Sri Gurubhyoh Namah
Devis ways are indeed mysterious !
It happened when I was on a vacation in Aruba, a Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela. During our stay there we were right by the beach and I enjoyed walking on its shores every morning. There was a small track that leads in and out of the shoreline, bordered by cactus and wild thorn bushes. I used walk about a mile and do a few situps and pushups in the blazing sun ( about 80 by then ( 8.00 am) and head back along the shore doing my chants.
The shoreline is not all sand and beach. Aruba is an island that has a lot of hard coral that lines the shorelines. So we see parts where the ocean just ends up slamming against the coral rocks on the shore, with gaping holes where the sea water foams up like geysers when the ocean surges in.
So I started one day by sitting and doing my mantras in a secluded spot and noticed that there were hundreds of conch like shells, broken or embedded in the track.
So I thought it might be a good idea to sit nearer to the ocean, with a conch, offer my mantras into the conch with sand or sea water and then offer that conch into the ocean as my offering.
Slowly I made modifications and improvements listening to my inner voice. I started now sitting closer to the ocean almost right on the coral rocks themselves and using the seawater that surges in – to offer as “tarpanam” into the conch that I would select for the day.
Then I realized, wow..Goddess Lakshmi came from the ocean, so I will do the Sri Suktam.
Then I also started doing pancha upachara puja to Ganapathy and Devi at the end of it all.
One day some strangers walked by while I was doing my worship and I decided to change my spot.
I found another shaded area that had a peculiar formation. The opening in the coral rocks was like the inverted triangle — a “Yoni”. Sea water comes in from this triangle and that is the water that I used for worship !
I also started placing a leaf under the conch, using sand as akshatas, using small sea shells as aabharanam(jewels), wild flowers as pushpam, wild berries as Naivedyam, and used small leaf as uttarani to do tarpanam into the conch. For karpuram I used a small leaf on which I placed small white stone and invoked the sun into it, – that was my karpuram(camphor). All these were prompted from deep within me and there was this force that kept guiding me to do all this stuff everyday gradually improving this puja.
Then the miracle happened. I was walking with Vrinda one day and we picked up a conch and there was a small inscription on it. It had an AUM on it beautifully inscribed. I was extemely overjoyed to find it. I was about to put that in my bag, but I thought that it would be just incredible to offer it into the ocean as an offering to the Devi. So I took some pictures of it and after my puja offered it into the triangle(yoni) after the puja.
The grand finale was the last day of my stay. I did all my bija mantras that Aiya gave us, Lalitha Sahasranaamam, Khadga Maala, Chandi Navakshari, Sri Suktam, Durga Suktam etc either as tarpanam or offering sand into the conch depending on whether sea water flowed in at that point or not. I also had the inspiration to draw the basic Sri Yantra on the sand to place the leaf.
Mother played this wonderfully subtle game of suddenly sending in a huge wave just enough to drench the conch as I am invoking Ganapathy or Devi for the puja.
I want to offer my deepest gratitude to my Guru, and the Devi for bringing this awareness into me to perform this wonderful ritual.
Aum Sri Guru arpanamastu
Aum Sri Devi arpanamastu
Sri Gurubhyoh Namah: