Pooja Accessories with Beaded embroidery in velvet

India is an ancient land steeped in religion and traditions, since times immemorial.  The adornment of the dieties with flowers followed by the tinkling of bells and performing a fragrant camphor Haarathi are a typical household regime strictly followed in most traditional Hindu homes with all the members gathering in the pooja room to offer prayers and seek blessings at the onset of the day.

It has been a common practice for girls and women in the family to adorn our pooja rooms and decorate our gods and goddesses with various accessories, as per the norms and customs of the culture we follow.  Drawing the Rangoli is an integral part of this regime, and other activities such as flower-making, garland-making, lamp-decoration, jewellery-making, garment-making etc. apart from cooking the relevant delicacies as per the festivities is part of an Indian woman's repertoire of talent.

I had earlier posted about my creation of round pillows embroidered with the religious symbols of Shankha and Chakra of Lord Vishnu.  In this post, I have added pictures of other such religious accessories, I have made for use during religious ceremonies at home.

Shataari base:  
Here are pictures of a small pillows, generally used as a base to hold the sacred "Shataari", which is symbolic of the feet of Lord Vishnu and used to bless devotees in all Vaishnavite temples.

A Shataari
Shataari is the Sri Vaishnava practice of placing a silver crown on the devotee’s head by the priest. If one closely observes the crown, one will see 2 feet impressions of Lord Vishnu on top.

Shataari comes from the word removal or emancipation from wickedness and evil (Shata means wickedness and ari means evil), which you seek at the feet of the Lord.

Shataari is synonymous with “Paduka” (footwear) of Sri Rama. When Rama was exiled to the forest, Bharatha his brother was distraught and wanted Rama to come back to reign the kingdom of Ayodhya, Rama removed his “Paduka” and gave it to his brother. Bharata placed it on the throne and mythology says that the footwear protected the world, in Rama’s absence.

Men should receive with both hands covering the nose and a bowed head by women and with folded hands and a head bent down Shataari.

Receiving the Shataari signifies the surrendering to the feet of the Lord and asking him mercy to relieve you from all wickedness.

How to make the base in velvet

Making a pillow base is easy.  Start with a square velvet cloth piece and embroider on one half, with sequins, beads, pearls, lace etc. When complete, cut into circles, insert a sponge batting  of the same size inside, and sew the edges shut on the sides.

Another way is to cut out both the halves individually, finish the embroidery, then insert the sponge batting inside and sew the edges shut on the sides.

Cradle base:
Velvet base for Krishna cradle

For cradles used in pooja of Lord Krishna as a baby, during Krishnashthami, a pillow base made of velvet and embroidered with sequins, beads, pearls, lace etc. can be used.

To make it more attractive and authentic, you could add a few tiny bolsters for the sides to secure the tiny idols of Lord Krishna.


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