yesterday, October 21st, was a hugely auspicious day -- called Dassara, or Vijaya Dashami, in the Sanskrit traditions -- the "Victory Day" when Mother Divine, formed out of all of the collective consciousnesses of the divine beings (rishis, angels, gods, goddesses, avatars, everyone) to defeat the great upsurge of negativity embodied by a particular demon, Mahisasura, finally slew that rakshasa or demon.
additionally, in my spiritual tradition it is a HUGELY powerful day for another reason; it is the day on which Shirdi Sai Baba, the great miracle saint of the 1800s and early 20th century, took his mahasamadhi (conscious exit from his body).
he said, "Mother is calling, I have to go...." and handed 9 coins (the 9 different paths to the divine, including seva -- service -- and meditation, singing of bhajans and other ways) to a woman, Lakshmi Bai, who had taken care of him for most of her life.
in this photograph, our group is doing what's called an 'abishek', a ritual bath, for our community's statue of Shirdi Sai Baba. we poured water over him, then milk, then slathered him with sandal powder and rinsed it off with rosewater.
when you see a statue of a divine figure get bathed like this, the washing of the statue is linked to a washing of your own karmas.
it is a high divine, powerful, amazing energy that is generated from such a rinsing -- abisheks happen daily in Penukonda, every morning at 5:30 a.m., to our massive statue of Shirdi Baba there.
in this case, we were about 50 people gathered for the fire homa that followed the abishek. it was quite powerful -- as you can see if you take a few moments to enjoy the energy of this photograph.
I'll post other photos from the actual group gathering and fire homa that ensued after the abishek -- it was a real barn-burner, energetically, where all major forms of the Mother Divine were worshipped and invoked in the fire, and then we did a mantra connecting to Shirdi Baba, as well, in a beautiful, direct way.
the blessings were flowing as tangibly as the water cascading off of this statue....