Celebrate birthdays to Vedic chants and havan at this Mumbai temple. with the aim of bringing back traditional ways of birthday celebration, volunteers introduced a concept of community celebration, a year ago [ March 2016]
with the aim of bringing back traditional ways of birthday celebration,
The Aayusha havan (birthday rites) is performed on the first Sunday of every month, and anyone born in that month is welcome to come with their families and attend it. The rites are observed at Ayappa Vishnu temple in Powai, in Mumbai, from 9.30am to 11.30 am.
A homa or holy fire is lit and prayers and gifts are offered to the Gods to seek their blessings. Aayusha havan is performed to earn the blessings of Gods in order to live a healthier, longer, and successful life
Speaking about the concept, Kumar said, "We promote the concept through social media; the venue and celebration is open to all, without discriminating against anyone based on caste, religion, or age. The aim is to encourage and reintroduce our cultural values and traditions among the new generation. Vedic mantras are chanted by the priests while offering prayers on behalf of the devotees. The whole idea is to turn to our own culture instead of imitating the West."
The organisers of the initiative see around 25 people registering either themselves or their family members, every month. People can also register in advance for the same; they can register for their birthday celebration online by logging on to www.birthdayhavan.com. Within a year, over 550 birthdays have been celebrated by the organisers.
"We don't charge anyone for organising the Aayush havan. We are very thankful to the trustees of the temple for supporting us, without trying to reap any profit. The parents also appreciate the concept of celebrating a community havan, since, in a city like Mumbai, most families have working parents who barely get any time to teach traditonal customs and values to their children," said Kumar.
41-year-old Rupesh Sharma, who celebrated his birthday second time in a community prayer offering along with his family, said, "Through this initiative we invoke the deities and seek their blessings. It also helps inculcate our traditional cultural values in our children. Most people these days celebrate their birthday by blowing out candles, and cutting a cake. This, however, is a sheer imitation of western rituals. Our ancient texts ask us to light 'diyas' or candles instead, when a child is born. This is also a wonderful way to celebrate with all the members of your family under one roof, and also a great community activity."
Saji Nair, who came to celebrate his eight-year-old daughter's birthday, said, "It is a good initiative. We usually celebrate birthdays in accordance with the lunar calendar instead of the Roman calendar and also prepare the food at home. This initiative, we hope, will deter people from blindly replicating the Western way of life."
Source: https://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report-celebrate-birthdays-to-vedic-chants-and-havan-at-this-mumbai-temple-2344608 by Ms. Anagha Sawant
PN: pictures and videos are of pre-covid days