7 Nov 2000 – The Avatār performed the first ever Candi (pronounced ‘Chandi’) Homa (powerful fire ritual) personally at the Raja Rajeshwari temple in Tiruvannamalai, His own hometown. It is located exactly opposite to where The Avatār established and inaugurated the temple-monastery complex – “Arunachala Sarvajnapeetham – Kailasa in Tiruvannamalai” 8 years later on the mountain path! The Rajarajeshwari temple was established with the complete guidance of The Avatār. A devotee and premonastic relative of The Avatār – Ravi – from Tiruvannamalai, is a direct eyewitness to the Candi homa, who personally received the guidance from The Avatār and executed it. Ravi shared in a recent interview, “Swamiji used to visit Tiruvannamalai and stay in Oya Mutt at that time. We brought Him to the Rajarajeshwari temple. He felt the energy of the place and His face lit up. He said that He himself would perform a Candi homa to expedite the establishment of the temple with all the deities. He ensured that all of our energies was in oneness. He told nine of us to observe a 3-day fast to prepare ourselves to sit around the homa fire pit and initiated us into the Chamundi moola mantra which He told us to chant 108 times a day for the 3 days. The homa pit was 3 feet x 3 feet x 5 feet deep. We bought all the homa items as per His guidance. We sat at 5 am and it took more than 5 1/2 hours! He tied a long dharba rope around the fire pit, and then around the waist of the nine of us, and from there to the nine sacred water pots and from there to the navel center of the deity. He also bought Sri Cakra (pronounced ‘chakra’) Yantras personally Himself, kept it in the homa, energised it and gifted each one of us with it at the end of the homa. I offer puja to that Yantra till date. Swamiji then explained in detail how the Dasa Mahā Vidyas (ten Devi forms) is to be installed in the temple as per the Āgamas (Applied Science of Hinduism as prescribed by Paramaśiva). He explained each deity’s form, her seated position, the mantras, the weapons held by each deity, how the deity’s expression should be… everything. The Dasa Mahavidyas are: Kālī, Tārā, Tripurasundarī, Chinnamastā, Dhūmāvatī, Kamalātmikā, Mahālakshmi, Bagalāmukhī, Bhairavī, Rājarājeshwari. When Swamiji stood to enter the temple, a photograph was captured which recorded a large light in the Third Eye of Swamiji on His forehead! And we also later saw in the photographs, the very form of Devi appearing with her large trident in the fire and accepting the offering of the homa from Swamiji’s hands!” The pictures here are from this historic Chandi homa.