Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Praying for success
Religion is a big part of people's lives in India and it is truly integrated into their daily lives. Folks are constantly seeeking divine intervention in their daily lives in order to make good things happen such as pass an examination, get promoted, find a bride/groom, get well from sickness etc.
We reached a key milestone in our business and were moving into a critical stage with a customer. A pooja (prayer) was scheduled in order to pray for the success of the operation and the eventual growth and prosperity of the business (and major stakeholders such as myself). It was the first time that I participated in such a ritual and I found it to be quite fascinating.
We had two pujaries (priests) perform the pooja. One of the rooms in the office was converted to a pooja room for this occasion. There were pictures of various Hindu gods and goddesses with special focus on Lord Ganesa (eliminator of obstacles) and Goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth). The pooja included the chanting of holy verses with occasional offerings of flowers and fruits to a small idol. Key elements of nature (wind, water and fire) are integrated in this ceremony as well. Wind drives away evil, water cleanses the environment and fire provides the light necessary for you to see your way.
How effective is this? Check back in about six months.