It was Madhukaka Datar who initiated me into doing pujas for the community. Although I had the basic knowledge of Sanskrit and had learned some strotras etc in the childhood, I knew nothing about pujas, rituals etc. In fact I knew little about Hinduism. I started my pujas with a funeral for a close friend in Sydney. Madhukaka insisted that I continue serving the community and I have followed that advice ever since. From Simple Satyanarayan puja, I progressed to other complex rituals such as Vastushanti, Munj, Nakshatra Shanti, other Shantis and of course weddings. I am so happy that I did this and still do so because, through this I have been able to help many charities, but mainly the Amtes.
It is not easy to learn these pujas. A background of Sanskrit helps. But with effort and determination, one can easily learn all of these. Of the people who learned from me, Arti Upasani and Uma Athavale have started conducting pujas for the community. But we need many more people to do so. The Indian community is quite large now and demands are very high. This could be a very fulfilling service one can undertake. The Marathi community alone can keep a priest occupied throughout the year.
About the trainer
Dr. Jayant Bapat
I am happy to teach pujas and other rituals to anyone wishing to do so, free of charge. I have also amassed a good size library on Hinduism and they can take advantage of that as well. I urge men and women to take the initiative and learn from me. Given the fact that I am about to hit 80 this year, people better hurry!