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Thanks, JustGeorge. Now, where has that old lady gone?
I've probably missed it for India, but for here, today is Vasant Panchami! Happy Saraswati Puja, everyone!
My information on this is very limited. You get more at Tilaka - Wikipedia. I note that Vaishnavas are mentioned as using vermillion and not kumkum. As for Sandal paste, I think a prepared vial from Krishna stores will be better. In India, we make the paste (not much is required, and in your case, it will not be used by many people) right at that time. the wood has to be rubbed on a stone. I do not think it will take more than two minute. I did that in my younger days during a Lord Shiva abhishekam.OK, so the question(s)...
I saw it when I went to use it and was disappointed. Maybe it's because sandalwood is organic? I would have thought the lime component of the kumkum would inhibit mold or bacterial growth. Maybe I should just get some ready made sandalwood paste from Krishna Culture or The Krishna Store, etc.?
- Should I not use the kumkum?
- Why did the paste form fuzzy mold!?
and your's, to mentalize that you are his.
So as not to further hijack the Navaratri thread, I'll comment here...
I went to temple this morning. I played hooky from work. My back and joint issues were such that I could not face eight hours of being on my feet pushing and pulling rolling shelves, slinging bags of potato salads, tuna salads, macaroni salads and such, then working on "the line" (the deli counter as we call it).
I got up at my usual 3:30 am and started getting ready for work. I got out of the shower and realized I couldn't do it, so I called out. I didn't go back to bed but stayed up and puttered around for a while. I decided that today I'd go to temple, since I was home. I felt a calling. I put on a nice pair of dress slacks and a button down dress shirt. I did my own little puja before I went. I've not dressed like this in a long time, and it felt good.
My friend at the temple said wow, it's been a long time (at least several months). I was telling her that where I live now takes twice as long to get to temple as previously, about 40-45 mins. My work hours don't help. Going in the evening is out of the question because I'm often asleep by early evening.
I did my round of greeting the deities, took teertha, sat for a while as the priest finished up the Tridevi abishekam. I felt "connected". I told my friend that I see pujas and aaratis on YouTube and elsewhere on line but it's not the same. I felt so disconnected. Today I felt an energy I've not felt in a long time. Not a physical energy, I'm still in pain, but something else. I just felt good being there. I may do this once a week or so on my real days off. I'll get up early and make sure I have the whole morning.
So yeah ...
Btw, I possibly found out why temples close during midday. I asked my friend if it was some astronomical or astrological thing (like closing during eclipses). She said that it's been done in India like that since forever because it's so hot at midday. She said it may just be a practical tradition and carryover here.