“Amma! people say that women should not do Lalita Sahasranaama pooja. Why is it prohibited to be done before some great aahuti is offered?”
“In my opinion, there is no pooja that ‘should not be done unless etc.’ Great offering? When the mind itself is offered, where is the need for any particular prescribed offering or aahuti? The mind is the centre of all ideas! Priests say that ladies should not do japa when they are in their periods. But though one does not utter the mantra, one knows it well; one cannot certainly avoid the mantra running through one’s memory. One cannot abstain from mentally adoring great Mother’s form, name, just because she does not see Mother’s form or touch her feet. Is not a mantra a garland of letters? From the alphabets, some letters are selected, a signifl cance is dubbed onto them, and when they are whispered in the ear, it becomes a mantram. What is given is only a word, and it becomes a mantra only in your mind. Mantram is just a devotional remembrance. Why elders prohibited its practice is for fear that it might be abused by being chanted without any rule or rhyme. It is for the same reason that they quote that this aahuti and that is to be offered before doing japam. I do not know the mantra sastra: 1 am telling you only my opinion about it.
The inmates of mother’s house do pooja to Mother with al kinds of leaves or flowers. There is no flower, no leaf that is prohibited.
(From the Arkapuri Diary)