Many of you have asked me about details on performing seva to our beloved Rayaru at home. The link for performing seva at Mantralaya has been posted already. For more details see this post:
I have documented below how we perform seva at my place. This is how I have been doing seva, my Mom, my Sister, My Grandmother and other relatives perform seva. The rituals you follow may be different. So, follow this only if you wish. If you disagree with any of the rituals, better consult a priest or contact the Mutt and find out. I have documented it as a Q&A.
Q. 1: When to perform Seva?
A.1: Perform seva on days you know you will be able to devote the days you wish to perform seva. At any cost, the number of days should not be changed once you start the seva.
Q.2: How many days to perform Seva?
A. 2: Odd number of days. 1,3,5, 7 and so on.
Q.3: What to do if something happens while performing the seva?
A.3: For example, if someone dies, or some other untoward incident happens for which there is a Mailige( not sure what it is called in English) than you stop the seva immediately.
Q.4: Do we always have to keep a coconut?
A.4: Yes, if you are doing the seva for a specific reason, you have to keep a coconut when you do sankalpa.
Q.5: Do I completely fast while doing Seva?
A.5: You can eat just 1 lunch. No breakfast, no dinner. Maybe some milk and fruits in the night.
Q.6: Can I work during seva?
A.6: Yes, you can continue working while doing seva. However, no traveling.
Q.7: Should I take head bath everyday?
A.7: Yes, one should take head bath everyday.
Q.8 What clothes can be worn?
A.8: While performing seva for Rayaru, clothes which are washed and dried separately are supposed to be worn.
Q.9: What Pooje do I perform?
A.9: First, perform daily pooje for God. Next, perform pooje to Rayaru. Offer Coconut, Fruits, flowers, light lamps, perform aarathi. Recite Rayara Ashtotra, and many more lyrics posted on this blog.
Q.10. Do we perform pooje in the evening also? Should I take shower in the evening also?
A.10. Yes, we perform pooje in the evening also. Many say women shouldn’t shower in the evening. However, since we would have touched so many other people during the day, and at work, we used to shower ( no head bath) in the evening also.
Q.11: How do we decorate the pooja room?
A.11 : As you would decorate for any other pooja. Place a coconut on the right side, and don’t touch it until you finish the seva.
Q.12: What flowers to offer?
A.12: We all know our beloved Rayaru loves Roses, so offer Roses. If not available, Jasmine is also fine.
Q.13: What to eat?
A.13: Food with no onion and garlic is eaten. Like I said, just lunch. No dinner, no breakfast. No store brought food. All food should be cooked fresh everyday.
Q.14: What to do with the coconut?
A.15: The day you finish the seva, break the coconut and share it with all your family members.
Q.15: Do we get a dream after the Seva?
A.15: If your bhakthi and devotion has reached our beloved Rayaru, he will definitely come in your dream as himself, or someone else and bless you. In many cases in our relatives we have had dream where an old priest gave us a purna phala, which is coconut, phala mantrakshate, flowers and so on.
A few in my family has never had a dream. So, don’t get disappointed if you don’t get any dream.
Q.16: Other than work, and pooje what else do I do?
A.16: Most time during the seva is spent chanting Rayaru’s name and reading devotional books. No watching TV, no movies, no extra curricular activities.
Q.17: Where to sleep?
A.17: No sleeping on mattress. Sleep on a chape. Remember, you are trying to give your utmost devotion & Bhakti. There are many who complain about the rituals, just remember we are doing this since we want. No one is forcing us to do this. If you don’t agree, and think just your Bhakti is enough, so be it.
Q18: Where can find all the songs and lyrics to recite?
A18: This blog has several songs and lyrics. Take a look at the following link:
P.S: Since many of you have asked, hence this post. I have documented what I have been doing. Like you all know, I am a great devotee of Rayaru, and I am even more tough while performing seva. So, this is just a guideline. Make any changes you wish.
MAY OUR BELOVED RAYARU BLESS ONE AND ALL WHO PERFORM HIS SEVA.