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The flower trouble

Discussion in 'Hinduism - Devotion and Practice DIR' started by Viraja, Sep 30, 2021.

  1. Viraja

    Viraja Jaya Jagannatha!

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    I recently started doing daily abhisheka for Lord Krishna in the mornings. (I just became sentimental after finding quite some posts in my youtube feed with abhishekam to Lord Krishna). At first I started it for just 108 days, but then, I wonder, what's the big use of this short puja and now want to continue it lifelong (if he permits).

    But then, the problem with flowers exist. After abhishekam with 5 divine substances (milk, curd, ghee, honey and jaggery water), I used to recite ashtottaram with flower archana.

    But then the flowers cost so much. For 108 names each day, I need at least 3 roses. Or 2 Carnations. Or equivalent with other flower petals. This would cost me at least $2 or $3 (minimum) each day and I decided I cannot afford that.

    So these days I keep 1 flower next to the lord and skip the ashtottara part altogether. Not sure if this is acceptable.

    The flowers also do not dry out and rot easily. A fresh rose lasts well enough for up to 4 days!

    I wonder what other puja-doers here do with the flower problem. Do you do ashtottara with rice (akshata) instead? (To me, rice is a problem because the ones used should be without any cracks and be whole, otherwise it is not to be used and it takes time to weed out the cracked and broken ones each day, which is not ok for me).

    Any suggestions welcomed.
     
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  2. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Retired Ruler
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    I struggle with flower costs and availability as well. In certain months, they're available outside, but not during the cold seasons.

    I'm trying to grow mums in my window to see us through the cold months this year. I'm not sure if it will work, but its worth a shot.
     
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  3. Vinidra

    Vinidra Jai Mata Di!

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    I don't have a lot of disposable income at the moment, but I do make crafts. So what I did was crochet flowers to use for pujas. When they start looking ragged, I just make new ones!
     
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  4. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Rice is the alternative suggested by my sampradaya. I personally use flowers, but we have enough extra money to put to that. You can order unhulled raw rice from Amazon, I think. I forget the name of it. When I offer rice, it's always a few grains, not a single grain. I don't worry about cracked or broken ones. The right variety of mums will have the most petals. Some varieties will have 108 petals on a single flower, but that will still run you some money. You can also try asking florists to keep their broken flowers for you. When they unpack from the wholesaler, there will be some. I've got some incredible deals over the years just being friendly. I have a standing order right now on mini-carns for the temple, and home use, that is wholesale price. (6.50 Canadian for 10 stems of mini-carns)

    Sorry to be so random ... Another way to do the entire thing is via visualisation. I do that when travelling. It helps for me to close my eyes, and do all the motions anyway, like sipping, offering, waving of flame, even waving it out. If somebody who didn't know much about Hinduism saw me sitting there cross legged, making all these 'strange' gestures, he'd think I was really nuts.

    Gods understand these things. You're good.

    Aum.
     
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  5. Viraja

    Viraja Jaya Jagannatha!

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    Thank you Vinayaka ji. That was profoundly helpful. So many useful suggestions, I think I will order unhulled rice.
     
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  6. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Beads, loose or a mala. I’ve seen sets of tiny silver and gold flowers for archana. Clearly, they are used over and over again. So why not beads? :shrug:
     
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  7. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    My wife does not need much. Washing to the Bala-krishna, Laddoo Gopala, UnniKrishnan idol and puja utensils are her first acts. Then dressing it again, applying tilak and rice, lighting a lamp, burning dhoop and a few incense sticks, is all. Then she will recite a few mantras (I do not know which ones, probably I will ask her today). She would do that with other idols and framed images of Gods and Goddesses (we have quite many in our puja). Then she would settle with a book with prayers to the Mother Goddess. Prasada is a few raisins and coconut shavings. The deities seem to be quite pleased with it (and for her efforts, could even send me to heaven - to please her, she would not like it a bit if I am sent to hell).

    She is my 'Kamadhenu', if I hold her tail well, I would cross the Vaitarni and certainly reach heaven.
     
    #7 Aupmanyav, Oct 1, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
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  8. Viraja

    Viraja Jaya Jagannatha!

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    Traditionally I've seen people use the gold and silver flowers (also some use kumkum) for Mahalakshmi or Devi archana. I have not seen it used for other deities.

    Beads are an unexplored option. I'll look into it. Thanks, Jai.
     
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  9. Viraja

    Viraja Jaya Jagannatha!

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    Yeah, me too watched an abhishekam video where the devotee just placed a garland for the Lord once he was done with the abhishekam, and did not recite the archanai part. So I think skipping archanai is ok too. Thanks for your reply, Aup ji.
     
  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Archana could be from heart. Mantras are OK but not essential. One can talk to the deities in whatever language one uses. They are fluent in English. :)
     
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  11. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA ~ ~
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    Namaste

    Of course it is acceptable. What matters is the bhakti bhAv and following His instructions.

    However, Ashtottara shata nAmAvali (108 names) of Shri KRshNa is a good candidate for a pure water or fragrant "sugandhi dravyam" abhishek AFTER the panchamrut abhishek.

    You can follow the panchAmrut abhishek with an auto-pilot pure water abhishek while reciting the ashtottara shata nAmAvalI - and better if it is hands free - if you have the abhishek pAtra - the stand and if your Krishna is small enough to fit under that.
    He loves it , especially since the ghee in panchamrut does not go away with a simple wash.

    So the prolonged water abhishek is very welcome. Win win.
    You can add tulasi leaves, keshar (saffron) , rose essence drop or some such ingredient to the water if you like.
    abhishekpatra.jpg

    Hare KRshNa
     
    #11 ameyAtmA, Oct 21, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
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  12. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA ~ ~
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    Just in general, about the ashtottara shata nAmAvali s (108 names) - if one has time to go thru' these names,
    One can do all or some of the following simultaneously
    • do the hands-free water abhishek as I mentioned above
    • Chant and meditate on the 108 names over a japa mAlA - 108! perfect!
    • Listen to the 108 names
    • By this time you have the 108 names in memory, and do not need the book / booklet
    • Contemplate on the meanings - so profound

    om veNunAdavishAradAya namah: NamaskAr to the One who is a PhD (perfect) in playing flute
    om ParaBramhaNe namah: to the highest, the One and Only Bramh
    om kAliyafaNimANikyaShripadAmbujAya namah: - NamaskAr to One who danced on the hood of the Kaliya

    and besides all the cute Leela names of KRshNa I like the ones in VishNu ashtottarshatanAmAvali starting with Ni or Nir that describe Bramh so beautifully

    om nirAbhAsAya namah: | real, disillusioned, with no trace of AbhAs
    om nirvikalpAya namah: | without vikalpa
    om nirAkArAya namah: | formless
    om nityAnandAya namah: | eternally blissful
    om nityatruptAya namah: | ever fulfilled
    om nirAmayAya namah: | extremely pure
    om niranjanAya namah: | extremely pure, free of blemish, spotless, without objectification
    ...
     
    #12 ameyAtmA, Oct 21, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
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  13. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    You could try buying bulk fake flowers. Or simply pick a few from your own garden, if you have one. Failing that maybe try a little pot plant and grow a type of flower that yields many.
    As others have suggested beads and rice are good alternatives
     
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  14. Viraja

    Viraja Jaya Jagannatha!

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    @ameyAtmA ji, those are wonderful suggestions. I will try the water abhishekam for the ashtottara, as suggested.
     
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