On the occasion of Dasara, Sami tree was decorated beautifully with lotus flower garlands, mums, jasmines etc. The arrows which were to be shot by Lord were placed in the tree.
The program started with Saketha Rama coming to the auditorium on a procession wielding a bow and arrow in His hand. Sriman U. Ve. Sri Rangaramanuja Charyulu explained the scientific significance of the Semi tree citing a story from Srimad Ramayana. He explained how Agni is in the dormant state in the Sami tree, Agni which purifies everything and hence Sami tree got that importance and significance.
Later HH Sri Swamiji gave mangalasasanams to devotees with His message followed by Lakshmi Ashtotthara puja. Everyone repeated the three slokas, wrote their wishes on a paper slip and placed it on the tree. On behalf of Lord, the priest shot arrows in 8 directions. Kids ran to get their hands on the arrows. Lucky ones took them proudly to their homes as a souvenir. HH blessed everyone with the mangala akshthas. Program concluded with thirttha and prasada goshti.
In this world, God created everything we need for survival before creating us. A person who wants to cook will keep the ingredients ready before cooking. A doctor before operating on a patient will keep his equipment ready. God too created everything before bringing man into this world.
There is nothing which is not useful in this world. Our Vedic scriptures recommended to look at everything – be it a stone, a tree, an insect, an animal in relation with God ‘ i:sa va:syam idagam sarvam’ . If we see that relation in everything around us, we will never spoil anything. These days we are spoiling the water, the air, trees, soil, things around us and even ourselves. That is why our rushis arranged this puja today. We show gratitude towards everything around us.
Go-green is not new to us. Our sages attached every species – bird, animal or a tree to a divine force, a de:vatha. For example eagle to Vishnu, rat to Vinayaka, lotus to Mother Lakshmi etc. The MESSAGE IS USE ANYTHING WITH DEVOTION, don’t limit the use an object to satisfy your greed and pleasure. Hence, do puja with Sri Sambandham, do puja with devotion.
Semi tree is not useful to us in anyway. It neither gives us fruits nor flowers. Its leaves have no fragrance. It is full of thorns. But, our Vedic system showed us that we have to respect everything. In the temples too Semi is worshiped on this day. Lord goes on Aswa (horse) va:hana , does puja to Semi tree , shows His valor by shooting arrows, takes with him the leaves of Semi.
Semi is called aparajitha – which is Mother Lakshmi’s name. It is called ‘semi’ because it removes our shortcomings.
We worship on this particular day – sravana star, dasami thitthi in Aswayuja month while the stars are appearing in the evening time because at this time – the tree’s divine energies come out. This energy is very divine. It safeguards us from the onslaught of unruly unpredictive forces around us.
During Utthara Gograhanam, Arjuna single-handedly defeated the Kauravas. This is because of the semi tree energy only that Arjuna could win.
Today, we pray to that Semi tree. Nothing is useless on Earth. Identify it properly and use it. Then you will be benefited and others will benefit too.
Hence, the puranas showed how Lord Srinivasa did puja Semi puja for successful marriage with Padmavati devi. The 3 slokas we chant today were originally chanted by Lord Srinivasa. Let us chant them:
amangalanam samani:m samani:m dushkruthasyacha !
duswapna nasini:m dhanya:m prapadhyeham sami:m subha:m !!
sami samayathe: pa:pam sami: lohithakantaka: !
dha:rinyarjuna ba:na:na:m ra:masya priyava:dini !!
karishyama:na yathraya:m yadha:ka:lam sukham maya: !
thathra nirvighna kathri:thvam bhava sri:ra:mapu:jithe: !!