As India’s largest private hospital prepares to open its doors, traditional rites were held at its grounds to pray for the wellbeing of all. At 5 a.m., 80 women priests and 28 men priests began three homas, fire rituals that mark significant occasions.
First was Ganapati Homa, as Lord Ganesha is the remover of all obstacles and invokes positive vibrations when starting new ventures. Then came Navgraha Homa, pujas for the nine celestial bodies: the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and the two shadow planets—Rahu and Ketu. This reduces negative influences that each planet represents and directs their beneficial influences.
Finally, the pujarinis and pujaris performed Mrityunjaya Homa, which channels prayers to those who need support during major illnesses. As a ritual to Lord Shiva, it helps to conquer untimely deaths and to lead to a better life.
As the ancient rituals came to a close around 7 am, all hearts resounded with the prayer that all beings be happy and well. As Amma has expressed, it is her wish that this new hospital become an abode of service to humankind and a place of solace for the sick.
“May this institution be both a hospital and a temple, where external and internal healing are provided,” says Amma.