So, we did a homam in the confines of our own home this morning, unlike others who prefer to do it at the temple but we are selfish blokes and we don't want the general public subscribing to our good offerings to the Gods.

This means you wake up at 430 am, to start it at about 5 depending on what's the "good timing" offered by the Brahmin priest. Must be Brahmin hor, as he so explained, that he spent 5 years just getting one verse right. But he did roll his tongue real well and I couldn't pull off the intonation of those words too, so he gotta be right, I think.

If you don't know what's a homam, here's the Wiki entry on it:

In Hinduism, Yajna is a Vedic ritual of sacrifice (Monier-Williams gives the meanings "worship, prayer, praise; offering, oblation, sacrifice"), performed to please the Devas, or sometimes to the Supreme Spirit Brahman. It involves pouring oblations into the divine Agni (the sacrificial fire). Everything that is offered in the divine Agni is believed to reach the Devas.

A yajna is typically performed by a hotar, with a number of additional priests playing a supporting role, chanting Vedic verses. Often there will be a fire in the centre of the stage and items are offered into the fire. Among the items offered as ahuti in the Yajna include many coconuts, large quantities of ghee, sandalwood shavings and even quantities of clothing. A yajna can go on for several hours, typically with a large number of people in attendance.

Yajna ,where milk products (ghee or yogurt), fruits, flowers, cloth, and money are offered, is also termed homa or havan. A typical Hindu marriage essentially consists of a yajna, because the fire deity Agni is supposed to be the witness of all pious marriages. Brahmins and certain other castes receive a yagnopavitham at their Upanayanam. The yagnopavitham symbolizes the right of the individual to carry out yagnas or homams. The mode of temple worship is termed agamic, while communication to divinity through the fire god, Agni, is considered Vedic. Temples of today are generally a combination of both Vedic and Agamic rituals.

Geddit? Don't expect you to if you're not Hindu by birth or upbringing. Yet, there's always Google to help you in the quest to understanding the Supreme Ones.

Apology for hazy image. Caused my massive inferno.
And yes, the tiles suck. I've known that for years.
Don't bother reminding me.

One thing I want to point out though, this prayer lasts for pretty long. So long that soon, since I'm so muddle headed at times, I kinda lost inspiration on things to pray for. So, I stopped being selfish for a moment and wished for the undermentioned to happen too, for the good of all mankind.

a. That ME, Vik, Selven, Sim, Sara, Rani ace the exams this time round. No man gets left behind.

b. That all my friends overseas, have a good time and return back safely and not get stuck in a terrorist storm or a racial riot or being just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

c. That Rita should have rollin' good times in the near future

d. That my other brother doesn't scream that we conducted this on a day when he's in camp. Bo pian la bro, priest got no other free days. Anything, you go pick fight with Ma.

Yes, these are the other ones. For myself, I just hope it all comes true. Some, I leave it to God and some I just gotta work myself.

Interesting also, that when you do it at home, the priest actually does a full service for ya. Meaning he bothers to explain most of the Sanskrit terms for you and does a double recitation of the mantras. Once in Sanskrit, and once in Tamil so you'd know whats going on. And why we do this and why we do that. A quickie lesson in Hinduism early in the morning.

Of course, what's perturbing is in the middle, start or end, most priests insist they aint in this for the money. That they are glad they derive the blessing accrued for themselves too. Yeah, I wonder if that's why the face drops a coupla inches when the "ang pow" is not as expected. Which is why I say, always discuss the rate, do it once, do it good. Don't give cinema dialogues and expect to be pleased 9 times out of 10. Not practical. Most people do it cos they are down and out of luck, in their opinion. They aint gonna be fishing out their Platinum AMEX to pay for your 3 storey bungalow downpayment back in Thanjavur.

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