Blessings on the High School

At last, the High School has been blessed – both by the authorities who have finally given us the green light to start building and by the earth Goddess.

The Bhoomi Puja (Bhoomi means ‘earth’) ceremony has been performed by JR and the chief mason and work will start soon.

Jude, one of our Kovalam trustees, explains, “This ritual is performed to inaugurate a new site for the construction of a home or a building. Bhoomi Puja is conducted in strict conformance with ‘Vasthu Shasthra’ (the ancient Indian science of structures and architecture – like Chinese Feng Shui).

“According to Hindu beliefs and culture, the earth is considered to be a mother and by performing this ‘puja’ the good energy and natural elements surrounding the site can be propitiated. This is also a ritual of seeking forgiveness as construction of a building would mean killing countless worms and various other species.

JR hands the first brick to the chief mason

The bricks are placed in a hole and water poured on them

“They usually dig a hole about two to three foot deep and into which the bricks are placed. The priest or the chief mason first sprinkles generous amount of turmeric powder over the bricks and then red kum-kum dots are added at the four cardinal points and on the bricks.

“Mango leaves are also placed on the bricks and lemon pieces are rubbed with red kum-kum and placed around the 2-ft hole. The priest or chief mason initiates the offering of incense to the bricks which are half covered in water, creating an altar. Then everyone follows.

Incense is offered

Rice and flowers are scattered on the altar

“Rice and flowers are sprinkled on the altar and coconut halves are offered and camphor burned. Bananas wrapped in betel nut leaves and suparis are given away as goodies to the attendees.

“Through this ritual the earth Goddess is invoked and asked for assistance and support for the construction.”

An auspicious start.