Eye Opening Ceremony of Swarna Lakshmi
The excitement of the 8th spilled over into the next day. On Saturday, February 09th 2013, devotees thronged Shanthi Mandapam to witness the ceremonious Eye-Opening of Swarna Lakshmi.
Forty Five trays each containing Mangala Porul (auspicious items) to be offered to the Divine Goddess by forty five Sumangalis (married ladies) were arranged for the Homa. All forty five ladies were seated in a row with their offerings and each offering had a lamp lit in the centre.
The rest of the space was over crowded with devotees, many had to wait outside to witness the auspicious event. The Sri Suktha Homa was conducted and after the Poorna ahudhi, the Kalasams were taken into the Shanthi Mandapam and placed on the stage for Beloved Amma to perform the abhishekam for the Goddess.
Beloved Amma arrived and after Amma did the aarathi Amma gave the okay for the curtains to be opened for everyone to have the darshan of the Swarna Lakshmi. Goddess Swarna Lakshmi who had a good night's rest was still decked in flowers. Beloved AMMA gently removed the garlands one at a time and again performed the aarathi.
After this the curtain was closed. Behind the curtains, Beloved AMMA opened Swarna Lakshmi's eyes and covered them with sandal paste for her eyes to cool. She was then placed back on the stool. Curtains opened again and AMMA did the aarathi. Then Amma's mother was instructed to hold a mirror in front of the Goddess.
This is to signify that once the eyes are open, the Goddess should see the most auspicious thing and what is more auspicious than Her own self. That is why a mirror is placed in front of her. Beloved Amma started abhishekam for HER and as the sandal paste washed away gently, her beautiful eyes with dark pupils were open for all to see. Once she saw herself in the mirror, it was removed and Beloved AMMA performed abhishekam with different items.
Then all the sumangalis stood in a line and each had the blessing to come forward and do aarathi for the Goddess. A small quantity of the item in their tray was offered at the Feet of the Goddess. All the ladies did their offerings. Then the curtain was closed. Beloved AMMA decorated Swarna Lakshmi in a saree and jewels, after which the curtains opened and aarathis were done by Beloved Amma. All the devotees who were gathered were blessed to come to the front and have the Darshan of the Goddess.
SWARNA LAKSHMI is befitting the sloka in Sri Suktham in Rig-Veda. - "You shine like the thousand suns. I pray to you to shine that light on me to dispel the darkness of ignorance within me".