This summer I attended a Pooja on a ranch above Santa Barbara. Its a Hindu ceremony to give and receive blessings. There are many kinds of Poojas, and this one was beautiful and amazing. When we were getting set up, a friend was asked to gather some wood from the east side of a tree for the fire that would be prepared. Below is a list of other items the Brahman priest asked to have ready for the ceremony.
turmeric powder, kumkum (red – not synthetically dyed powder), rangoli, rice (a couple of pounds), flowers (loose flowers for offerings – yellow, red, white, orange, pink), betel leaves (20), betel nuts (25), fruits all kinds (min 3 each), coconuts (5), PANCHAMRUTA(milk, curd, ghee, honey, sugar) one wati of each, camphor , sweets – 1kg for prasad, matches , incense sticks, ghee lamps and pre-soaked wicks, ghee, coins – e.g. quarters (25), perfume (Indian oil-based), napkins (for wiping hands), asanas & small cushions for sitting, blouse pieces – red, yellow, white, Thalis & watis & spoons & bowls (silver and plain), Threads – yellow, red etc, ghee2kg, black sesame seeds 2 kg, rice 2kg , wooden pieces for havan 10kg (fragrant puja wood), havan kund , cow dung (dry) , wooden ladles , Photo of Guru, Statue or image of deity to be invoked, Incense holder.
After the Puja and lunch, there was a great swarm of bees outside. They were so excited! I hung out with them for a while, they were really fun. I thought we should catch them, but the folks there already had three colonies, and didn’t have equipment for a fourth. Later, I went wading in the pond with some naked kids and helped with some mud pies.