MURTILIKES 008Hi James,

Another question for your website:

In India, it is considered essential to bathe oneself before presuming to worship, bathe, or anoint the Divine. How does this fit into the daily form Bhagavan has GIven us where we wake up and meditate immediately and then go straight into puja? I have thought that perhaps the bathing before puja ritual reflects the puritanical leanings of the Indian tradition, and so it has no relevance in Adidam. On the other hand, there is something to it. One could say that the purification from the water Prasad that the priests take fulfills this admonition. What do you think?

Did Bhagavan expect us to wait until after puja to engage oral hygiene practices? i always do this after I wake up–brush, scrape tongue, morning elimination, then i’m off to the Hall. I have noted Bhagavan’s Instruction to meditate “immediately” upon waking, so I have wondered about this.

Love,
N
Dear N,

Let me say a few words in response to your query

Yes, typically in relationship to Bhagavan’s Instructions, the shower would come later, likely after the morning calisthenics

dsc_1693-1In India there is the whole consideration of ritual purify vs. pollution. I remember visiting a devotee of Narayan Maharaj in Poona. He had just taken his shower and put on his clean clothes and was about to do puja. I put my hand out to shake his, and he avoided me very obviously with fear on his face that I might touch him. I thought that perhaps he hadn’t seen my hand, and so I put it out again, and then he completely dodged me and withdrew, and explained that he had just taken his bath, etc. and I understood that he did not want to be touched. Because if I had contact with him, just coming off the street, etc., he would have to shower again and put on new clothes, because he would have lost his ritual purity.

That of course,  is not a focus within Adidam.

Now if you were going to do a large puja in front of others, like a fire puja or something like that, later in the day, then a shower and clean clothes, etc. would be appropriate and perhaps even necessary.

But in the morning, in an everyday circumstance, all of that is satisfied by taking the water and ash and kumkum before going into the hall. and the admonition to just drop it all.

Of course dress should also be appropriate if others are there, (no tee shirts or informal shorts, etc.) but the white or orange clothing of the Hindu pujarist is also not necessary.

Jap garden0705 003Now cleaning the tongue or using the toilet is fine or even brushing the teeth.   Bhagavan also mentioned doing the gag reflex might be appropriate. You know putting the fingers towards the back of the tongue in order so far that there is a spontaneous gag. Which Bhagavan said opens up the throat area.

But the idea is not to allow the mind to get activated by random thinking, but as quickly as possible entering into the Sacred meditative relationship to Him. So if the brushing of the teeth and all of this is allowing you to start thinking while you are doing it, then probably better to wait until after meditation and puja.

I would say that taking the water from the pujarist from the paduka or murti puja is not so much about the ritual purification of the body done before puja, as is done in India. It is more receiving the fullness of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Blessing.

Of course it is also purifying, but not in this ritual sense, but the purification that is not simply washing, but as a result of the Blessing Infusion of the Guru’s Grace.

with love to you at this time of Da Guru Purnima

James