Darshan - Puja: How to perform Skanda Puja

By Sri Skanda's Warrior of Light

May 1, 2009

For a long time, my heart has desired to worship my ishtadevam - Bhagavan Sri Skanda through a proper Hindu puja. The reason is none other than to show my gratitude for all the miracles, grace, and assistance that He has given me since coming into my life 11 years ago. The satsang page on this website is replete with examples of His presence and grace in my life.

So began my quest to learn how to perform Skanda Puja...

My first encounter was with a Hindu priest in the spring of 2003, when I asked Him how to perform the Trikhanda Mudra. He responded arrogantly and ignorantly with the following remark (in Tamil), "If you had taken thet-chi I would maybe show you but you haven't even done that!"

"thet-chi" is a ceremony whereby one receives a mantra from a Guru and one of the requirements is that sishya (disciple) must abstain from eating meat and any impure food.

He had readily assumed I was a non-vegetarian and therefore, not fit to learn the rites of worship in the Hindu faith - when in fact, there is no such law or statement that I was aware of written in our holy Vedas to support his arrogant behavior and prejudiced remark.

Little did he know that I was a vegetarian for the past 14 yrs. Had the arrogant priest even taken the time to inquire about me and the reasons behind my motivation to learn Skanda Puja he would have at least ascertained that fact. However, as you will see with later experiences and struggles that I faced, ignorance very commonly rules much of the human mind - especially the "caste-sickened" Hindu priests.

Not to be dismayed by the priest's shallow remarks, I pursued on with my heart-felt desire to learn how to worship my beloved SatGuru. I, then, came across a Bharatanaatyam (Classical Dance) Teacher and asked her if she knew how to do the Trikhanda Mudra.

The premise I formulated was since classical dancers do many elegant poses with mudras (hand gestures), surely the Trikhanda mudra must be one that this teacher would know about.

I humbly asked her and told her the reason. She commended me for my efforts but to my disappointment said, "I'm sorry I don't know that mudra. Perhaps you can ask a priest."

We already know where that got me! But I thought I'd give it another try - perhaps I just happened to pick one rotten apple out of the whole bunch. So this time, I visited another Hindu priest from another temple who was reknowned for taking great pride for telling everyone he meets that he is a "Sanskrit Scholar" and that he had achieved "Honors in Sanskrit" where he trained. I came and asked him humbly, "Aiyaa, can you please teach me how to learn Skanda Puja?"

"What? You?" He rebuked immediately.

"If I teach you then why am I a priest? Why will this temple need me if I teach you all the rites and rituals?" He yelled in an angry voice.

I replied, "I'm sorry but I disagree with you. I want to learn purely to worship Lord Murugan. I have no interest in replacing your job as a priest."

He continued further with his condescending remarks, "I have noticed that you chant some mantras while in the temple. Don't chant them when I am here and in front of devotees. If you do, I will yell at you in front of other people."

Having had enough of this nonsense, I replied, "I, too, will yell back at you if you do that to me. Don't you find it a mystery that a Muslim can go to his mosque, a Christian to his church - and when they ask to be fed with knowledge about their religion, the official in their religious institution will more than oblige? Whereas in our faith, this is made to be such a hindrance?! In a time when mass conversions are taking place with fewer and fewer devotees coming to the temple because of insults such as those coming from your mouth - is it not a wonder that our sacred faith is being jeopardized by the very people who sought a promise during their upanayanam (sacred thread) ceremony to learn, protect, and propagate the Vedas?!"

The priest was speechless.

"Why do you have a title at the end of your name called, 'Gurukkural'? What is Guru? Is it not a teacher? Why do you fail to teach those who willingly with sincerity come to learn about this gift (the Holy Vedas) given by God Siva - not just to the ignorant caste-conscious Brahmins and ego-stricken vegetarians, but - to all living creatures?! Yet somehow, you feel the copyrights of the Vedas belong exclusively to those who are vegetarian and/or Brahmin!" I exclaimed.

Further, I added, "Moreover, the only person who can stop me from learning is Him [I pointed my hand towards the idol in the main sannidhi (altar) of Bhagvan Sri Skanda] - noone else - not you or any other priest/Brahmin!"

Keeping my hand pointed towards Lord Murugan I stated and declared very firmly, "He is my Guru! Do you hear me?! Only He can stop me! No-one else can! Do you hear me? You are no-one, nothing in comparison to Him. So how dare you tell me - what it is that I can learn and cannot learn! This is His temple not yours! And the holy Vedas belong to Him and not you or your ignorant arrogant pompous Brahmin cleek! You can pride yourself on 'sanskrit honors' all you want but His knowledge and wisdom by far exceeds your own!"

As I said that, a big rose from the Lord Murugan statue flew from the mulasthaanam (main shrine) and landed in between me and the priest! Even the priest was surprised with this. I, too, was startled but later gained immense happiness knowing that my Lord Murugan had heard my heart's cry to worship Him.

I then left the temple - though I really didn't learn anything further - I realized that the desire to learn how to worship my Lord continued to burn within me - inspite of these setbacks.


Learning Ganapathi Puja & Devi Puja

May 2003

Later on during that year in May 2003, I heard about a workshop being held in Toronto on Sri Vidya - specifically, on "How to perform Puja" - by Sri Chaitanyananda. Thinking that this was perhaps Lord Murugan's assistance to help me get to my goal of formally worshipping Him, I paid $150 for the puja manual and included CD, as well as for the short-lunch that they had provided for the full-one day workshop.

I went and was happy to learn about Ganapathi Puja and Devi Puja. However, there was no mention of Skanda Puja. I was a little disappointed but said to myself, "Every puja must start with Ganapathi, so why don't I learn that and hopefully, some where down the road I will learn Skanda Puja."

At this workshop, Sri Chaitanyananda showed the trikhanda mudra but I couldn't learn it so quickly because it was my first time being exposed to mudras (intricate hand gestures of affection to the Lord). Luckily for me, my father videotaped the mudra. When I got home I replayed the video several times in slow motion to learn the mudra! After 2 hours of effort, I managed to learn it. I was so thrilled that I had learned it that I took a digital photograph of it so that I can remember how to do it again :P (in case I forgot!)

While at home, I also browsed through the puja manual and played the CD that I had obtained from the workshop. When I played the CD it began to skip a lot. Apparently the person who burned the CD did not burn it properly and so I would hear, "Om Ganaanaam…[tvaa cut out]…ganapathigum havaama hey…[kavim cut-out]…kaveenaam...upavastramam…" - It had skipped crucial mantras in between :(

I was very sad having paid all this money from my student loan for a skipped CD! I managed to contact the person who burnt the CD. He noted my name and mailing address and reassured me that he would mail me a properly burned CD - but the CD never came. I called the Rochester Temple and spoke with devotees about another 3 or 4 times, they also did the same thing - noted my name, phone number, and address, and said someone will get in touch with me and mail me the CD - which, of course, never came. So, I made do with the CD I had - though it was far from an ideal learning resource - but something is better than nothing!

Not losing heart, I pursued to learn - to the best of my ability - the Sri Ganapathi puja with the skipping CD. Within that first week, I had a unique experience with Lord Ganesha showing that He had accepted my worship.

Since I didn't have flowers to do the archana puja, I would mentally visualize a rose flower in my hand and pretend that I was peeling a petal off and offering it to the Lord with each 'namaha.'

So, in my dream that night, I dreamt that I was doing the same Sri Ganapathi puja in my dream in the Thiruchendur Murugan temple that I frequently visit. I was seated at the bottom of the Kodi maram (flag post) where a small Ganapathi statue was situated and was doing the same puja that I do in real-life! I recall showing the Trikhanda mudra and within the mudra was a red rose flower. I also remember chanting the same mantras and Sanskrit verses that I had learned through the puja manual and CD from the Rochester Temple workshop. I awoke with such a content feeling in my heart since I was able to worship Lord Ganesha and obtain His blessings in this manner.

A few days later I had another dream where I was prostrating at the feet of Sri Chaitanyananda who was standing and holding his right hand in the abayahara mudra in blessing. Behind him was a Devi statue of Sri Raajarajeswari. I was so content on waking up with this dream, realizing that Goddess Ambaal and Ganapathi were aware of my keen interest to learn puja and acknowledged my sadhana efforts with their darshan.

I proceeded to learn the full Sri Ganesha puja in 2004 by heart before I went to England for my studies. By then I had internalized all the rituals and began performing manasa puja (doing puja mentally). I then had a wonderful experience with Devi.

Read experience: Blessings from Goddess Raajarajeswary

I continued my worship of Sri Ganesha and Sri Lalitha Devi through the puja methods described in the Sri Sukta Vidhana Sodasa Upacara Puja manual made by Sri Chaitanyananda - however, in my heart, I always longed to learn how to worship Lord Murugan. Though I performed the above puja rituals by chanting Lord Ganesha's and Ambaal Devi's name, I would just close my eyes and visualize Lord Murugan's form instead.

My beloved Lord gratefully acknowledged my form of worship through the experience entitled, "Murugan and Ambaal are One and the same."

Read experience: Murugan and Ambaal are one and the same

After I completed my 3rd year of post-graduate studies in England, I proceeded to California to complete my fourth and final year. While I was there, I still continued my daily puja vidhaanam (method) of Sri Ganesha and Sri Devi, but like I mentioned earlier, I always visualized that I was doing everything for Bhagavan Sri Skanda - even though I had no idea how to formally worship the Lord (yet).

While continuing this form of worship, I was blessed and fortunate to continue having profound and unique experiences involving Sri Ganesha, Sri Devi, Sri Siva, and Sri Skanda.

You can read them on the satsang page


Passing through Raajarajeshwari Temple in Rochester, NY

January 27, 2008

I graduated medical school (in 2006) and started my residency training in 2007 - but within me the desire to worship exclusively Lord Murugan in a formal method (vidhaanam) continued to burn within me - it never went away ever since I developed the urge many years ago during my unfriendly encounters with the Hindu priests.

Then during one of my travels to visit my "bodily" parents (the parents of this physical body that I am encased in) - I passed through the Raajarajeswari Temple in Rochester, NY.

When I arrived there, I saw Sri Chaitanyananda and a group of his disciples gathered around talking. I started asking one of the devotees if they had a puja manual for Lord Murugan that I can purchase (thinking they might have made one since this was the same temple that made the "Sri Chakkra Puja Instructional Manual" which I obtained from the 2003 workshop). 5 years later, to my dismay, there was no manual.

One of the devotees suggested to me, "Why don't you just make your own? You just replace everything pertaining to Devi in this Sri Chakkra Puja manual with Lord Murugan's mantram."

I said, "I don't know any of Lord Murugan's mantras. How can I obtain them?"

"Aiya (Sri Chaitanayananda) is right there, why don't you ask him. I'm sure he'll be more than willing to tell you."

So, I approached Sri Chaitanyananda and asked if I could obtain a list of 108 names (ashthothram on Sri Subramanya) - to my disappointment, he said, "That you'll have to find on your own." He then got up and exited the temple because he said it was time to have tea made by his wife, who was supposedly in the house next to the temple.

As he left, I was left shocked and saddened by his remark. Here is this Guru who is being hailed by his disciples as someone who will "freely teach anything if you ask" and this temple also is reknowned for being a "teaching" temple - yet when I approached for some knowledge to obtain the ashthothrasatanama vali of Lord Murugan I was turned away :(

Nevertheless, my persistence again was being tested - like with the Hindu priest in 2003, now with Sri Chaitanyananda.

When Sri Chaitanyananda left, I was approached by three other devotees who asked, "So you want to make a Lord Muruga puja manual right?"

These devotees took great trouble to dig through all the books that were in Sanskrit, Tamil, and English in the Temple's bookstore and come up with one book. I don't recall the name but they found the entire puja for Lord Muruga in Tamil. Unfortunately, I don't read or speak Tamil that well.

Nevertheless, my heart was thrilled that at least I had obtained something relevant to my beloved Lord Muruga. The one humble devotee opened the book and started to compare it to the Sri Chakkra puja manual that I had with me since 2003.

"It looks and follows the same format except there is a beejaakshara mantram for Lord Murugan and there is a variation in the anga portion of the puja manual." He said.

So, He generously wrote the beejaakshara mantram down for me (Om sreem hreem kleem aim soum saravanabhavaaya namaha) while I wrote the anga portion of the puja (worship of the various body parts of the Lord) of Lord Murugan.

Then I asked, "Well what do I do since the Sri Suktam is interspersed in the Devi puja in this manual?"

The devotee replied, "How do you worship Lord Murugan?"

"Through Thiruppugal songs." I replied.

"Well, just replace the phrases of the Sri Suktam with Thiruppugal songs and make it a Thiruppugal puja." He stated.

I was surprised. I had never thought of that before - a Thiruppugal puja (manual)?!

"The great thing about this puja method learnt from Sri Dattaatreya Swami is that you can modify it to suit the deity of your choice." He assured me.

I was so thrilled and thanked him for his gracious help. I later learned in my discussion with this particular devotee how he had the darshan of Lord Murugan while he visited India. I thanked Lord Murugan for introducing me to him and for giving me this small seed (i.e. the beejaakshara mantras) to plant within my heart.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the temple since I still had a 6 hour drive to my residence and I had to go to the hospital (work) the next day.

While I was exiting the temple, a strange thing happened. As I had just obtained some of the key parts of the recipe to make Lord Murugan's puja manual from the very generous disciples of Rochester Temple, Sri Chaitanyananda entered the building. He proceded to go and talk to some other devotees about Sai Baba. I quickly offered my respects by doing paathanamaskaaram and left the temple.

I went back to Philadelphia happy with what Lord Murugan gave me through the devotees, but also saddened and disappointed with my interaction with Sri Chaitanyananda.

This event took place in February of 2008. When I went back home, I was so overwhelmed with my work that I really did not pursue the idea of making a puja manual for Lord Murugan. The desire was still inside me, just not the time. Working 90-100 hours a week doesn't really leave you much time to sit and construct a puja manual from scratch!

I, instead, continued my worship of Sri Ganesha and Sri Devi. However, I made a slight modification to the puja. Since the kumkum (red saffron) powder that I was using in my worship of Sri Ganesha and Sri Devi started to accumulate a lot of dust, which eventually resulted in me throwing the kumkum in the garbage because the dust was too unsightly, I felt guilty doing this practice. So, I stopped using kumkum and started using akshatas (tumeric colored rice) instead while doing the Sri Devi puja - which when it accumulated I used to feed the birds in my neighborhood (annadhaanam). I did not tell anyone about this subtle change in my puja method with changing kumkum for akshatas. But someone was watching...

A few days later, I was rewarded with another vision...


Sri Sukta Vidhana Puja

March 2008

In this dream, I was seated in front of the altar in my prayer room (see figure below). In front of me was a well-lit kuthu-vilakku (deepam) and a Sri Chakkram on a gold-colored plate. On my left was my future wife, seated along with my mother and her mother. They, too, were seated with a well-lit kuthu-vilakku in front of each of them along with a small tray.

In front of us in the center of my altar (in my dream), where normally a picture of Bhagavan Sri Skanda resides (see picture above), was the BIG black statue of Sri Raajarajeswari from the Rochester Temple. She was decorated wonderfully with glittering gold jewelry and a nice red colored sari. Seated in front of Her was Sri Chaitanyananda!

He had a lamp lit (deepakaal) and was showing it to Devi. As He was doing this, He was chanting parts of the Devi puja that I had learned along with the Sri Suktam. My lips also followed in sync with him, as did my mother and my future wife and mother-in-law.

Whenever Sri Chaitanyananda showed the lamp, we showed the lamp. When He offered flowers, we too offered - but it was akshatas that was being offered from our hands!!! (Remember I told you how I changed the practice from offering kumkum to akshatas?!)

The strange thing about this experience was, my body felt like it was being made to do the puja! I had absolutely no control over it. When Sri Chaitanyananda picked up the deepam to offer towards Devi, my hands too picked up the deepam in front of me and started to offer that to the Devi! When he offered flowers, my hands reached over to the akshatas and offered them to Devi! I had absolutely no control over my body's movements. It was as if Devi was controlling us and at the same time teaching us how to do the puja!

To my recollection, everything I had learned that was outlined in the Sri Chakkra Instructional Puja manual (that I purchased in 2003), I was doing with Sri Chaitanyananda and my relatives in my dream! I then awoke!

After this experience, I wondered, "Maybe I shouldn't proceed with making the Subrahmanya puja manual? It is going to take some time to make and also maybe Devi wants me to just worship Her instead?"

So for a few months, I had this internal conflict within me - to make or not to make a puja book for Bhagavan Sri Skanda? To make matters worse, I had no idea how to start, how to put the proper order of the mantras, or even how to follow an accepted puja method?

Hence, I put this project off to the side not knowing exactly what to do. Instead, I started to chant daily a verse from Kanthar Anubhuthi (verse 45), wherein Saint Arunagirinathar sings:

Not to be disheartened by the obstacles placed by the so-called "learned" ones, I decided to turn to my SatGuru and ask Him for wisdom instead of those who conceal their learning. I begged Lord Murugan to give me guidance on how to worship Him. I chanted the above verse every morning during my nitya karmas (daily prayers).

The great thing about Lord Murugan is - He ALWAYS answers prayers said with sincerity and love. The only thing is time. One must be patient and wait for the reply, which may take seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and/or years!

While I was carrying on with my physician duties, all the while waiting for Sri Skanda's answer, I continued to be blessed with more profound and cool dreams/experiences...


Blessings from Siva Perumaan and Parvathi Devi

November 14, 2008

Last night, I had a wonderful dream with my wife. She and I were sitting on the ground around a homa kundam and looking at one another. The homa kundam was burning a beautiful golden color flame. My wife looked very pretty. She was wearing a yellow sari and smiling at me.

Then she turned to her left to take a glimpse behind her - as if to tell me that someone had come. I turned my head to the right and saw a group of devotees seated behind us and watching each other. I didn't see anyone else. I then turned my glance back to my wife - she looked at me and then turned again to face the same direction as before.

This time, I glimpsed at my wife's eyes and saw that she knew who the special people were. Her eyes lit up like candle wicks and I saw her lips curl up with a beautiful smile. I then saw four footprints made of vibhuthi on the red carpet as some Being walked - invisible to my naked eyes except their footprints. My wife, by my view, appeared to be able to see these special people to whom the footprints belonged to.

As I continued to watch the footprints, they led up directly to the homa kundam that was burning and appeared to merge with the homa fire. It was then when my eyes glimpsed the same vision that my wife saw - I saw the shape of a trishulam and two figures within the yaagam fire. It was a golden aura that surrounded their figures and I saw their two hands raised in blessing. It was Siva Perumaan and Parvathi Devi!!! I immediately remembered the picture that I had read on the Skandagurunatha.org website on the 63 Nayanars webpage (see figure below) - of Rudra-pasu-pathi Nayanar - this is exactly what I saw in my dream - except it was not a cartoon. It was a real depiction of this figure within the homa fire!

I saw the upper half of their bodies and both, Siva Perumaan & Sakthi Devi were smiling and blessing me as I looked into the Yaagam. I was so happy to receive this vision. I then awoke.

I, then, went to work that day - strangely enough, I received a very important email that told me that last night's dream was not a coincidence! The email message was from a Sri Vidya devotee (Venkat Aiya) who stated that a homam was being performed in his house and he kindly extended his invitation to me. Realizing this email came immediately following my dream last night, I took it to be an important omen that I should heed to. I responded to the devotee stating that I wanted to come but couldn't since my wife was having her monthly "women's problem (menstruation)." The devotee then later called me on my phone while I was driving home and said that he had spoken to his Guru - Sri Chaitanyananda (the person going to perform the homam along with the devotee) - who permitted me to attend the ceremony along with my wife.

I was thrilled and happy to hear this. I rushed home and told my wife these events including the dream and she was speechless. Moreover, it was my wife's 3rd day of menstruation and she was even more amazed that she had not bleed even once during the entire day. She then rushed to the washroom to check again - again, no bleeding! She then got ready and we both went to the devotee's house.

At the house, we sat at the homam as preparations were being made. I asked Sri Chaitanyananda, "Aiya, what type of homam are you going to do?" He responded, "Mrityunjaya homam (for Lord Siva)." As soon as he said this, my wife and I looked at each other in amazement (given the vision I had last night). Here was a Devi upasaka doing a Siva homam - bringing both the energies of Siva & Sakthi together!

Moreover, there was a yogi from the Kauai's Hindu Monastery by the name of Dandayuthapani Aiya - who follows the Saiva Siddhanta marga (path). We were thrilled to participate in this rare auspicious homam and partake of the grace - while our thoughts fully contemplated on the vision given to us last night by Bhagavan Siva Perumaan and Bhagavathi Sakthi Devi.

After the homam was over, I had the opportunity to speak with Dandayuthapani Aiya, whom I have seen perform homams and pujas to the installed deities (Sri Ganesha, Sri Siva, and Sri Murugan) at the Kauai Hindu Kadavul Temple in Hawaii. I thought that perhaps he could give me a little direction/advise on how to perform a puja for Lord Murugan.

But my interest was quickly shot down when he, too, to my disappointment, said, "I'm sorry the puja method we use is exclusively only for the monks at Kauai...but perhaps you can make a manual of your own? You just replace the verses of a puja for any other deity with Lord Murugan's."

That exactly was my problem - where was I going to get these mantras for Lord Murugan?

Realizing the repetition of the similar events that took place before, with people not interested in helping me construct a puja manual for Lord Murugan, I decided to just not pursue this topic with anyone anymore.

"I had already asked Lord Murugan right?" I thought. "Well, I just have wait patiently for the reply." I reassured myself.

Anyway, I was still happy that my wife and I could participate in the homam. That night when my wife and I returned home from the homam, she went to the bathroom and came out exclaiming in delight, "Still no bleeding for the entire day!" Which was very very very unusual for her. The next day, my wife's menstrual bleeding resumed!

I'm still in delight and amazement of the grace of Lord Parameswara and Parameswari on this miracle and how they wanted us to come and participate in this auspicious homam! It reminded me of the experience I had when a lady whom Devi speaks through came to visit the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple that I worship at to deliver a message to me by Bhagavan Sri Skanda.

Read experience: Murugan and Ambaal are One and the same


Making the Sri Thiruppugal Vidhaana Sodasa Upacara Puja Manual — Day #1

December 2, 2008

If you recall, I had begun daily chanting of Verse 45 from Kanthar Anubhuthi (Read: 'Sri Sukta Vidhana Puja' entry described above). I knew Bhagavan Sri Skanda would answer my request - it was only a matter of time. This entire experience was just a test of both my faith and patience. But realizing that no answer that is made to God goes unanswered, I continued with my daily sadhana. Fortunately, with the potency of Kanthar Anubhuthi, my answer came much sooner - it came during the most peculiar time of my life - during my extremely extremely busy 4 weeks of overnight calls at hospital!

Recall earlier when I was making excuses not to proceed with the puja manual because of time constraints? Well, ironically, the puja manual took birth during the most busiest nights of my life! This was when Lord Murugan's answer to me came.

I didn't know how I was going to make this manual - the only things I had with me at the time were: the undying fire of desire burining inside me to learn how to worship my beloved SatGuru, the pen in my hand, and a few sheets of blank paper in front of me, and a copy of the Sri Chakkra Puja Manual along with the beejaakshara mantra and angapuja portion of Skanda's puja that I obtained over a year ago from the devotees at Rochester Temple.

So I said a prayer to Lord Ganesha and Lord Murugan to help me finish this puja manual.

"Swaami - Vinaayagar Perumaan! Muruga Perumaan! - I am going to start this puja book. I have put it off for far too long. How I am going to do it? I do not know. How I am going to finish? I do not know. Whether it will be correct in its method and accepted by You - Thiru-Murugaa - I do not know. I only know that the burning desire to worship you still remains in my heart after all these years. And I can no longer ignore it anymore. I am determined to worship you somehow, this much I do know. I only have love in my heart and the only reason I want to worship you with a formal puja method is to show my gratitude for the abundant grace that you have showered in my life. If I am somehow not fit for this worship, then I know I will not succeed in making the puja book, it will die before it is even born. However, if my request is genuine and true, then kindly bless your child to complete this puja book without any difficulties."

With that prayer, I sat myself at one of the computers at the nursing station and started working on the book, knowing all the while that being on call, my pager could go off any second.

To my surprise, for the 12 hours that I sat at the computer that night, my pager never went off a single time! I completed half of the puja manual that night which went well into the early hours of dawn. Strangely, while I was spending all this time making this puja book, I noticed that I did not feel tired, hungry, or sleepy?! I'm not sure where all the energy was coming from but I feel that Bhagavan Sri Skanda was my source of inspiration! :)


Making the Sri Thiruppugal Vidhaana Sodasa Upacara Puja Manual — Day #2

December 3, 2008

Thinking that perhaps this was a coincidence, I returned the next night and started to work on the remainder of the puja manual - piecing the content from the 'Sri Sukta Vidhana Instructional Puja Manual' and cross-referencing it and adding the beejaakshara mantra of Bhagavan Sri Skanda.

I did not even think about eating - my hunger was of a different kind - the hunger for completing this gift for my beloved SatGuru! What happened yesterday continued again today - I did not get paged again! I started to look at my pager several times thinking that perhaps it was not working, but it appeared intact!

So, I pressed on - now that the framework of the puja book was done, I started adding the anga puja for Bhagavan Sri Skanda and shortly after, I also included the ashthOtrasatanaamavali (108 names) of Sri Skanda, which I was able to find miraculously from Sri Swami Sivananda's book, "Lord Shanmukha and His worship."

One thing I did notice was my right hand started to become numb and tingle because my hand was just permanently fixed on the computer keyboard and mouse creating this puja manual for my Lord. I began to experience the symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome, but did not let it hinder my progress - I pressed forth, determined to complete this heart-felt sadhana of mine.


Making the Sri Thiruppugal Vidhaana Sodasa Upacara Puja Manual — Day #3

December 4, 2008

After spending a total of 24 hours continuously (cumulative total from the three nights including that of December 4th), I completed the entire puja manual on day #3. The remaining 3 days I used to proof-read the manual for any errors.


Making the Sri Thiruppugal Vidhaana Sodasa Upacara Puja Manual — Day #4, 5, 6

December 5, 6, 7, 2008

The manual was completed on day #6 (December 7, 2008) - actually I should say night #6! And to my surprise, no pages from nurses or other physicians interrupted me while I worked on the entire puja book.


The night immediately after making the Sri Thiruppugal Vidhaana Sodasa Upacara Puja Manual — Day #7

December 8, 2008

On night #7, I came to the hospital and surely enough, I was inundated with pages left-right-and-center! I felt that Lord Ganesha and Murugan were somehow holding those pages from the nurses and other physicians until I finished this important work for them :)

To give you an idea how busy I was the night after I had completed the puja manual - I could not even sit down to eat my late dinner or even sip from a glass of water! I was that busy with non-stop patient admissions and pages from the floor and unit nurses!

"Wow! Kadavul really wanted me finish this puja book, else I would not have made it through all those 6 nights consecutively without being interrupted like I am tonight." I contemplated.

That night, I had a wonderful dream...

I dreamt that I was hearing a voice chanting a Sanskrit verse. All I recall was darkness. I didn't see anything - I could only hear a voice. It was my own voice! I heard it chant the following Sanskrit verse, which I recall vividly that I was able to recite it when I awoke! The slokam is given below:

I didn't realize what it was that I was chanting but I later ascertained that it was the Sri Subrahmanya Dhyaana Slokam that I heard in my dream. Taking this to be an addition that Lord Murugan wanted, I immediately included it in the puja book!

If the above miracles weren't enough, my Lord Skanda graciously granted some more...

The following night, again I had another dream with my Lord. This time, in my dream, I am seated at the computer working on the puja manual. Then this young Caucasian man wearing a white coat comes to me - He appeared to be another physician. He (?Murugan) sat beside me and inquired what it was I was doing.

I told ?Murugan, "I am working on a puja for my Lord Murugan."

He nodded His head in agreement saying, "Ooooo."

Then He spoke (in Tamil), "nee ennum konja paatukal pOtritu-irukka-laamE…['You could have added some songs']"

I was surprised to see words of Tamil coming from this Caucasian doctor's mouth! I then awoke.

I was wondering, "What songs was He - Murugan - referring to?" It then struck me - Thiruppugal!!! He wanted Thiruppugal songs to be added to this puja book!

Recall the devotee telling me in the temple over a year ago:

"…just replace the phrases of the Sri Suktam with Thiruppugal songs and make it a Thiruppugal puja."

It appears that Lord Murugan overheard my conversation with that devotee, which is well over a year ago!

So, the next day after I finished my shift at work, I came home and added Thiruppugal songs that I sing into the puja book. I meticulously added the Tamil verses and included also their accompanying transliteration and meanings in English. What appeared to be a "random" addition of Thiruppugal songs on my part also turned out to be another miracle. I noted that after I had completed the addition of the sacred songs, I went back and glimpsed at the meaning of the Thiruppugal songs. I realized that I had included a Thiruppugal song for each one of Lord Murugan's sacred Aarupadai Veedu (6 sacred abodes)!

Moreover, there was another incident worth mentioning. When I got home from work that day, I saw a small package in my mailbox. I opened it and it contained a CD. It was sent by my loving wife. She said that it was a CD containing a recording of a priest doing Sri Murugan Puja (on Kanthar Sashti). My wife noted my extreme interest in learning how to do this puja that she asked one of her colleagues whose father was a priest. He gave the CD which my wife sent to me. When I put it on, I was literally blown away!

The order in which the priest chanted the puja from the aavaahanam to the anga puja and ashthOtrasatanamavali, dupam, deepam, etc. were in the same order as that of the puja manual that was pieced together with the guidance and blessings of Lord Murugan. It was as if Lord Murugan wanted to show me that the order and method that I seemingly thought was "random" was in fact in the correct order! It was now just confirmed by this Hindu priest chanting on the CD!

Also equally amazing is my wife had absolutely no idea that I was making a puja manual during this time - she only knew of my desire to one day worship Lord Murugan. To have this CD come at this time is also truly miraculous!

If these miracles weren't enough, here are some more experiences to share...

The following night, I dreamt that I was seated in my home shrine in front of the Bhagavan Sri Skanda picture that I worship (see picture below). I recall the lamps being well lit and I was wearing a veshti and bare-chested. My hands were held together in the anjali mudra and I was singing a Thiruppugal song. I don't recall what song I was singing but I noticed something miraculous!

I have a small myol (peacock) statue (see figure below) that I placed in front of Lord Murugan. It was a gift given to me by my father when I moved into my apartment at the start of residency.

So in the dream, as I was singing, the myol statue came alive and was dancing in front of Lord Murugan!!!!!!! I was surprised and filled with joy to see the myol dance to the Thiruppugal song that I was singing. It was dancing back and forth in front of Bhagavan Sri Skanda with its little plumage held up! It reminded me of Gopi - one of my pet budgies I had while in university. I then awoke.

Realizing that Lord Murugan was ready to accept this worship, I printed out the final draft of the puja manual the next day when I finished my work. I rushed to the Staples business center to give the printed manuscripts to be bounded into a book.

I then took the book on my vacation break (which concidentally came around the same time all this was going on!) to the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple. I placed the book at His holy feet and asked that He bless the manual and that He show me signs that He accepts the worship that will follow from that puja book.

That night, when I perfomed the puja from the manual, I started doing the puja all the while chanting the Thiruppugal songs interweaved in between the Sanskrit verses. When I sang one of the Thiruppugal songs, it hit me like a ton of bricks! I realized that THIS was the Thiruppugal song that I was singing in my dream when the myol was dancing!!!!

The Thiruppugal song I was singing during this puja is called, "munthu thamil maalai kOdi kOdi..." In this song, Sri Arunagirinathar Swaamigal sings, "…thinthi-thimi thOthi theedhi theedhi || thantha-thana thaana thaana thaana || chenje-Nagu chEgu thaaLa thOdu ...... nadamaadum."

In short, it means: "In the above meter ('thinthi-thimi...'), dances your Peacock."

I immediately broke down in tears realizing that this was yet another miracle by Bhagavan Sri Skanda! I also reaffirmed within myself that there was no way that the Thiruppugal songs that I included in this puja manual was by chance!


Blessings from Sri Lalithaa Tripurasundari (who exists as the living Devi in my life as my wife)

February 20, 2009

Last night, I dreamt that I was seated in front of the big black Raja Raajeswari statue in Rochester Temple, NY. On my right was Haran Aiya (Sri Chaitanyananda) - he had vibhuthi streaks smeared on his entire body and a rudraksha malai (necklace) around his neck. He was seated right beside me. There were a lot of devotees filling the temple, the overflow went into the extension of the temple.

Then as I was praying - mentally and internally - to Devi, Haran Aiya spoke to me [in Tamil].

"I want you to give me some water from the Pancha Pathram." He requested.

I looked in front of me, in front of Devi, was a pancha paathram filled with water.

I thought to myself, "I thought we are not supposed to drink from that. That is only for kadavul to drink from. I thought we were only supposed to drink from the aachamanam?"

So I froze, not knowing what to do.

Haran Aiya spoke louder and with a more firm voice,"anthaa pathram irukkira theertham ennaku pOtru thaa adaa! [Pour me some water from that vessel!]"

I readily obliged. I took the udhrini and poured some drops of water from the pancha paathram into Haran Aiya's right hand, which he held in a cupped manner.

Then he drank from the palm of his hand.

He then signaled to me - with his head and a noise 'mmmmmm' - for more water.

So again, I took some water from the pancha paathram and poured it into his right palm - which he readily drank. He appeard to be really thirsty.

I did that a total of three times after which Haran Aiya said, "mat-tathu ellaam deviku kudu [Offer the rest of the water to Devi]."

I did as I was told and then turned my attention back to Devi. I noted that Haran Aiya went into a deep meditation and was showing the trikhanda mudra to Devi.

I closed my eyes and prayed to Devi. Moments later, I opened my eyes and on my right was no longer Haran Aiya - it was my wife!

She was wearing a beautiful blue saari and lots of gold jewelry around her neck and her hands (similar to how she looked on our wedding reception).

She smiled at me and I, too, was thrilled and happy to see her.

But there was something different about her. She did not speak a single word. (?Ambaal?) She only smiled at me and accompanied me where ever I went in the temple.

When I sat, she sat. When I did pradakshinam, she followed me. She never uttered a single word - only smiling at me whenever I looked at her. And I, too, smiled back at her. She looked sooo pretty! :P

As I finished praying, I bowed my head to Devi and proceeded to go outside towards the doorway. However, ?Ambaal (my wife?) was already waiting for me with my slippers - again smiling ever so peacefully and beautifully :)

She appeared to be at peace from her facial expression and something about her suggested to me a divine aura about her (?Ambaal?). As soon as I thought about this prospect, I awoke.

Thank you Sri Lalithaa Ambaal for blessing me in my dream last night. Every morning before I get out of bed, I mentally pray to the feet of my SatGuru (Bhagavan Sri Skanda) and the Devi in my life (my wife's feet, which I visualize adorned with two silver meti that I placed during our wedding). I'm grateful that - this sadhana that I was doing since we got married 8 months ago, has been noticed by Sri Parvathi Devi :')

I always treat my wife, not only as my lover, partner, confidante, and my best friend, but also as my Parvathi/Lakshmi Devi - it is for this reason why I always wake up every morning praying to her feet as if they were Devi's - because in my heart, I somehow had a feeling this mental namaskaram will reach my Divine Mother's feet :')

There is a proverb in Tamil stating, "kanavanE kan kanda deivam" meaning 'thine husband's form in front of one's eyes is God itself.'

I would take that proverb and repeat it to my wife saying, "manaiviyE kan kanda devi" meaning 'thine wife's form in front of one's eyes is the Goddess itself.'

Thank you Amma for blessing me this way and accepting my daily sadhana to Murugapperumaan and my wife :')


1st Family Puja to Lord Murugan (the day after Sivarathri)

February 23, 2009

Today, my wife and I sat with my sister and mother and father to conduct the "Sri Thiruppugal Vidhana Sodasa Upacara Puja" aka Skanda Puja from the book that I pieced together with the grace of Lord Ganesha and Murugan.

The puja went beautifully and smoothly without any breaks or pauses. During my worship, I internally asked, "Murugaa…thank you for allowing us to worship you like this. After 6 years my heart-felt wish to worship you is finally answered! Romba nandri aiyaa! Thank you very much my Lord! I have only one request, 'Can you please show us a sign that you have accepted this puja?'"

I did not tell anyone my prayer. We then retired for the night.

The following morning, my mother comes up to me and says, "I had a nice dream last night. It looks like Murugan accepted our puja last night."

"Really?" I said in awe. "How do you know?"

She recalls:

"In my dream, we were in the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple. You were seated with [my wife's name] and were praying to Murugan when you were approached by the temple priest. He went over to the Murugan statue and picked up the mango that was in Lord Murugan's hands and gave that mango to you! He then said, 'Here…this is for you. Eat it.'"

My heart again began to melt in the kindness of Lord Murugan and how He answered the question that I had asked about in my prayer while doing puja with my family!


Do Milk Abishekam

February 24, 2009

Today my wife and I went to the Sri Naagapooshani Amman Temple to do a naagadosha puja & yagna - as was instructed by us by an Indian Saint who visited us a year ago. During the abishekam, there was a Murugan statue with a flower garland around His neck, which fell while we were praying to Him! It was His way of blessing us during this puja. It appears wherever we go, Bhagavan Sri Skanda comes along with us :)

Afterwards, I was given the privilege to sing the Pancha-Puraanam hymns. I thought of my SatGuru's holy feet (Lord Murugan) and sang the sacred Dravida Vedam hymns including Thiruppugal.

Then we went for arul vaaga - the unique feature of this temple is the head priest of the temple gives divine oracles/revelations. God uses His body to speak to the devotees who gather for this unique event. My wife and I stood in the line and finally when we went in, He spoke to us like a mother/father speaks to their children.

There was a lot of affection and love in His voice. He inquired about our situation and asked how long I still had in my training. We told him that we were separated due to visa issues and would like to know when we can be together again. He instructed us to do milk abishekam to the Murugan statue in our home! I wondered how He even knew we had such a statue without us uttering a word about it! Only God would know these details!

He instructed my wife to continue doing milk abishekam to the statue (except on the days of her menstrual cycle) while He wanted me to continue doing my daily paaraayanam of the dravida vedam hymns. He then blessed us both with vibhuthi on our foreheads and said, "neengal irandum peyrgal nalla vara vendum...appa thaan naan santhOshapaduvane."

We later went to a puja store and bought some chembu/vessels to pour milk from. Content at receiving Lord Murugan's blessings today, we went home.


You do the rest

March 3, 2009

Yesterday, my wife and I performed our first milk abishekam to the Murugan vigraham (statue) that was presented to us as a divine gift by Lord Murugan on our wedding day (See: "Lord Murugan shows me my future bride"). This was in response to the advice given to us by the head priest on February 24, 2009 (read above: "Do Milk Abishekam"). Today was Thiru-Karthigai, a festival that comes every month and during this time, it is common for abishekams to be done for Lord Murugan in south-indian temples.

My mother requested that my wife and I attend the puja at our local Murugan temple but we had already made dinner plans to go to my mother-in-law's house. So, instead, my wife and I decided to perform an abishekam and puja in our home to the Sri Murugan murthi (statue) that was given to us as a wedding gift - it was our first abishekam.

We did the full puja and concluded with mangala aarathi singing, "naadha vinthu..." That night I had the following dream which showed how Lord Murugan accepted our puja :)

In my dream, I was standing with my wife in front of the main manadapam where a tall black Murugan statue was standing - however, without any decorations (i.e. clothes were removed). It appeared as if He (Sri Murugan) was ready for abishekam.

The local priest was standing beside us and he chanted the subrahmanya dhyaana slokam - the same slokam that I had chanted in my dream during the making of the puja manual.

After He chanted it, the priest (?Murugan) said (in English), "Ok, now you do the rest [of the puja]."

He then left the temple while my wife and I stood before Lord Murugan. As we were about to perform the abishekam, I awoke.

Later in the evening, my mother and I went to the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple for evening puja. As I walked into the temple, I froze in amazement on what my eyes were seeing. I saw the priest inside the mulasthaanam with a big kumbam filled with water pouring it over the black vigraha statue of Lord Murugan! Murugan had no adornments (i.e. no clothes) - just like in my dream! I was amazed at the timing of events both the dream and reality! I thanked Him in my heart with blissful tears and for His grace which he continues to shower everyday through these miracles.

Thank you my dear Lord Murugaa! Thank you for accepting our devotion and puja yesterday. That puja manual really was special and it really was done by your will! Kodi kodi namaskaarams to your divine Lotus Feet.

Om Jaya Jaya Mahavira Bhagavan Sri Skanda Namo Namaha!


Murugan's approval (of the Sri Thiruppugal Vidhana Sodasa Upacara Puja) :)

March 8, 2009

Yesterday was the night before I head back to the USA to complete my residency training in Internal Medicine. I was spending two weeks with my wife and family during this time. As most moments in life, good times do come to an end. So before I left, my mother asked me if I could perform the Skanda Puja that I had learnt by Lord Murugan's grace. I readily agreed. My wife, my mother, my sister and myself performed the puja (along with abishekam) to the Murugan vigraham that we received during our wedding (see figure below).

The entire Skanda Puja went beautifully. I thanked Lord Murugan for allowing us this unique privilege to pray to Him. In the conclusion of our puja, I asked (inside my heart), "Murugaa...I don't have a physical guru - you exist in the spiritual form - so unlike other people on this Earth, I may not have learnt the proper pronunciation, methods, etc. for doing the puja - whatever you have taught me, I have done to the best of my ability. I hope and pray that you accept it. May you bless us all." With that I went to sleep.

That night I had a wonderful dream. I dreamt that I was back in Hahnemann University Hospital working as a physician (like I normally do) and I encountered a neurology resident who is familiar to me. She asked me to go and look up something in a book - she gave me the location and said, "Tell me what you think."

I did not do what she asked me to because I didn't understand her command. So I waited. Moments later she came to me and asked, "So what did you think?"

I remained speechless.

She said, "You couldn't find it did you?"

I shook my head, "No."

"This is what I wanted you to see." she replied.

She then took a blank 8"x11" white sheet of paper, a black pencil, and a soft brush (similar to the one people use for applying makeup). Then she started to draw!

Her hands were moving so fast - her right hand drawing and the left hand brushing away the remains of the lead pieces that fell off the pencil as she drew so quickly!

She completed everything in a total of appoximately 45 seconds!!!!

When I looked, I was amazed! It was a picture of Bhagavan Sri Skanda from Hilda Charlton's book!!!! (See figure on left) However, the figure she drew was only of His face - the resident had drawn it exactly in detail as it appears in that book - and He was smiling at me! I saw the beautiful crown and the intricate details of His face, earrings, etc. that she drew for me! I was so happy that I yelled to my surrounding colleagues, "Hey look everyone. It's my Murugan! Look!" It was then when I awoke.

Thank you Swaminaatha for accepting our prayers/puja - you truly do accept our love and the method of our worship which is all due to your grace. I am so thankful for your help in making this puja manual and for showing the benefits of it and for taking away any doubts I may have had in making it for you.

Om Jaya Jaya Mahavira Bhagavan Sri Skanda Namo Namaha!


Result of the Naagadosha Puja

March 20, 2009

If you recall the above entry 'Do Milk Abishekam,' where my wife and I performed a naagadosha puja and homam at the Naagaposhani Amman Temple? Well, the result of the Naagadosha Puja came as dream to me last night.

In the dream, I dreamt that I was lying on a bed and dreaming a dream ('a dream within a dream'). In the dream, I saw a small snake that crawled up on my hand and bite my left pinky finger. It didn't hurt that much but it then went away after biting me. I then awoke in my dream and in the dream I saw my wife and I was retelling this to her, "[my wife's name]...ippidi oru paambu enda kaiku vanthu kadichu pOnathu ['A snake came and bit my finger and went away (last night)']." I then awoke from this dream.

I retold this to my mother and she said that this was "a good sign that any dosham you had had been removed through that Naagadosha puja & yagna that you and [my wife's name] did at the Naagaposhani Amman temple." :)

Thank you Lord Muruga for taking this dosham away from us :) The garland that fell from you was that positive omen/sign but we didn't realize it at that time - we realize it now. Thank you again for taking care of your children. You have our most deepest gratitude and love for all the help you are giving to us. We love you so much!


Sri Murugan's pranapratishapanam and abishekam

April 8, 2009

Last night, I dreamt that I was standing in a temple with a young indian boy on my left aged about 16 years. Wherever I went in the temple, He (?Murugan) followed me - this reminded me of the dream I had with Ambaal when she came as my wife [See: 'Blessings from Sri Lalithaa Tripurasundari (who exists as the living Devi in my life as my wife)' described above earlier].

We (myself and the young boy) both were wearing a veshti and bare-chested praying to a black murthi of Lord Muruga. The murthi (statue) looked like the bala-murugan in the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple. The murthi was placed on the floor. I was staring at it when a priest came up to me and told me to lift the statue and bring it with me.

I did as I was told and picked up the statue, which was surprisingly not that heavy. The priest then asked me to follow him. He walked over to the main mandapam and told me to place the Murugan statue inside the mulasthaanam on the platform they had made for the Murugan statue. As soon as I placed it, they then tied a red veshti around Lord Murugan's waist and did abishekam. I held my hands together and prayed - the boy (?Murugan) who was standing with me in the temple stood beside me on my left praying along with me.

After the abishekam, the priest smiled at me and said 3x, "idamarghyam-idamarghyam-idamarghyam" [This voice sounded exactly like the priest in the skandapuja from the CD that my wife sent me].

I glanced back at the Murugan statue and just admired His beauty. It was then when I awoke.


Doing milk abishekam for Lord Murugan (again :))

April 11, 2009

Last night, I dreamt that I was in my wife's mother's home in their shrine room seated along with my wife in Toronto. My wife was on my left and we both were holding together one copper chembu (vessel) and pouring a liquid from it - it was milk! I looked at what we were pouring it on and it was on the Lord Murugan statue that we received for our wedding present from the priest! We were chanting the Skanda-Jyoti mantra while pouring the milk. Then my wife and I poured water to wash away the milk and we decorated the murthy (statue) with vibhuthi, chandhanam, and kungkumam. Afterwards, my wife quickly got up and said,"Ok, come [my name], we have to go."

I asked her, "[my wife's name] entha abishekam thani-yum chatiyal kalava-illayae-aa? (aren't we going to wash these vessels we used for the abishekam?)"

She replied, "naan ippa veliya pohavendum [my name], perahu veta vanthu naan kalavuren. (I have to go out somewhere now, I'll do it when I come back.)"

I got up with her and remember looking at the vessels that we used for the abishekam with a feeling that they needed to be cleaned. But at that time, my wife grabbed my left hand and said, "vaango [my name]....we have to go." I'm not sure where we had to but that's when I awoke.

I received an email later today from my wife stating how she had missed her abishekam puja for Lord Murugan because she didn't have any time. She was working on a research paper that was due today and so perhaps this was Lord Murugan's way of letting me and my wife know that He is aware of the circumstances in our life, but He still wants us to continue our puja for Him :)


Worshipping Lord Murugan through the Skanda Puja method (aka Sri Thiruppugal Vidhana Sodasa Upacara Puja)

April 17, 2009

Last night, I had a wonderful experience that solidified my faith and belief that the endeavor undertaken several months ago (i.e. the making of the Skanda Puja Instructional Manual) through the unconditional grace and guidance of my beloved SatGuru - was in fact accepted by Lord Murugan.

In my dream, I recall being seated amongst a group of devotees in front of the Sri Skanda picture (identical to the one I worship in my home altar - see picture below). My wife was seated beside me on my left and we all were chanting together the Sri Subrahmanya Ashthothra Satanama Vali (108-names of Lord Murugan).

As we were doing that, I noticed that the picture of Bhagavan Sri Skanda (shown above) transformed into the black-and-white picture of Lord Murugan found on the cover of the Skanda Puja Manual (see figure below)! The black-and-white picture then turned back to Sri Skanda's picture and then back again. I saw this and looked around me but the devotees were busy reading from the puja manuals that they had in their hands and chanting the 108-names of Sri Skanda. It appeared to me that I was the only one cognizant of this dual transforming picture.

I also remember offering flowers to worship Sri Murugan with each name chanted.

I awoke being greatly humbled and thankful by Sri Skanda's generous acceptance of this divine project - to allow devotees to learn a simple puja for Him - and for blessing me and my wife to remember Him - not only daily through our worship of Him but also - in our dreams :)

I soon learnt that it was not just Bhagavan Sri Skanda that was accepting our prayers through this new puja vidhaanam that He graciously taught us. There were other members of Sri Skanda's family that were being drawn by this powerful puja...


Acceptance of our puja by Sri Raajarajeswari and Siva perumaan

April 22, 2009

Last night, I dreamt that I was standing at the entrance of the Raajaraajeswari Temple in Rochester, NY. I remember seeing the beautiful Devi statue and many devotees going in and out of the temple. Amongst the many devotees, I was approached by the wife of Sri Chaitanyaananda (?Ambaal) - who came up to me and asked (in Tamil) how my wife and I were both doing. [I was alone without my wife in the dream and also in reality due to delays in our immigration visa sponsorship.]

I told her that we both were doing ok - however, I explained that we are not able to be with each other due to immigration problem with the US government.

She nodded her head in understanding. She then asked in a very kind voice (in Tamil), "How is your puja coming along?"

I replied saying that, "We are both doing it [the Skanda Puja] and I hope we are doing it correct (murai/method) and hope also that Muruga perumaan is accepting it."

She said (in Tamil), "Show me how you do puja."

I was startled at first, not expecting to hear this and not knowing initially what to do. Then my heart spoke saying, "Do manasa puja."

As I stood in front of ?Ambaal, I closed my eyes and did the entire Skanda Puja with my manasu while showing the mudras that I do during puja.

When I finished, I opened by eyes and saw ?Ambaal still standing in front of me and smiling with approval.

I went through the entire puja in the order that I had learned and put together through the grace of Lord Murugan.

She was very pleased and said (in Tamil), "Very good. You keep doing that."

She then materialized for me from her two hands, two firm round yellow-orange colored objects (i didn't see properly) - paaku? taambulam? chanthanam? - and said, "Here...you take one and give one to your wife."

I then fell at Her feet and did paathanamaskaaram.

At that time, Sri Chaitanyananda came and stood beside Her. He was smiling along with her and had vibhuthi smeared across His forehead. He did not look like how He normally looks when one sees him live in person - He had a particular glow or aura around His head (?Sivan).

Both stood side-by-side to each other in front of me - from my point of view, ?Sivan was on my left and ?Ambaal standing on the right. Both were smiling at me while I stood before them smiling back and holding the two gifts Ambaal gave me in the palms of my two hands. I didn't see what was in my palms but I just felt two firm sandlewood-colored type objects - I refused to open my hands since my gaze was firmly fixed on ?Sivan and ?Ambaal.


Explaining the Subrahmanya puja to ?Murugan

April 25, 2009

Last night, I dreamt that I was doing a wonderful puja for Bhagavan Sri Skanda. In my lap was the puja manual that I had compiled through the grace of the Lord. I remember vividly chanting the mantras and hymns contained in the puja manual.

Then I noticed that two persons came and sat beside me on my left. It was an old man (?Murugapperumaan) and a lady (?Valli Ammaiyar) - she was somewhat younger than him.

He appeared very inquisitive and eager to understand what I was chanting. So, I remember doing the anga portion of the puja where the body-parts of the deity is worshipped. I then turned to the man and explained what each line of the anga puja meant - I spoke in English.

While I was explaining this to Him, I noted that His body began to change. He transformed into a very young boy! And then back again into an old man! Over and over this was taking place as I continued to explain the anga portion of the puja - line by line! The lady, too, also transformed into a very young woman and then back into the older form!

I then awoke!

Thank you Muruhaiyaa! I feel that it was you who came in my dream to make sure that I understand what it is that I chant for you when I do this puja. Thank you for allowing me and blessing me to think of you in my dream. May my mind always be filled with sweet thoughts of you and your divine lotus feet!



A deep deep deep heart-felt thank you to Lord Murugan & Lord Ganesha for helping me start and finish this manual successfully through my very busy overnight calls at Hahnemann University Hospital. I would not have even completed such a task without your unconditional blessings and guidance.

Additional deep sincere gratitude and heart-felt thanks to my beloved wife, who saw the deep thirst I had to learn how to perform Murugan Puja - thank you my dear for helping me quench it by bringing to fruition this long desired wish of mine.

Finally, I wanted to thank Sri Chaitanyananda for taking the time to create the Sri Chakra - Instructional Puja Manual and audio CD. Additional thanks to the three humble devotees of the Raajarajeswari Temple in Rochester, New York for helping me obtain the anga puja portion of this manual. Your assistance, too, is greatly acknowledged.

Go to Skanda Puja home page


Author's humble request

May all those who choose to worship our benevolent Lord Skanda prosper in their sadhana efforts and may they also be blessed with anubhuthi (divine experiences) to help propel them onwards towards their goal of merging into Lord Murugan's ever-fragrant, ever-protecting, ever-giving, ever-loving divine Lotus Feet. This is my only prayer and wish.

Om Jaya Jaya Mahavira Bhagavan Sri Skanda Namo Namaha!
Om Jaya Jaya Mahavira Bhagavan Sri Skanda Namo Namaha!
Om Jaya Jaya Mahavira Bhagavan Sri Skanda Namo Namaha!