CREDOS : My altar — V

When I asked my father about purchasing some deities, he gave me two idols of Ganesh and Lakshmi. An elderly family friend in Toronto had also given me a traditional painting of Krishna. When I came back to Toronto, I set up my puja with the deities I had received. I have not dismissed my grandmother’s advice. In fact, it’s a helpful reminder whenever I want to skip the ritual.

My home altar has become my sanctuary, my sacred space in my new home. Moving in with a new family has its joys and challenges. My new family has welcomed me with much affection, but they have a different lifestyle. My home altar has become my touchstone for the values I have grown up in. And the practice of spending time praying in the morning allows me space to be with myself. I think of it as my auspicious start to the day. The time allows me to reflect on what I need to do, whether it’s during that day or in life generally. I acknowledge all the good things that happen. It can also be a time to think through my difficulties.

My routine isn’t very elaborate. I spend 15 minutes meditating, then I chant the sacred Gayatri mantra, and softly sing the aarti. I will likely soon acquire other paraphernalia to enhance my worship, such as a

small bell, an oil wick stand, an incense holder, and maybe even a conch. I am not sure whether I will spend an hour each day at my home altar, like my father does. But I will find my own way to pray at my home altar. — (Concluded)