2 Aug 2016, Amritapuri
2000 participants from around the globe gathered in Amritapuri to pay homage to their ancestors by participating in the Karkidaka Vavu Bali ritual.
Vavu Bali is a Hindu custom where a special puja is performed on riverbanks and beaches on the no moon (Amavasya) that falls during the month of Karkitakam – the last month of the Malayalam calendar (July-August). During the ritual, participants wear a sacred ring (pavithram) made of dharba (a grass) and make an offering of sesame seeds, cheroola (a herb), cooked rice, and water placed on a banana leaf into a nearby body of water.
Brahmacharis from the Ashram led the instructions in many local and foreign languages. The first part of the ritual was performed in the Main Hall in the Ashram, after which participants gathered at the beach to offer the items on the banana leaf to the ocean.
Everyone expressed their gratitude towards their departed ancestors, and prayed for their wellbeing and spiritual progress.
This ceremony is considered as a part of Pitru Yajna (sacrifice for parents) – one of the Pancha-mahayagnas (5 sacrifices) all Hindus has to perform as part of a Dharmic life.