By Mother Maya

Let’s enjoin heart across the world and observe a Prayer Vigil for the families and their loved ones who have perished in the recent earthquake-tsunami in Japan ~

On the heels of the devastation of 8 or 9 consecutive disasters in Australia, comes the earthquake-tsunami in Japan….and, as predicted, we can expect more water, earth and fire related catastrophes as we move forward into a new era of collective consciousness. At this pivotal time in human consciousness evolution, the most important understanding we can offer to our humanity is neither physical/emotional, nor financial. It is the selfless practice of prayer – spiritual service that helps to restore ancestral memory so that we may heal the long ignored rift with the spirit world. As you have been seeing, each year the time of the ancestor stretches farther into cosmic unrest. A disturbing trend is that the impact of natural and related disasters to the already vulnerable populations has increased steadily over a period of time. We must make gentle and calm the recurring cycles churning nature within and without that have come to bode the ancestral season on earth. We can begin our personal practice of honoring and appeasing our ancestors by making small personal sacrifices on a daily basis with the ancestors in mind. Live each day in the mind of Ahimsa. Recognize that we are living in times of incredible feats as well as of phenomenal disasters!

Honoring ancestors not only brings an immediate sense of comfort to bereaved families but also helps to resolve the memory of shock and awe carried in the subtle body of those individuals who perished in the wake of violence. By honoring, loving, feeding, and nourishing the ancestors we may once again earn their palpable grace in both the physical and subtle fields of existence.

First thought before we can honor our ancestors, it is also essential to appease Mother Nature, and in particular, her Waters! Every morning during Sandhya- juncture when darkness is lit by dawn- offer this Prokshana Mantra to appease Mother’s Waters: May the earth’s body of water be made nourishing, nurturing and calm again:

Vedic Mantra for Appeasing the Waters: Om Bhu: Om Bhuvaha: Om Suvaha

This power is rested upon water through this Prokshana Mantra. In Taittiriya Upanishad it is said that water is a purifier. The Water has the ability to purify anything that it touches. The flower of her vast waters is the moon. Therefore, seize every opportunity to devote one or two days of fasting during each month at the Moon Cycle of Ekadashi (see Ekadashi Schedule 2011 at www.mypeacevow.com)

A Reminder- Time for the Ancestors
Many cultures have their own specific rituals in memory of loved ones and ancestors. You may want to learn more about the practices from your own cultural or religious background. You may also wish to honor your ancestors particularly during the time of Pitri Paksha when millions of people around the world are doing so, as they have for thousands of years. Uncovering and gathering information about our ancestral past is not always an easy task. Many of us have lost the connection with our ancestral lineage through adoption or migration, as my people did. You may choose to offer prayers and oblations to the ancestors at any time. Each opportunity provides an excellent chance to reconnect emotionally and spiritually to the memory and vibration of your forebears, even if you do not have specific historical details. You may begin to resonate with them through your dream state, feel their palpable grace protecting you in ways you are not always aware of, or feel drawn toward the life ways of a certain culture or tradition.

At this time of great vulnerability, I invite you to connect to the powerful energy of ancestors. May these challenging events of the day serve as a metaphor not for the eruption of nature and erosion of dharma, but for retrieval of healing ways that may restore our human power of Ahimsa. You may observe the following ritual and recite the mantra at the death anniversary of a loved one, on any day of the year during any painful crises, or through any form of disasters or at the loss of loved ones. Most of all, the period of Pitri Paksha is the optimum time each year when these offerings and remembrances are imperative. On a moon calendar, find the date of the last new moon in September. (This moon generally occurs toward the end of September or beginning of October.)

Vedic Ancestral Ceremony – The Practice:
1. Ancestral Mantra & Offering
• Facing South in the early morning light, repeat the following Vedic mantra at each offering, staying mindful of the safe travel for the thousands of souls to the celestial sphere, and for their entry into the abode of the Pitris. Also, keep in mind the welfare of your ancestors – known and unknown:

• Find a serene place in nature outdoors, preferably by a river or sit at your altar facing south.
• Place two hands cupped together of black sesame seeds in a brass or stainless urn or pitcher dedicated for this use.
• Fill the urn or pitcher with four cups of water
• If making the offering indoors, place the urn in a large bowl into which you will be pouring the food offering.
• Mix the rice or seeds with the water or milk in the urn.
• Use your right hand to pour the mixture slowly into the large bowl, or onto the earth, keeping in mind that you are giving nourishment to the souls of the disaster victims.
• Recite the afore-mentioned mantra while you are pouring the offering.
• After the ritual, take the offering to a place where birds and animals can partake of it. Do not discard it in the garbage.
• The food offering takes about 10-15 minutes.
• Continue to repeat the mantra after the offering. Pray for the aggrieved and the souls’ of those who have perished and keep their safe and serene travel to the celestial sphere, and for their entry into the abode of the Pitris.