My local temple held Ganesha Abhishekam last night. My grandfather just passed away two nights before this, and so I took this Abhishekam as a sacred opportunity to remove some of the obstacles between my grandfather and moksha. It is my understanding that some karma needs to be burned way by activities on another plane, and for some, one needs to remove them by means of experiences on Earth. So in the short hours after his leaving the body, it is a key time to make such “petitions” on a person’s behalf. Anyway this is what I thought of us I bathed the Ganesha murti in milk that night. As the priest finished up the proceedings and reassembled the Ganesha murti afterward, and the devotees in the temple sang bhajans to Ganesha, as well as “Radhe Govinda” I continued to make various petitions on his behalf.
I think it was for this reason that on this occasion my wife decided to join me in the temple that night. She walked in as I was in the line going to ward the Murti for the ritual described above. After finishing, I joined her. I was worried because though I didn’t know all of the words to the bhajans which closed the ceremony, I at least had a reasonably good idea about what they were about, whereas she might have only recognized the name of Ganesha. Which would give her a good idea what it was about too, but in a more general sense. She knows He is the Remover of Obstacles. So I was worried she’d feel out of place. But after we received prasad and left the temple, she confided in me that she thought the ritual was “beautiful.” I have always enjoyed giving her my take on the more esoteric concepts behind my chosen religion. But her having the opportunity to see a most ancient, and visual and colorful representation of this esoteric wisdom was nice.
She has long been a bit of an agnostic, but my Grandparents are the closest to grandparents that she has, having come from the Philippines at a very early age without extended family.
Before the Abhishekam, a small group of us worked on preliminary set up of our new temple library – entering books into the automated system, doing some timeline planning. While we did this we decided it would be nice to, aside from having the library open for a certain amount of time each week, to also have a children’s story time each week. I was asked to read children’s versions of stories from the scriptures to groups of children of temple attendees. This is a great idea, helping the kids understand from an early age the meaning behind the stories. Give them understanding from the level they are at, and hopefully understanding will only grow and prosper within them. I will particularly enjoy reading the story of the infant Krishna and his escape from the evil king Kamsa.
Three reasons this Ganesha Abhishekam will always be memorable.
Jai Sri Ganpati Namah!