Gakaara Ganapati Homa is performed using eight items (Ashta dravyas). Countless Ganapati Homas have happened so far. In order to keep a count, we are now doing Homa with Ashta dravyas, Modaka (sweet) and several types of samits (sticks from tree branches that are offered in Homa pit). The samits from the trees grown in our own fields or other places which have fallen to the ground are used in Homa. The branches fallen on the ground are kept in a place where 11 different species of large birds sit, eat the leaves and peel off the skin. While seated on them, the birds perform the Japa of Om Namo Narayana, Jaya Guru Datta-Sri Guru Datta, Sri Rama. This has been happening for 2-3 years now. Such samits are then wrapped in golden thread which are used by Swamiji during Homa.
In total, there are 1,00,025 Kalpas (Kalpa is a division of time). Swamiji has calculated as per a Kalpa, based on which this Gakaara Ganapati Yagna is being conducted. Since my childhood, countless Ganapati Homas have happened. It is because of this Homa that Ashrama came to be known as Ganapati Ashrama.
Today, this Ganapati Yagna is happening in the name of Prashna Ganapati. There is no rule that this Homa must be conducted on the day of Ganapati festival. It has been happening everyday here since June 25, 1966 - the day the Ashrama was established. Already several lakhs or crores of Homa have been completed. However, now, I want a calculation because we want to do 1 crore Ganapati Homa after the completion of Laksha (one hundred thousand) Ganapati Homa.
Without wasting the Ashta dravyas, by setting aside a portion of food that humans eat and based on a calculation, I have made arrangements such that at least 5-6 people take charge of this Homa at any given time. Our stomach also has Agni (Fire). If we feed our stomach with unnecessary stuff, then it gets wasted. We must give only what is needed. So, for this Homa, a portion of such necessary food is calculated keeping in view the Ekadasi vrata etc and required amounts of Ashta dravya and Modaka are used. This has been the procedure and this will continue to be the same in the future as well.
The speciality of this event now is that we have accumulated one lakh samits for Laksha Ganapati Homa. We are doing the Homa in a subtle manner, without a huge Homa pit or several litres of ghee, trucks of samits or a big lot of items. Doing it in a pompous manner is the same as doing it in a subtle manner. We may feel it as a waste when a lot of items are used because the same could be used for Anndana instead. Only when we do this, we get the eligibility and the merit to do Annadana after. We cannot do Annadana without accumulating items. You are able to do Annadana today because of your accumulated merit and fortune from previous births.
Such Ganapati Homa is happening wherever we go, whether it is by an ocean or on a hill. In the early days of Ashrama, I used to do it myself. Later on, my disciples picked it up. Now, it is happening on a large scale where many devotees are taking part. I am happy about this.
We have not publicized this event much due to the Coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions. Else, Mysore citizens will throng the place. We are following Covid protocol as per the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). You have the good fortune now to witness this. Many asked me if they could participate. Yes, you can! Register yourself on “Avadhoota Datta Peetham'' website. Then, all the items are offered in your name during Homa. If you are physically here in Ashrama, then you can pay and take a bunch of either 25 or 50 or 100 samits that are wrapped in golden thread. Then, wave that bunch around your head three times while chanting Gam Ganapati, mentally offering your desires. Then, submit that bunch of samits. It will be offered in Homa pit by Sri Swamiji Himself.
Many devotees asked how they can be a part of this Homa. After all, this is a rare opportunity! Initially, I did not think of giving this opportunity to the devotees. Why should I give? I am doing it and that’s it. A devotee messaged me in AppJi. She wanted to be a part of Ganapati Homa also in any small way possible, to which I agreed. We made a small Homa pit because it will be safe. Else, there is a danger of devotees slipping into it.
We have so far finished a count of 40,000 as part of Laksha Ganapati Homa. A total of one lakh of Homa will be completed in another three days. Those who get to witness Laksha Ganapati Homa will also get the fortune of witnessing One crore Ganapati Homa. We want to do One crore Ganapati Homa around the 80th Birthday.
If we procure a place for Ashrama in Ayodhya, then we will do Homa with One crore Rama Naama. We may easily get a place outside Ayodhya but I do not want that. A devotee arrived here to convince me to okay the land outside Ayodhya. But, I do not want that at all. I am happy with a place as small as the Kashi Ashrama. I need Ashrama around Sarayu river close to Rama temple. Also, I do not like any recommendations from the Government. I am stubborn that we need to procure the land by ourselves. When we get that, we will do Homa with the 13 crore Rama mantra. I hope this happens with Rama’s grace!
Many devotees are watching the programs live. I started Ganapati Homa (Agni kaarya) when I was just four years old. I was born with Ganapati’s grace alone! Usually Agni kaarya is done after attaining a certain age. You can imagine for yourself what a boy of such a young age can do. I did Homa legally and illegally, although there is nothing such when it comes to God’s worship. I wanted to do it and I did. Hence, Ganapati appeared directly to me and conferred his blessings during my thread ceremony.
I also desire to do Ganapati Homa in Mekedatu, perhaps it is somewhat difficult to do it there. Starting from my birth date, I want to do One crore Ganapati Homa. Think and do Japa of ‘Gam Ganapati’ from your places. Offer your desires and prayers. All your afflictions and poverty will be destroyed by Ganapati. He bestows power, victory and auspiciousness. Participate with your mind, heart and senses. You can have your breakfast and meals as usual, even if you participate in Homa.
Do not forget to wear a mask. I am also wearing it. Wearing a mask also is our Vrata because Ganapati blessed us with this!
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha!