The Offering

I don’t remember the exact year that I first erected an altar to Sri Ganapati and started doing puja but it was in the first few years of the 21st century. 2000-2002.

I was living in Daytona Beach, Florida at the time. Much as I dislike the place, Florida was good for puja because red hibiscus flowers grew naturally in the area. These were excellent for puja. I would pick them, wash them (because there were normally covered in tiny ants, otherwise) and offer them to the Lord along with food, which is later consumed as prasad, blessed by the god.

I was working third shift at the time (11pm-7am) at a hotel. So I’d do my puja in the evening, leave the food for a bit (usually a shelf-stable sweet of some kind) and then consume it when I got home in the morning.

One day, I came home and realized that the food for Ganesha was gone. I had a moment where I absolutely believed in divine intervention. I knew in my heart that the Lord somehow physically ate the food, blessing me with His presence.

Naturally, I did it again that night. If Ganapati wants food, after all, I’m going to feed Him!

Yet again, when I came home, the food had been eaten! Praise the gods, it was a miracle!!

I had been reading a lot of Robert Anton Wilson at the time, so the inner Skeptic began to speak up. “Before you go full-in on the belief of a manifestation of a Hindu deity in your apartment, you should explore other options.”

When I next had a night off of work, I offered the plate of food to the Lord, as usual. And I sat there in the dark with a flashlight, waiting for the arrival of Lord Ganapati, Remover of Obstacles, Lord of the Ganas, Son of Shiva and of Devi!

I was sitting there in japa, when I heard a noise. Something appeared from my kitchen and scurried into my living room, carefully. Quietly.

It was an opossum! A large one! It had been coming into my apartment through a hole under my kitchen cabinet and had come to rely upon my offerings to Ganesh as a regular form of sustenance while I was away at work.

Now, normally Ganesha is associated with a mouse or a rat. Hindu gods each have a vehicle and Ganesh’s vehicle or vahana is a mouse, Mooshika. The possum resembled a rat but was quite a bit larger.

I called the property management the next day and had them seal up the hole. From then on, my offerings were not physically eaten. Just spiritually.

But there’s a part of me that still wonders if perhaps Ganesha sent the possum? Was I blocking the will of the god by preventing the possum from coming in? Doubtful. I believe that Ganesha can get around ANY obstacle I could create. I don’t think I blocked the will of the god by blocking a possum from roaming around my apartment.

It is my experience that gods use physical means more than metaphysical means. Miracles are all around us, yes, but they take the form of the ordinary. Omens can be easily dismissed as mere coincidence by most people, but for those of us looking for the sacred in the world, we can perceive them all around us.

 

 

 

 

 

~ by sacredblasphemies on 05/16/2016.

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