"ADIGALAR's Feet and the soil stepped on by Him have great significance. Today, you performing Paada Puja to Adigalaar did not happen just like that. It is a boon given to you for your past good karmas" Mother Adhiparasakthi's Divine Oracle.
The Guru or spiritual teacher’s feet are considered in physical sense as the channels of Divine Grace. From time immemorial, in the Indian custom, the spiritual seeker bows, touching their head to the Guru’s feet in a sign of respect and reverence.
The Guru’s feet is also regarded as the spiritual transmitting centre of divine energy. Therefore touching the feet infuses the devotee with spiritual wisdom, light, energy and power.
Patha pooja strengthens the aspirant’s faith, devotion and promotes the divine qualities, such as universal love, humility, peace, compassion, truth and righteousness.
Hence the significance of worshipping the Paduka, sandals of the Guru or Lord. A similar energy is conferred to the sandals and worshipping the sandals confers similar spiritual qualities and growth. Most Mandrams, or worshipping centres of Arul Thiru AMMA, will have a photo of Her divine lotus feet and also a replica of Her sandals.
Paatha pooja to Arul Thiru AMMA, while in Maruvathur, also confers on the spiritual seeker the additional fortune of having Arul Thiru AMMA’s divine glance fall upon them and also the opportunity to speak to Arul Thiru AMMA and seek Her blessings and guidance. The glance of an Avatar, also holds the power to remove further negativities from us, and also changes our future and outcomes should they deem it appropriate and worthy.
Aim of Paatha Pooja
Paatha Pooja cannot be performed directly to God when in a subtle form. Hence the blessed opportunity of performing Paatha pooja to Arul Thiru AMMA, the divine embodiment of Adhiparasakthi, who has taken avatar hood for the benefit of mankind, is invaluable.
Often devotees will take offerings of fruit, flowers, beetle leaves, and clothing when they go for Paatha Pooja to seek blessings and spiritual guidance.
In earlier years, devotees were also blessed with the chance to apply rose water, sandal paste, kumkum and flower to the divine lotus feet. However in more recent years, due to the large number of devotees, this is not done now.
Warm water (theertam) blessed by Arul Thiru AMMA is given at the end of Paatha Pooja. This water is consumed and applied. In addition to the spiritual healing provided by Paatha Pooja, the holy water has many healing properties, including physically, mentally and spiritually.
Benefits of Paatha Pooja
The sins of this life and past Karma are received by Amma, and the negative effects are reduced or mitigated
The holy water from paatha pooja can help solve many worldly problems and diseases
The holy water when sprinkled at home, in the garden, at school, work etc has the power to ward off negative spirits and energies, and prevent calamities
When patha pooja is performed, numerous holy beings, Saints, Siddhars, Rishis, demi-Gods also appear in subtle form to receive the holy water
As Arul Thiru AMMA is the incarnation and avatar of mother Adhiparasakthi, paatha pooja to Arul Thiru AMMA in the human form is directly received by Adhiparasakthi in the God form
Effects of the Paatha Pooja on the Avatar
When Arul Thiru AMMA, in Her grace blesses us during Paatha Pooja, She is absorbing the negativities that we carry with us, including our past and current sins and incurred Karma. As such Her physical body, undertakes and bears the suffering of the pain that we inflict upon Her.
During Her visit to Coimbatore in August 1995, Paatha Pooja was performed to Arul Thiru AMMA by around 70 devotees. Thereafter Her legs were markedly swollen like elephant legs. This was a direct result of Her having received the various negativities of the devotees who had performed Paatha pooja that day.
Arul Thiru AMMA showed Her legs to a devotee of the Siddhar Peetam that day. Though the swelling settled in a few hours, the devotee knowing the suffering and pain that Arul Thiru AMMA was undergoing in Her physical body as Adigalaar, asked Arul Thiru AMMA in an Oracle:
‘Amma! Adigalaar by accepting the Paatha Pooja of numerous devotees, has to suffer the sins of them. Adigalaar has forced Himself to accept the Paatha Pooja, so as to complete the construction of the new 2000 bed hospital which is half way through. Is it not possible for Amma to complete the construction without causing sufferings to Adigalaar?”
Arul Thiru AMMA replied with tears in Her eyes as follows: "At least you understand His sufferings. I am very happy at your question. What to do? I have to construct this hospital through the sufferings of Adigalaar alone. One can come to lime light only after undergoing the sufferings. Don't you know His sufferings in the earlier periods? I am slowly reducing His sufferings. Only now, people are realizing who Adigalaar is".
The purpose of this worship is to have the divine light fill us internally and surround us externally, thereby dispelling all negativities and darkness.
This is highlighted by the Vedic Mantra Asatho Ma Sad-Gamaya:
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya (Lead us from Unreality to Reality)
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya (Lead us from Darkness to Light)
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya (Lead us from the fear of Death to the knowledge of Immortality)
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih (Peace, Peace, Peace)
When the devotee prays to be led from darkness to light, they are seeking to be enlightened with spiritual knowledge, and to be freed from the darkness of their ignorance, their ego-centric mind and negative thoughts.
“A lamp will not burn immediately in butter. In oil it burns immediately. Only when butter melts it starts burning. Remove the dirt from your heart and make it clean. Only when it becomes soft, your inner jothi (light) can be felt.” - Mother Adhiparasakthi's Divine oracle
As Goddess Lakshmi resides in the house where the lamp is lit each morning and evening, it is very valuable to do this each day. Ideally the lamp or a light should be shining in the Prayer room for the whole day. This external shining of light symbolises the yearning for the body-mind-soul to be constantly awakened and filled with divine spiritual energy, light and therefore knowledge.
The five faces of the Om Sakthi lamp signify the five gunas of women. That is:
The Parts of the Kuthu-vilakku
Base of the lamp: This is shaped as a lotus and signifies Lord Brahma, the creator
Stand of the lamp: This signifies Lord Vishnu, the protector and guardian
Oil container: This signifies Lord Ruthira, an early form of Lord Shiva, who is the Rigvedic God of the storm, wind and hunting. He is one who dissolves everything.
Five face of the lamp where the wick is lit: This signifies Lord Maheswaran, He who rules over all beings in the universe and commands them.
The top of the lamp: This signifies Sathasiva, or ever auspicious.
When Ghee is used in the lamp, it is signifying the omnipresent ‘Om’ or primordial sound principle. The wick embodies the life force or prana. The fire of the wick once lit embodies Goddess Saraswati, the provider of divine knowledge or wisdom. The light of the flame is Goddess Lakshmi, then grantor of spiritual wealth. And the brightness of the flame which dispels all darkness is the Eternal Brahman, the all-pervading divine source which is both within us and around us.
An analogy of the lamp to be remembered during prayer and meditation is that as the wick symbolising or our life force is lit by the fire of divine knowledge, it burns away our impurities and purifies us, restoring us and reviving the eternal Atman or the unifying soul principle within us.
Amma has advised the following in regards to the suitable oils to use when lighting the lamp:
Chick pea based oil should NOT be used to light the lamp
The following oils are auspicious when used to light the lamp:
Ghee: Provides wealth and well-being to the family
Sesame oil: Expels all negative qualities
Castor oil (Vilakkennai): Bestows on the family health, praise, good health and good spouse
A mixture of three oils (Neem and Olive oil and Ghee) is good for the wealth of the family and the wealth of the family’s dedicated or cherished God (Istha-deva).
A mixture of five oils (Neem, Castor, Coconut, and Olive oils and Ghee) used to light the lamp and sincerely pray to Adhiparasakthi for 48 days will earn Her divine blessings and grace.
Auspicious times for the Lighting the Lamp
Amma has advised that the best time to light the lamp is early in the morning between 3-5 AM, followed by focussed prayer and meditation for spiritual wisdom.
Thereafter in the evening at 6pm, Amma has advised to pray for wealth, family health and well-being. It is important that one should have a clean body and a pure mind each morning when the lamp is lit. It is also good to have an offering to the lamp such as milk or rock sugar.
Furthermore, it is recommended to not wash the face, comb hair, wash rice, cut vegetables wash clothes or leave the house soon after the lamp is lit.
Amma has advised that should the light of the lamp need to be dimmed, to use a flower or pull the wick in to the oil. The main reason for this is that Goddess Mahaalakshmi is residing in the light of the flame and should be respected.
Benefits of the number of faces lit on the Lamp
One face: there is moderate spiritual benefit in this
Two face: unites the whole family
Three faces: blesses the family with children
Four faces: blesses the family with spiritual wealth, land and cows (it is to be noted that in the Vedic times, the number of cows one had signified the extent of their material wealth)
Five faces: further increases spiritual and material wealth and prosperity
Direction that the lamp faces and the benefits
East: All negative qualities in the house will be removed. This is the best direction.
West: Problems arising from loans, planetary alignments and relatives will be settled
North: promotes wealth and prosperity
South: It is important that a lamp NOT face in this direction for it is deemed to be a bad omen.
Benefits of Performing Vilaku pooja on new moon and full moon days as per the Tamil Mont
April (Chithrai): provision of grains
May (Vaikasi): gain wealth
June (Ani): those seeking marriage will be so blessed
July (Adi): devotees will be blessed with a long life
August (Aavani): families will be bestowed with children
September (Purattasi): devotees will be blessed with cows (wealth)
October (Ippasi): families will be blessed with adequate food and not be hungry
November (Kaarthikai): will confer spiritual realisation and liberation
December (Maargali): promotes good health
January (Thai): confers victory
February (Masi): all worries will be reduced and removed
March (Pankuni): will promote charitable thoughts