Four Hard to Find Ritual Items Needed
Posted July 4, 2008
Together with several devotees, we are practicing various forms of Vaisnava ritualism on Ekadasi, Janmastami and Rama Navami. In several cases, however, there has been some difficulty in acquiring exactly the right materials and ingredients. A few major items that we have been unable to acquire so far are listed below. If you have any tips or clues that might help, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is the list:
- 7 metal fire brands for marking the body (conch, club, disk, lotus, sword, bow and arrow of Sri Visnu) during special fire yajna ceremonies performed on Sayana and Prabhodani Dvadasis. For reference, Hari Bhakti Vilasa indicates, "...the Vaisnava should, after breaking the fast, brand seven marks on his body." and further, "Having out of iron fashioned marks of the five weapons according to the rules, the knower of mantras should place them, one by one with their respective mantra. On the forehead one should wear the club, on the top of the head the bow and arrow, the sword Nandaka in the middle of the chest and the disk and conch on the arms." and "Having fashioned a disk of gold, silver, copper, brass or iron, the wise man should brand himself in the proper way." and "One should wear a branded mark of Hari's Sudarsana disk, hexagonal, having twelve spokes and encircled by three lines." and "One who is truly attentive to the rules of the foremost of the praised ones, makes a disk with fire. Fire is thousand-spoked, thousand-spoked is the felly. One whose body is branded with the felly attains sayujya, he attains salokya."
- Damana plant (Artemisia Indica) or seeds for use in performing Damanakaropana Dvadasi. I live in Mayapur, India, but I have heard that the Damana plant commonly grows only in the Himalayan mountains. If not the entire plant, then at least the seeds can be ordered and I will try to grow them.
- Silkworm cocoons for use in reeling filament silk thread that will be twisted 3x3 by a pure person and tied into garlands with evenly spaced knots for Pavitraropana Dvadasi. I have instructions for all this, including instructions for reeling and twisting, which I can give to the right person. So, at the least we just need to order silkworm cocoons. So, either you can sell me the cocoons alone, or if you feel qualified to reel and twist them also, that is even better. Everything needs to be mailed to Mayapur, India. Special mantras and purification is required for purifying the thread and tying garlands. If you have the assistance of a Brahman, I could hire you to do this as well.
- Fine (very thin) single filament cotton thread woven by a Brahamani, and twisted into 3x3 organzine by a pure person. This can be used for garlands like #3 above, and also to be used for the perfume cord for Lord Krishna.
If you have any questions about these hard to find items, I would be glad to answer them. Please email me at email@example.com.