Students pray for success, happiness, and prosperity. HSC/PHOTO

The Hindu Student Council hosted their annual sacred ceremony of Hawan on Monday. A Hawan is a sacrificial ritual involving fire, presided over by a Hindu priest (or “panditji”), who chants the sacred Sanskrit mantras in order to invoke the presence of a deity. Fruit, sweets, crafted wooden sticks, and butter are offered to the deity and poured into the fire (known as the “Hawan Kund”). The Panditji also lights the camphor sticks and oil lamps and places them in front of the image of the holy deity. Everyone offers flowers to the deity throughout the ceremony, and a pot filled with holy water is also prepared.

It was performed so that every UTM student obtains academic success, happiness, and prosperity. Approximately 40 students attended this event at the Student Centre. Students from professor David Miller’s Topics in South Asian Religions class attended this event to get a firsthand experience.

“This Hawan is not just for followers of [the] Hindu faith, but it is an occasion for every student to come out and offer a prayer to the god they believe in, asking for a successful academic year,” said Valeska D’Mello, president of the HSC.

The panditji preached about the distractions faced by students and how one must meditate to overcome them.

“I believe that no matter what religion we all follow, we all pray for the same success. As I walked out, I found peace,” said Munib Sajjad, UTMSU’s VP External.