The sounds of the bells and the chants have sanctified the early morning air.
The puja in the Dakshinamurti temple is complete.
We climb down the steps, some slow and some in a hurry
and head towards Pujya Swamiji’s kutiya.
The plants are glistening with freshness as they have just been watered.
We dodge the beautiful and elaborate kollam drawn near the entrance and enter the room.
There is a hush. An altar including the choicest fruits and delectable food are decorated in front of
a full length mirror, which is to our right.
The Acharya is reminding all of us to look into the mirror as a part of the ritual of welcoming the Hindu New Year.
A part of the ritual (particularly in Kerala and Tamil Nadu) is to look at what is most auspicious – You.
Most auspicious. Yes!
Self consciously, adjusting one’s dress, we take turns to look at the mirror.
We take a cue from how the other is looking at oneself.
It is too tempting to see ourselves in other people’s eyes.
We try to see
See with no feverish commentary on how we look.
See the being that lends reality to all becoming.
We do a namaskaara to oneself.
And step forward to receive Pujya Swamiji’s asheervaada,
Who taught us to see what always IS.
Who lovingly held the mirror of Vedanta for us to SEE that all that is here is One, without a second.
Happy New Year!
(P.S. – I never stop being amazed at how the simplest of our rituals hold such profound meaning)