The Sri Rajarajeswari Temple* is in the midst of its 11-day reconsecration ceremony, which takes place every 12th year. The newspaper said everyone was welcome, so off we went this morning about 7 AM.
Under the big tent, 121 fire pits are being maintained by chanting volunteers. This ritual calls down the Divine Mother. Surrounding the fire pits are rows of water jars (seen in foreground above), which absorb the divine energy and will be used to bless the temple itself. It is apparently one of the largest scale Athi Rudram ceremonies ever undertaken and the participants are hoping that the blessing spills over into the world.
As nearly the only anglos among ethnic South Asians from all over the world, Jim and I experienced our usual culture shock, apparently looking lost. But the volunteers were kind and pushed us along. Once we got oriented, we saw what we were supposed to be looking at and let the chanting flow around us.
It did leave us feeling very peaceful. And blessed.
*In Rush NY, just south of Rochester. It is a teaching temple in the Hindu tradition of India. Photo above take with iPhone, doctored in Photoshop to bring details out of the shadows.