Laxsmi Puja is an ancient ceremony to honor the aspect of the Divine associated with prosperity and abundance in all its forms: health, wealth, well-being, and peace on earth for all. It’s a time for cultivating gratitude for the richness and beauty in our lives as well as reflecting on and intentionally calling forth that which we’d like to manifest for ourselves and our loved ones.
To that end, we invite you to spend some time contemplating what it is you would like to ask for in your life. Then, either in advance or on the night of the puja at the ashram (we will have cards available) write those items on a 3 X 5 index card(s) and bring it with you to the puja. Ask for blessings in all forms – physical, spiritual, and/or financial. Part of ceremony includes offering those cards with all of their intentions to the Goddess. Be specific. Be visionary. Be bold. This is not a time to be shy in your requests of the Mother!
One request from our hearts on behalf of a world in need: we invite everyone to include “world peace” as an item on your card.
The essence of Laxsmi Puja is in giving and receiving, the reciprocity of exchange and flow between the Divine and the individual as a facet of that Divinity. And so, in addition to your index cards, we ask that you also include a cash donation (referred to as dakshina) in the amount of your choosing. Frequently people give monetary gifts in amounts that reflect sacred numbers such as $11, $54, or $108. Please enclose the index card and the dakshina gifts in an envelope with your name and home city listed on the front.
All dakshina gifts will go to Kashi Atlanta’s Mother ashram in Kashi Florida, and used to support all of its many philanthropic and service-based programming. And so, your generosity stretches out and helps so many in need; the River of goodness you helped create expands, and all the while, you are washed in that lovely River of abundance, giving and receiving with gratitude and grace.
When you come to Laxsmi Puja, you’ll see a lavishly decorated altar to the Goddess Laxsmi laden with fruit, chocolate, flowers, and other goodies offered up. You are welcome to bring your own contributions to the altar or food offerings known as prasad (food that has been used in a ritual and is therefore blessed) to be eaten after the ceremony.
Ma Jaya, the Guru of this lineage of yoga, used to remind her students “It’s on its way.” as a kind of mantra that cultivates our ability to lean into the faith and grace of Mother Laxsmi providing for us.
Fire pujas are an ancient practice of renewal and transformation. During the puja, the pujari (she or he who performs the puja) will chant each name of the Divine Feminine – there are 108 in our tradition. With each name, participants will cast pinches of birdseed (although traditionally rice is used, Kashi uses birdseed so as not to waste food) into or toward the sacred fire. Using your intention, each seed is imbued with carrying all that you wish to be rid of, all that you wish to offer up to the Mother and to be consumed in the fire. It is a powerful experience to ask for your suffering and attachments to be taken from you. Fire pujas (the word “puja” translates as “moving prayer”) are typically profound experiences.