Homa at Lake Manasarovar 

by Kannaiah, Netherlands

While enjoying our satsangs with Mohanji in Kathmandu and listening to the most beautiful experiences of those who had visited Mt. Kailash earlier, Mohanji asked me to come to his room. “We should talk about the Homa at Lake Manasarovar,” he said, “this is very important and auspicious.” 

Although I’ve been performing pujas for Lord Shiva since 1996, in the form of Rudrābhiśekam, I have never done a Homa alone. For me, the journey to Mt. Kailash was a celebration of the darshan of Lord Shiva Himself, a wish I had for a very long time. I probably thought I could stay ‘in disguise’ during the trip and avoid all the duties and tasks. 

Mohanji’s remark about me doing the Homa instantly woke me up from my ‘dreamy’ state. 

In his room, Mohanji spoke about the importance of the Homa and how he performs it. Intention (Bhaav) is the most crucial ingredient, without which the deities will not come. 

Mohanji already knew, without me saying so, that it would be my first Homa ever. Can you imagine a trial by fire right at the most important gateway of the world? It is like running your very first 100 meters at the Olympics. No pressure!

Together with Madhu, Mohanji summed up the directions for the Homa. He spoke about the attributes, ingredients and the mantras that needed to be used. I tried to scribble some notes on a piece of paper that I had brought along but missed out on most of it. “Do you know this mantra?” “Do you know that mantra?” “Uhhhh, yes, Mohanji,” but at that moment I forgot everything. Thank God Madhu recorded the conversation so that I could listen repeatedly. 

Madhu suggested that we sing Mohanji’s Gayathri, but out of his compassion, Mohanji said, “These people have all different Gurus, let them sing the Gurumantra ‘Om Sri Gurubhyo Namah”. 

This really touched me as I had intended to take my beloved Mother Gopala Krishna along with me. 

“My Homas are very simple; normally, the Homas are very elaborate.”… Hmm, simple? But we already spoke for 30 minutes about how and what! I prayed that he would perform through me as I became blank after listening to all the do’s and don’ts. 

Later, back in the room, I told Carla that I needed to do some ‘home(a)work’ and go through all that Mohanji had told me. The recording was very useful, and slowly, I got back my confidence. 

The mantras that I did not know by heart I could practice in the coming days.

Preeti lovingly arranged all the items for the Homa, including wood, camphor and cow ghee. If our intention and bhaav were there, what could go wrong? 

One duffel bag was filled with Preeti’s arrangements and many Rudrakshas to get them blessed at Lake Manasarovar. While crossing the border from Nepal to Tibet, our Homa bag got held up, and the clearance was ultimately denied – it had to stay back on the Nepalese side of the border. 

Bhavani broke the news that all the major items for our Homa were not there and that we had to search for substitutes in China. While in Nepal, you can find wood, ghee and camphor in every remote village, it was the opposite in China. From shop to shop, we went with our guide and finally found some butter in restaurants. Bhavani, ‘the brave’, said she would boil it into ghee. 

Camphor was not to be found, although finally, we came across a somewhat semi-liquid version. In the shop, on the floor, the gooey stuff was set ablaze, and it worked! 

Wood was nowhere to be found, either, and from this town onwards, the tree line would end. We walked back to the hotel and asked Mohanji, inwardly, for help. Just as we arrived at our hotel across the street, we saw, in front of a restaurant, a box with wood sticking out. After much persuasion and a good amount, we were back in business. 

The day of the Homa at Lake Manasarovar started with a severe downpour of rain – not the most convenient weather for an auspicious fire ceremony. 

Bhavani summoned her ducklings to chant three malas of Om namah Shivaya, Shivaya namah Om. After the second round, the rains subsided, and once the three malas were completed, the sun came through. 

Finally, the moment arrived, with a little twist in my stomach, and the Homa started. Throughout the ritual, we could feel the presence of Mohanji and many Masters, Gurus and celestial beings. As a group, we continued to chant despite the lack of oxygen. The waves of the lake licked the shore very gently, and with every wave, I felt divine beings entering the fire. 

The bhaav and intention were within all of us, as well as in our Sherpas. Every participant offered a stick of wood dipped in ghee with a deep intention. 

When we finally did, one by one, the aarati for Mohanji, and we touched each other’s shoulders, making sure we all performed this most auspicious offering, the hairs on my arms stood up, and tears of gratitude flowed from my eyes. 

What a blessing! Later, my fellow yatris explained how the sun gave a special darshan during the Homa.

Silently, we walked back to our accommodations, hardly realising what had happened to us. 

Even now, when I write this, I feel the intensity of that moment. Thank You, Swamiji, thank you, Mohanji, thank you! 


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Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 12th October 2023


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