Sonali Gidwani, 16 years, Hong Kong.
On Monday the 14th of January 2013, my family and I, along with several others had the privilege to participate in the Vishnusahasranam Archana Puja, and chant the thousand names of Lord Vishnu on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti. This ceremony was officiated by Shubhraji and the thousand names, were chanted by Her and her sister, Rashmiji.
When we began the puja, Shubhraji reminded us of the importance of our sankalpa, which is an intention – something we wish to benefit through the puja. Like us, I suppose that many of the participants wished for more than one thing, for themselves, their families and loved ones. Every year at the Vishnusahasranam Puja, I ask God to bless me with good grades, and this year was no exception – I prayed for respectable SAT scores and good IB grades.
Shubhraji also asked us to pray for an end to violence in the world, especially towards women and children. I feel very strongly about these issues, and I hope that my prayers have reached those that have been affected by tragedies.After chanting a thousand names and having offered five bags of flowers, we reached the end of the ceremony.
We performed the closing prayers and maintained silence in the room to conserve the vibrations from our prayers.As I went to receive blessings, I began to realise the magnitude of the puja I performed, and how it would benefit me, and those around me. In that moment of stillness, I felt peaceful and happy, and I was filled with the belief that I could accomplish what I had set out to do. I believed that I could fulfill my sankalpa. Most importantly, I finally realised the power of collective efforts and prayers.
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