Using the ancient technology of Vedic Yagyas
to solve modern day problems.
Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva Veda Yagyas

Includes our Annadanam (food) Yagya
and Daily Mrytunjaya Yagyas through August 12th ($75 total)
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Greetings Yagya Friends,

This month we are focused on the recitation of all four Vedas as a means of invoking the power of all the vedic yagyas.

But we would have no access to this knowledge without the guidance of a Guru. In fact, where would our lives be without those who share their knowledge and guidance o life both spiritual and material?

This newsletter contains a few stories behind Guru Poornima and why it is such an important time for a yagya.

Our July yagyas begin on Thursday, July 15th, and conclude on Guru Poornima, Saturday, July 24th. Signup is above and on the Puja.net site (click here)

As always, thank you for your support and interest in preserving the vedic traditions.

Best regards,
Ben Collins
Above you see an image of Shiva as Dakshinamurti, the first guru. He is shown seated beneath the Banyan tree with various rishis at his feet. His left leg is always crossed and his right foot is on an apasmara, a demon who represents the state of ignorance and Shiva's ability to control him. Truth is stronger than ignorance.

He has four arms; one of which holds a mala for counting mantra repetitions, another holds a flame signifying the light of knowledge, another holds a book. and the fourth is in Abhaya Mudra, a symbol of reassurance and blessing.
Above you'll see Veda Vyasa and Ganesha as he dictates the Mahabharatha to him. Vyasa is regarded as the first Guru. He organized the Vedas into the form we have them as now; Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva.

He was also the author of the Mahabharatha which includes the Bhagavad Gita, the Puranas (stories of the gods), the Upanishads, and other more esoteric texts. He is one of the Saptarishis; seven ancient rishis who are represented in the modern constellation of Orion.
The Vishnu Purana says that Vishnu, in the person of Vyasa, comes to help mankind have access to the knowledge of the Vedas because human intelligence is somewhat limited, especially during Kali Yuga.

In the process of researching this newsletter, I found the above image of Shiva and Vishnu playing in the water. Shiva has an advantage because the river Ganga flows through his hair, so he has a ready supply of water. But Vishnu has more arms, so he's more than capable of holding his own.

This image emphasizes the playful nature of creation. Shiva is the destroyer of ignorance, and Vishnu is the universal protector who fills us with knowledge and keeps us safe. But they have fun doing it.
Poornima is the astrological term given to the Full Moon. Guru Poornima is the time when the full Moon takes place in the vedic month of Ashadha. Pandit Mishra, who manages our Varanasi site, has access to one of the few Vyasa temples in India where we perform Vyasa Puja every year, and hopefully this year too.
This is one of the most famous guru slokas. It means that the Guru is Brahma, is Vishnu, and is Shiva. The guru is regarded as the presence of the divine in our lives.

The second line means the guru principle is Parabrahma - transcendent and beyond time and space. To that transcendent guru, I bow down (namah)
Vyasa wrote the Guru Gita (Song of the Guru) as a part of the Skanda Purana. This composition extolls the virtues of the Guru.
"Dear one, it is said that Sri Guru is Shiva, the witness of all, but without three eyes; he is Vishnu without four arms, he is Brahma without four faces."

"Salutations to Sri Guru, who by imparting the power of Self-realization burns up all the karmas acquired through countless lifetimes."

--Guru Gita

The following are photos from our past Guru Poornima yagyas.
Dakshinamurti - Shiva as Guru
The feet of the Guru are accorded special reverence. Symbolically they represent the intersection of the divine with the earth and thus are a symbol of the Guru's divine nature reaching down to elevate us to a similar level of knowledge and experience.
As the priests say at the end of every yagya;

"Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu"

May all beings everywhere enjoy peace, happiness
and a life free from suffering
This program of Vedic recitation is supplemented by our Annadanam Food Offering and Daily Mrytunjaya Pujas through mid-August
when our next program begins

Further details are available by clicking here or sign up below