It has been my experience that to stand in the presence of Kateri Ma, is to stand in the presence of love and fairness.
When this loving Mother was first introduced into my life, I was taught to pray to her for all the wrong reasons. To approach her in the wrong way. To love her for what she did for me.
Let me explain. If only to save you from my mistakes.
I was in desperate need. I was confused. In despair. It was a way over a decade ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was taken to a Kali Temple where the Pujari advised me to do 5 weeks of devotion and then a puja for Kateri Ma and beg her for what I want while I give my offerings.
I spent 5 weeks going to temple, holding my offering in hand and begging Ma for work so I could help my husband to support our large family, to remove my sicknesses that the doctors could not find a cause for/treatment, to make my life better, etc, etc. I spent 5 weeks bribing Kateri Ma.
And then I offered a puja of 5 shares of fruits and coconuts, a sari and raised a flag, all the while still begging for the things I felt I needed.
After the puja it was time for the Arul Vaaku. (This is when a marlo manifests the power and consciousness of a deity, sometimes referred to as the “call-up”.)
I stood before the Mother Kateri and she told me I had a path to walk but she would never see my family suffer. I was to pray to her and she would be there for me.
This great Mother took pity on me. She blessed me with what I needed.
Yet I was disappointed. Had I not been praying to her for all these weeks? Did I not give her so many offerings? Was I not to get something in return? Looking back makes me cringe at my expectations and ignorance.
I spent the next year bribing her. Under the guidance of the pujari, I believed just one more offering… just one more puja… would make it all better. I spoke to Kateri Ma many times that year. Each time she reassured me life would get better, it was a path I was on and it would get smoother.
Being in her presence is like being a small child in her mother’s embrace. Love radiates from her energy.
My family, which included our kids and extended to my parents and parents-in-law, continued to survive but we fell deeply into debt. My husband and I sold everything we had to be able to feed & care for the ones we loved.
After a year I finally left the temple.
I did not leave because I had lost faith. I left because after one year I still felt lost.
Three weeks later I found myself in another temple. After service I went for the Arul Vaaku to speak with the Divine Mari Amman. She held my head and told me I’d been corrupted. Mari Amman gave me 9 Sundays of devotion to Kateri Ma with instructions to pray to find myself, to remember who I am and to find my shakti.
That devotion changed my life for the better.
The first devotion did not.
What was the difference?
Before the 2nd devotion was over I had a new job. Within 6 months we had cleared off all our debts. After 16 months, my test results were coming back clean and my energy seemed to be limitless.
What did I do differently during this devotion?
I didn’t ask for anything… but guidance.
I only gave offerings out of love.
Truly, I shopped for fruits and flowers myself. Always choosing what I felt was the best, the prettiest.
Why? Because I loved Kateri Ma deeply. She had been my anchor in a sea of chaos. She brought light into the darkness even when I felt I wasn’t “benefitting” in the first temple.
But that was my fault. I had learned to have “expectations”. As if the dia was a birthday candle I could wish upon.
It’s been a little over 12 years since my life turned around, 3 years after first attending a kovil. Life still has its hiccups and when it does, I ask Mother for guidance. In moments of uncertainty, I ask Mother for guidance. There was one incident 8 years ago that broke my life again. I’m very happy to say I worked through it smarter and have not had such an incident since. I did another 6 months worth of pujas that year but I knew why I was doing them and I didn’t suffer to do them or throw myself into debt again. I had tons of guidance from our Devis.
I have known the Pujari of SMK Temple in Queens, NY to say “when you put God before you, you will always be on the right path.”
Those are words to live by.
The Secret to Bribing Kateri Ma
There are posts on the internet that mention keeping a 5 week fast and offering her a puja in order to change your life, get what you want, get your revenge, etc etc.
There are pujaries who will guide you to do pujas for hundreds of dollars to get what you want from Kateri Ma.
Don’t do it. Unless it’s to break some terrible cross or because you want to maintain this yearly because you love her, don’t do it. I look at my yearly puja as a birthday celebration for someone I truly love.
The Secret? The power of prayer is amazing. Offerings from the heart never go unnoticed. Meditation and chanting is life changing. The positive energy that you put out into the world will surely return to you.
Karma is not only the return of bad deeds, it’s also the return of good deeds and good intentions.
A word for those who pray to Mother Kateri for negative reasons…
Sometimes people in dire circumstances are lead to believe that they need to “offer Kateri Ma the same puja that was done to hurt them”. I am not one to advise on this from a personal standpoint but I can tell you this… Kateri Amman is a very fair Mother. Just like any Mother, she will protect her children fiercely against others but will discipline them herself when they’re misbehaving.
Leave these kind of problems at Mother’s feet and trust her to be the judge and executioner. Do not take it upon yourself to direct our Mother to go hurt someone for you. You will disappoint her with your behavior and you will pay for it. Break the negative energy against you, and move on.
I won’t sugarcoat it. Kateri Ma can be very very good and she can be very very bad, but she is always fair. Yes, you can brine her to do bad, but I promise you, because she is fair, you will pay for it too.
On the topic of Pujas for Kateri Ma…
I’m not saying don’t offer her a puja.
But I will say, a puja or offering given out of obligation or for revenge (instead of love) is not truly an offering.
I have seen Kateri Ma advise people to do a puja and I’ve seen her tell people they owe her nothing.
I have learned that pujas are a way to unblock a spiritual incident based on your karma or negative energies focused on you. The only ones who can advise you about this would be our divine devis/devtas. So when Mother says you need to do a puja, note that it is for the betterment of your soul and your life.
You would think that after a year of offering her puja after puja I would never want to again.
Keep in mind, she never once told me to do one of those pujas.
Before that 2nd devotion was done, I found myself wanting to honor her yearly with a puja and have been doing so every year since. And with each puja, all I ask is that she accept it as a token of my love and devotion.
Why would I offer to do a yearly puja? Maybe you’re thinking I have an ulterior motive.
I am motivated to honor this Mother because she is amazing.
If this article helps one person to avoid the mistakes I made, I am grateful. Thank you for reading. SitaRam!