The altar

On the altar and on the walls of the altar room there are different sacred pictures and small statues (murtis) that have found their way to us in different ways. Some of them have been brought along from trips and pilgrimages, while some have been given us as gifts. The picture of the Indian holy man Sai Baba was left by someone behind our door.

Daily light offering ceremonies (Aarti) take place in the altar room, where everyone interested can participate. In the altar room, it is also good to sing mantras and bhajans (sacred verses and prayers). It is possible to use the musical instruments standing by the altar- drums, harmonium, bells, etc. You can also just have a peaceful moment by silently sitting by the altar, or do yoga exercises. Please note that according to tradition, it is not good to sit or lay with the soles of your feet towards the altar.

On the carpet in front of the altar, there is a tray on the floor where you can make donations, for example sweets that we can use as offerings in the light offering ceremony, or money which we can use for maintenance of Lilleoru centre. When placing your donation on the tray in front of the altar, you can give it either as your own offering to the aspects of the forces of the nature represented on the altar, or as an offering for the well-being of all people.

Each sacred picture and statue has a specific meaning, representing a certain principle of the nature. Here is a list of some of the principles represented on the altar:

  • Shri Shri Yantra – the expression of the geometric development of all that exists.
  • Durga – the principle of absolute dynamics – the whole nature. Durga is also called the Creator, the Mother etc.
  • Lakshmi – Durga’s sub-principle: "provider of happiness". She is also called the Fortuna.
  • Ganesha – a benevolent remover of all obstacles and the possessor of all knowledge. He is a deity with an elephant head. In a human being, the respective energy can found in Muladhara chakra.
  • The seat of the teacher (asana) – the universal principle of the Teacher.
  • Neem Karoli Baba – a spiritual teacher. This sacred picture was given us as a gift by Bhagavan Das, a bhakti yogi and kirtan singer who was visiting Lilleoru; his teacher was Neem Karoli Baba.
  • Shirdi Sai Baba – a teacher who was a Muslim and a Hindu at the same time. He is known in India as a holy man who overcame and reconciled different religions.
  • Bells (sound of a bell). They symbolise the principle of purity and expansion of consciousness or intellect.
  • Vajra – the principle of unchangeable and indestructible intellect.
  • Carbonized coconut – a symbol of the Mother Goddess Kali – chaotic energy, the principle of uniting the living and the inanimate. Mother Kali also represents a number of other principles; among else, she is also the ruler of kundalini energy.
  • Kriya Babaji Nagaraj – the epitome of a human being who has achieved perfection, a maha siddha and the creator of Babaji Kriya Yoga system.
  • Haidakhan Babaji – a maha avatara. Under this sacred picture, there are the 18 maha siddhas, representing the siddhanta tradition which realizes human perfection (in translation, "siddha" means "a perfect being"); Kriya Babaji Nagaraj is also a representative of this path.
  • Shiva’s statue in the centre – represents the God. The principle of absolute statics. Shivaism dates back to more than 10 thousand years; it is the oldest tradition in the world. Shiva is worshipped by the siddhas – human beings who have attained perfection. He is considered to be the one who gave Yoga to humankind, and the first yogi.
  • Ishwarananda – the principle of the Teacher.
  • Praying Christ – the principle of prayer.
  • Sai Baba – Indian holy man and teacher, an avatara.
  • In front of the altar, there are padukas – ancient Indian style footwear. Padukas symbolise humility and have received the respective blessings.
  • The holy Mt. Kailash in Tibet. According to legends, Shiva is meditating on its top. It is a holy place and a destination of pilgrimages.
  • Sita and Rama – a depiction of both divine and human love.