Akhanda Havan Yagya
On the early morning of Saturday, August 1, 2015, havan participants began arriving at 4:20 am with their havan supplies into the courtyard of Shri Surya Narayan Mandir. With beautiful weather in the forecast, families quickly prepared their havan site, and we commenced promptly at 5am. After welcoming everyone, the pandits of SSNM led by Guruji, Pandit Ram Hardowar, began chanting opening prayers, performing anganyas and reciting the Swasti Vachanam.
As we began with invocation prayers to Ganapati Bhagwan, we were surprised by the grand appearance of his vahana, a very huge mouse, as he made his way across the courtyard. As some of us jumped up in fright, Guruji assured us that Ganapati Baba has graced us with his divine presence, and we continued to sing his praise.
The havan continued as Guruji along with the other pundits of Shri Surya Narayan mandir and devotees followed the havan book and recited the beej mantras 108 times for each deity, as family members took turns offering ghee and samagri to the fire, others performed jaap with their mala. Our voices were in unison as the courtyard lit up brightly with the appearance of Surya Narayan Bhagwan, his splendid rays merged with the blazing havan khuns. About halfway through, we were allowed to stand and stretch our legs for a few minutes before proceeding.
After havan, everyone performed aarti around their havan site and then proceeded on stage to aarti the murti and the pandits. We joined in singing the Hanuman Chalisa and then lined up to receive chandan from Guruji, as everyone greeted and hugged each other and shared their prasadam. While eating, we packed away our supplies and began cleaning up the courtyard, and then everyone slowly left with hands filled with prasadam, and hearts overflowing with love and joy.