Puja supplies for Vedic meditation teachers
After years of teaching and thousands of pujas, I thought to share the contacts I have made to create the most sustainable, locally sourced and natural puja kit possible! When I visit India, and see the devotion that is expressed through their daily ceremonies, it’s inspiring. But then when I see the trash and plastic waste that pollutes the land and rivers after the ceremony is over, my heart sinks. Traditionally, all puja supplies would have been natural. It’s only our modern world that has put convenience and cheaper costs over taking care of our planet. And most people don’t even realise the impact their actions are having, or simply don’t care.
My perspective is if we are going to perform ceremony to enliven the laws of nature, and connect to a deeper spiritual aspect of life, then it shouldn’t be at the expense of the natural world, our Earth that feeds and houses us. That’s why I try, in every aspect of my life, to create and live as sustainably as possible. And having a natural puja kit is one way of living this value.
Note: These suppliers are specifically for Australian based teachers, but all the supplies can be bought internationally online.
I use cotton wicks with ghee to create the lamp if I’m teaching from home. The ghee is organic and homemade to know its purity! Cotton wicks can be created from natural cotton fibres (I’m sure hemp would work too!) or bought from your local Indian store (although they do come in plastic wrap this way).
When traveling, I use beeswax candles from my local Shop Neutral store in Prahran Market (4 x $24). If you buy the long taper candles you can cut each one into 6 x pieces to use for individual pujas.
Purchase in person from Shop Neutral Prahran (Victoria) - 4 for $24
This has taken a while to find a local and sustainable source. I use to use mini sandalwood incense sticks handmade from Auroville (which if you go there you can get from the centre store). Otherwise Subtle Bodies sandalwood incense is made from a plantation of sandalwood in Western Australia. It has no stick, and is made in the traditional way with a local sticky resin to bind the sandalwood (10% resin to 90% pure sandalwood). They offer bulk prices for 30+ boxes purchased.
Considering most of the sandalwood powder you buy online is fake, it was refreshing to find the company Mt Romance in WA creating it 100% pure! It’s $40 for 100g + postage. It smells amazing and would last you for years.
“Pure Sandalwood Album Heartwood (Santalum Album) powder 100g, cultivated and produced in Western Australia. Revered for thousands of years for its healing properties, years of overharvesting left Indian Sandalwood (Santalum Album) nearing extinction in the wild. By nurturing plantations of this noble tree in Australia’s tropical north, Quintis has created a sustainable supply of Sandalwood Album (Santalum Album), preserving this precious species for the future.”
Coming from a fashion design background, I know the impact the industry has on the environment. Buying cheap handkerchiefs from mass produced outlets is not supporting sustainability nor responsibility. Cotton uses lots of water to grow, and is bleached in its final production.
Hemp is one of the most sustainable fibres around, and it’s easy to buy natural hemp fabric and cut into your own handkerchief squares. Our friends at The Hemp Temple will be able to share with you their natural fabrics.
Contact The Hemp Temple - firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s good to know that camphor comes in both a natural and synthetic form. To buy natural camphor, it comes in a big round ball-like-block. This can be purchased online via Ebay. Or if anyone has a local supplier please let me know!
The rice in puja should be brown, unhusked rice (akshatan) and organic is best. This can be purchased from your local bulk foods store where you can fill up a jar (no plastic packaging) when needed.
Use filtered water if possible, or fill up a glass bottle with water from your local spring (or Ganga water from the Saraswati river in Badrinath!) to use in the ceremony.
I hope this helps you create a more sustainable puja kit! And if you have any other natural suppliers to add to this list, please let me know.
Love L x