyone. It was so joyful.
Everyone was jockeying for a place close to the centre. I am still surprised when my body is pressed between other bodies. There is no such thing as personal space here. We think of it as pushing in and they would think of filling the available space. Such a fever built up after the theertam as Sakthi Amma availed herself for some personal moments. There was a rush, pushing and squirming trying to get close to her. I wasn't sure what was going on but I followed the crowd and found myself face to face with Sri Sakthi Amma. Amazingly I had the presence of mind to say "time to say goodbye". "When are you leaving?" she asked. "Tomorrow". Our eyes met. She blessed me. I bowed my head In thanks and farewell. My moment was over. Her minders shuffled me along.
The excited crowd couldn't take their eyes off her. They follow her out hoping to catch one more glimpse, one more glance, one more blessing. We walked home fulfilled, smiling inside and out. "She's better than a rock star," my friend beamed.