Hawan, Puja & Mela
Pujas (rituals) with fire, song and drumming are performed twice daily in the asan mandir (ashram temple). All the ashram inhabitants and visitors join in the repetitious kirtan, learn to play the symbols, blow the conk shell, and entice the gods with the deep base of the buffalo skin drums. Burning ghee, coconut and cow dung fill the air with the true essence of the desert – the fragrance of the faithful. And when the heart is set free maybe a dancer or two will rise and spin with eyes closed, showing their gratitude for another lovely day full of unexpected teachers, blessings and surprises. Or maybe it will be you who can’t contain your joy any longer.
In the temple, in a protected area beyond the ancient holy trees, are the Samadhis (graves) of the great siddhas (saints) of the asan. We keep a candle burning for each of our wise teachers who gave entirely of themselves to build and maintain a prosperous and spiritual community. Following is the lineage of our tradition, beginning with Shridev Jasnathji, founder of the tradition, currently numbering approximately 700,000 in India.
- Jasnathji (Founder)
- Surajnathji (Current Leader)
Special Jaggrans (spiritual gatherings) are held nearly every day in this region, year round. Members of the Nath tradition move through their days striving to remain ever present with their creator. Temple bells ring as early as 5:00 when freshly bathed women launch their chores with first blessings from the guru. Children parade through the inner sanctum of the temple on test days offering sugar and coconut. And when a family builds a new house, retires, or welcomes a new baby, great ceremonies with fire, incense, chanting and eating ensue, lasting sometimes for days. Great tents are erected to keep the sun off hundreds of well wishers who greet each other by touching feet, shaking hands, or squeezing the cheeks of young brides. “Ram ram sa” we say, “God is here.”
SJA hosts several Mela (large spiritual festivals) throughout the year. Our largest gatherings are listed here. Dates are based on the lunar calendar and might not be consistent with solar calendar months listed here, so check first!
February: Jasnathji Magh Mela is our largest festival, drawing thousands of visitors from near and far to witness the largest fire dance of the year. We gather in honor of the founder of the spiritual tradition who created this mesmerizing event, accompanied by the hypnotic Jasnathi Raga (spiritual song) performed by aging, local singers.
July: Guru Purnima is a time to honor the leader of our tradition, and take initiation.
October: Sati Mata Mela, to highlight the accomplishments and manifest the necessary Shakti (female energy) that was Jasnath’s counterpart in building the Nath tradition.
November: On Diwali we light up the ashram with thousands of Ghee candles to honor Goddess Lakshmi and mark the beginning of the financial year in India.