चहा अनुष्ठान or Preparing Tea

Like many, I get up early morning and one of the first things I do is to engage myself into
making morning tea(I know some of you might be preferring coffee, but that is not the point). Making tea in the morning is act of experimenting various flavors. Apart from main ingredients of typical/traditional tea ie. tea powder, sugar, milk; I use lemon grass, natural alternatives for sugar such as stevia leaves, ginger, cinnamon powder, hint of salt, basil leaves, tea masala and any combination of these, depending on the mood, availability and patience. I know it is still not exactly like a tea ceremony in Japan ! I am also not trying to replicate what George Orwell(Making Cup of Tea) or Douglas Adams(Tea) have already done in their essays.

But today I wanted to share a comic and satirical Sanskrit verse which I had read sometime back. The verse describes act of tea making in modern Indian homes. This is in the context of changing society norms, in typical Indian families in flats/apartments in cities, due to industrialization and nuclear families sometime in 1980.

It is written by Dr Yashwant Pathak, a well known Marathi author and expert on saints of Maharashtra and their literature. The verse goes like this.

चहा अनुष्ठान

(हे अनुष्ठान सुरु करण्यापूर्वी डोळ्याला पाणी लावायचे आणि तेच हात नाईट लेंग्याला किंवा गाऊनला पुसायचे. रक्षापत्रात बर्कलेची उदबत्ती लावायची. ढणढण रेडियो लावायचा)

अथ: प्रात: उत्थाय शय्यां त्यक्त्वा, शौचमुखमार्जनंविना ग्यास:समीप गत्वा, तत्र उत्तिष्ठ, लाईटरंहस्ते अग्नी प्रज्वाल्य, जलपात्रं अग्नौ निघाय, आउष्णोदकात् तत्र अवस्थाप्य, शर्करां मिश्रित्य, चहाचूर्ण प्रक्षिप्य, पंचनिमिषपर्यन्तं तास्त्रैव संस्थाप्य, भूमौ अवतीर्य, कंचित् कालं विरम्य, दुग्धं मिश्रित्य, यो घटघाटां पिबति स: स्वर्गलोकं गच्छति, वीर्यवान भवति, मेधावान भवति, ओजस्वी भवति, तेजस्वी भवति, श्रद्धां लभते |

चहापानानंतरम् धुम्रपानं करोति, तस्य पुनर्जन्म न विद्यते|

स: विष्णूलोकं गच्छति, पितृन् उद्धरति|

एतत चहाअनुष्ठानं त्रिकालं करोति स: सर्वपापात् प्रमुच्यते, तस्य मेदेच्छेदो भवति, स कृशोदरो भवति, स पुत्रपौत्रान् न पश्यति, मंदनेत्रो भवति, श्वासकासत्रासमुक्तो भवति|

अस्य चहामंत्रस्य, हेमिल्टन ऋषि:, लिप्टनी देवता, कपबशी छंद:, ब्रुकबॉन्डी संज्ञा:
ओम् ऱ्हीमं श्रीं क्लिं हू: हू: भुं भुं फुर्र फुर्र फुर्र ओम् फट स्वहा: ||

इति श्री गृहपुराणान्तर्गतम् द्रव्यनाश प्रकरणे
देहनाशाध्याये चहाअनुष्ठानम् संपुर्णम्|

I had thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope you also like it.

PS: If you don’t know Sanskrit, I am sorry, cannot help much. This is very difficult to translate due to its comic nature and references to cultural elements.

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