Jewish Journal

My Afternoon Puja Ceremony

by Sima Cohen

June 12, 2014 | 7:24 pm

This is an interview that I had with an amazing man, spiritual teacher, Pujarian, and Vedic Priest, David Fahncke. He has been performing these Puja ceremonies for five years, and studied under Thomas Ashley-Farrand- author of "Healing Mantras."
As a spiritual person myself, I love experimenting with different spiritual practices, because that is what truly makes me a better teacher. Truth be told, I am not only a teacher, but also a student. After spending a few hours with David,  performing the Puja ceremony in my home, I wanted to get to know more about this mysterious, deep, profound man.

1. Tell me about yourself as a spiritual healer, puja ceremony master, and a chanting guru.

My Pujarian name is Maheshwara (David Fahncke). I have long been a teacher and practitioner of meditation, and of alternative and spiritual healing arts.
I studied for fifteen years with Guru Namadeva Acharya (Thomas Ashley-Farrand,) building an understanding of the transformational and practical applications of Sanskrit, and the healing mantras and ceremonial worship services called pujas.
I am certified as an Instructor of Mantra, Pujari, and Priest certified by Sanatana Dharma Satsang. I currently lives in Arcadia, California. I am available to perform pujas, lead workshops, teach Sanskrit mantra, and meditation, and offer spiritual counseling.
I am closely aligned to the Los Angeles Atma Jyoti Chanting Group led by Jagadamba (Jonni Wrestler) who is also a Certified Instructor of Mantra.

2. What is chanting, and what are their benefits? 

Mantra is a Sanskrit word meaning to protect or set free from the mind and is chanted or repeated to assist the chanter in a variety of ways from overcoming problems in one's life, attaining abundance, bring healing to the mind or body, to making progress in one's spiritual journey and attaining moksha or liberation.  

Mantras are drawn from ancient sacred texts.  They may contain bits and pieces from epic tales, names or attributes of deities or simple "seed" sounds like Om, Shreem or Glaum.  Sounds from the mantras act upon the subtle body to bring changes into the inner and outer world of the practitioner.  

3. What is a puja ceremony, and what is it for? Is it true that it can erase some past life karma? 

Puja is a Sanskrit word that means worship.  According to the Upanishads ..."mantras began to be used to construct worship services as a way to express an ethereal understanding of ineffable truths ... and evolved into a complex system of mantras and practices that became the oldest religious ceremonies in the world.  These worship ceremonies can be as short as five minutes, last for thirty minutes to two and a half hours, or run for days at major festivals in India.  Puja rituals are performed at temples daily and often done privately or with family and friends at home.  These ceremonies are believed to generate great power and are often performed to start new ventures, find work or spouse, to procure children, to overcome obstacles or invoke healing.  

4. What are your fees, and how long are your ceremonies? 

Cost of pujas varies with the length or complexity of the ceremony.  General pujas lasting up to an hour and a half will cost about $ 175 and longer ones or fire ceremonies about $225.

5. What's the best way for people to reach you?

My phone is 626 538-4152 and e-mail dfahncke@hotmail.com.
I highly recommend meeting this incredible man to anyone on a spiritual journey, who is hungry for more. Thank you David. Namaste!

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