Before proceeding with this post ,I would like to pose one question to you..When a puja is performed in your house,which is the most attractive and appealing part to you?
option 1:Religious part of it.
option 2:Naivedyam-food offered to Gods.
option 3:Naam smaran of God or remembering God's Name.
I am not going to ask for ur answer..because I know it ;-) and I am not going to reveal it to anybody ;-) ok? Now continue reading.. .
India,being a land of colourful festivals,different regions celebrate festivals in different ways..But One common thing I noticed in all these festivals or pujas is the Naivedyam part of it..It is a compulsory ingredient in all pujas because we love to offer food to our beloved deity..But I feel that this has created lots of problems for God..;-)..
Our ancestors were real gastronomic experts,they spent all their intelligence in inventing delicious sweets, pickles,papads,appalams,and many more..I doubt whether any other country has researched and developed such a wonderful variety of delicacies;-) ..According to convenience and availability of raw materials they allotted each delicacy for each puja/deity..
If it is Ganesh chaturthi,then it should be Modak(marathi) /Kolukkattai(tamil) ..
Ghee laden shira (modified version of kesari)for Satya narayan puja...
In South, Krishna janmashtami is celebrated with ;-) variety of delicacies... list is very big...
Actually naivedyam is prepared as an offering to God and as a token of our devotion..and we are supposed to sincerely concentrate on God during the pujas..and offer food to him with utmost love ,thank him for his grace....but in reality it never happens ;-)..
I still remember Janmashtami of our child hood days..a variety of delicacies were prepared..mouth watering cheedais,murukkus,appam..mmm ..My elder brother never moved away from puja room...not because of his devotion;-) He used to cordon off that area ,so that he could be the first one to grab the prasad ;-)Every year he used to succeed in his mission leaving my younger brother and myself in despair(!!) ;-) Krishna and his puja were the last preference for us..Temptation to all these wonderful,lipsmacking savouries were so high,poor Krishna had to wait for our attention..;-)
Why childhood days?Even now,during Ganesh Chaturthi,when Modaks are arranged for naivedyam and till all the procedure of naivedyam is over ,our eyes remain glued to the yummy white modaks,waiting for the naivedyam to get transformed into prasad after the water sprinkling procedure;-).. (sorry! for my horrible translation;-)))
Normally an elderly male member of the family sits to perform puja.. He is supposed to do puja sincerely ..observe the procedures like aachaman,sankalpa,.with lots of devotion and fervour... He starts uttering mantra..Om mahaganpatye namah..Om ekadantaya namah..his mind suddenly jumps to the previous year flop vada which was hard like a stone..;-) ,mmm,,Om vakrathunadaya namah.."Ae!Try to make vadas crispier...and little spicier...Do you remember last year's vada..I lost my tooth because of it" This instruction to his wife may give a sudden shock;-) to our lovely ganesha who was just enjoying the mantras praising him..;-) and not only that ...it may serve as a pathetic remainder of last year's naivedyam to him and he may get tensed about this year's new adventurous recipes;-)..
The appetizing aroma emanating from the kitchen when preparing naivedyam...is another major worry for Gods;-) because it causes complete distraction to devotees'(!!!) attention and lead them to a state called devotion deficiency :-D and ultimately Gods end up with utmost attention deficiency;-) ..To top it all,Once the naivedyam procedure is over ,both devotees and the prasad may do a vanishing act from the puja scene...;-) leaving the Gods alone ...
What worries me a lot is if the same situation continues and if Gods lose patience with our inattentiveness and impose a ban on naivedyam for an year or two...it will be very difficult for us to celebrate festivals without modaks and cheedais :(....
Cu in next post...