Kali Puja October 19 10pm

We will be performing our annual Kali Puja, the elaborate ritual worship of the goddess Dakshina Kali, the same form of the Divine worshipped by Sri Ramakrishna at the Dakshineswar Temple in Kolkata. This is basically an all-night puja that combines elements from both the Vedic and Tantric traditions. During the ritual the goddess is”invoked” several times, in water, fire, the one who performs the ritual and in the little image of Kali who presides over the event. As I wrote in the last newsletter, we perform a prana pratishtha, calling forth the presence of the goddess in the image. Even though the Divine is everywhere and everywhen, once the invocation is performed the awareness of Kali Herself is both everywhere and precisely in the image at the same time, mysteriously present in the room. The best way to attend the worship is to keep in mind that She is present right there in that tiny image and simultaneously everywhere. At the very end of the worship we ‘break the tie’ and She happily returns to the Formless Ocean of Bliss.
You will have a chance to bring special offerings to the Mother. It can be flowers, food, make-up, jewelry, perfume- anything you might give to a beloved and respected Mother. Please remember that the puja restrictions apply: whatever you bring should be first for the Mother. That means it has not been tasted, smelled, overly handled or otherwise enjoyed by you or anyone else. If you are bring a food offering please bring it in new containers. We won’t be allowing anyone in our kitchen except for our designated helpers, so all food offerings must be fully prepared before coming.
There’s another kind of offering that the Mother loves: music! I am inviting any of you who can perform or lead bhajans/kirtan or any other kind of song to come and make an offering.
Here is the rough schedule:
10pm   Gitaprana explains the puja
10:30-1 The main part of the puja
1-2 Homa Fire
2-3 The final ‘returning’ of the Mother to the Ocean
3am  Prasad
As always you may come and go at any time during the night. If you need to rest for a few hours after the puja there will be a place w/o our usual suggested donation.
We really hope you can attend part or all of this wonderful night.

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