During the Rajasooya Yajna, my eyes were drawn again and again to the vedi, the abode of the Cosmic Mother, the light and shining one. The vedi had an irresistible attractive power, and was so beautiful, so richly coloured, so shining, and so fragrant. It pulsed with life and energy.
The continuous flow of prasad in front of the vedi also seemed to have a force and life of its own. The prasad was not just heavy bags of inert items, there was something of Devi in the prasad. The flow of prasad was the dance for Devi, and was also the dance of Devi. As the prasad continued to flow and was given to thousands and thousands of people, I became filled with awe at the divine abundance being created and distributed before me.
I had a momentary understanding that everything that comes to me, even my own breath, is from Devi. I felt a great sense of expansiveness, that what "I have" was never mine, but is actually for everyone, and a feeling of lightness and relaxation arose. I also felt how large the gap was between this feeling and how I actually live. I prayed that I could learn never to take my breath for granted again. How beautiful life would be if it could be lived as a yajna!
While I looked into hundreds of faces, one of the biggest impressions for me was of a little girl's hair. I had seen the same child some months earlier, and then she was listless, faded, old beyond her years; and she had the dry, rusty-red hair of a malnourished child. But during the yajna, I caught a glimpse of her from beyond, running, and then in a flash she was gone! But that glimpse was enough -I could see her lively movements and the new growth of her healthy, dark hair. I didn't realize it at the time, but that was the most beautiful thing I saw in Rikhia.