29 October 2020
: week 3 : SHARAD PURNIMA :
Sharad Purnima is an auspicious festival to worship Maa Lakshmi and the Moon. When the auspicious rays of the Moon are scattered in the courtyard, then you will be showered with the Divine Nectar of wealth and blessings of Maha Lakshmi.
“O Shri Shree Shree Shree Kamle Kamalalaye Praseed Praseed Shree Shree Shree Mahalakshmai Namah“
“Om Yakshayay Kuberai Vaishravaniya Dhan Dhanyaadhipatayee Dhanya Dhanayaya Svaha Namostute.“Mantra for blessings of maha lakshmi & Lord Kubera
On Sharad Purnima the Amritamayi Moon gives a boon of health with its rays. It is one of the most important nights of all full moon nights. This is the arrival of autumn, the Harvest Moon. Sharad Purnima occurs on the full moon date of Ashwin month of Hinduism. Employ these mantras and enjoy the fasting story.
According to legend, there was once a moneylender who had two daughters. Both of the moneylender’s daughters used to observe the full moon day. Where on one side the elder daughter duly completed the fast. At the same time, the younger daughter left the fast incomplete. The effect was that this one’s children died as soon as they were born. Then once the elder daughter touched her sister’s child, that touch was so virtuous that the child became alive with it. Just from the same day, this fast started.
Muhurat of Sharad Purnima 2020:
Full moon date starts – 30 October 2020 from 17:45 pm
Full moon date ends – 31 October 2020 till 20:18 pm
- On this day, wake up in the Brahma Muhurta. Also, take a bath in a holy river. If bathing in the river is not possible, holy river water should be bathed in at home.
- Then put a red cloth on a Northern location in the room for Goddess Lakshmi.
- Offer Maa Lakshmi the holy river water, red flowers like hibiscus, naivedya (whole coconut), perfumes and kumkum. Then offer clothes, jewelery, and other adornments to Her.
- Invoke Maa Lakshmi with mantra. Then offer flowers, incense (incense sticks), diya (clay lamps), naivedya, betel nut, dakshina, sweets etc. to Her.
- After this, chant Lakshmi Ashtakam and recite Lakshmi Chalisa (prasad e-download below).
- On this day, donate to a Brahmin priest according to your ability.
- Distribute Prasad.
- Place water in a kailash and put roli, rice grains, a coin and a flower in it. Fill a glass with wheat. Then put a copper or red cloth cover on both.
- Offer Dakshina. Along with Mother Lakshmi, worship Lord Kubera, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Lord Karthikeya as well.
Radha-Krishna Rasa Leela on Sharad Purnima story:
Shri Krishna represents the Collective Consciousness which is experienced in each of us as Individual Consciousness. Shri Krishna called each Gopi by her name with the sound of his flute. Each Gopi thought that she has been privately summoned as a lover calls to his beloved, and secretly left the house without telling anybody. Now for a woman, it is difficult to go on her own in the forest at night. A woman is bound by several boundaries of decency. However, the Gopis’ love gave them courage, despite the fear in their minds. Where there is fear and selfishness, this is known as lust. Lust is a function of ‘mind’ and as we approach God, we are going ‘out of our mind’. Here, the Gopi have no fear in their minds, they have abandoned the thinking mind. They are pursuing God. Dancing with Shri Krishna is achieving God-self. Remember, all the Gopis felt that Shri Krishna is calling each one by her name only. Each one thought that she was alone with him when actually there were 16,000 of them. And each and every one of those 16,000 is an aspect of Radha, Krishna’s one & only beloved who is representative of all women and girls.
On this night, all single girls observe a fast as tapasya for obtaining a perfect husband as Krishna adores Radha. We can read from this, there are many people calling and being called by God, but each of us feels a personal relationship to God as if we are the only one talking to God at that time. We are not only a drop in the ocean, we are the ocean in a drop. On the Path,we have to pursue our journey on our own, fearlessly, possibly against societal or family traditions. Spirituality is beyond tradition. There is no secrecy in our relationship with God but there is privacy. So, the Gopis left everything they had including family, wealth, happiness and comfort and reached Shri Krishna in Vrindavan by the light of the Sharad Purnima – the Honey-Moon. Krishna was pleased and said to the Gopis, “Come, and let us play the Raas.” Let the dancing under this Sharad Moon begin!
This Full Moon is for the romantics, for the seekers of prosperity, abundance and fertility.
Laxmi and Kubera get blessings for the whole year by lunar worship and worship performed on the night of Sharad Purnima. Further confidence in growth, improve memory, strengthen immunity, prevention of planetary dosha, bring wealth into the home.
The Maha Lakshmi Stotram offered as e- prasad below was chanted as a daily sadhana by our Swami Anantram here at SwAr Ashram.
: om tat sat :
༺🔥༻ Blessings fom Amma Niradhara नर्मदे हर NARMADE HAR! ༺🔥༻
5 November 2020
: week 4 : Preparing for Mother Lakshmi :
Mother of Wealth & Prosperity is on Her way to your door. The visitation period of Lakshmi Maa is mentioned in the book of Her stories, the Padma Purana and also the Skanda Purana, the story of Kubera. Kubera predates the more popular Lakshmi as a deity of wealth by at least 1000 years.
If women are not taken care of – if the husband neglects them, treats them harshly, manipulates them, gambles, drinks, or does anything where she is not treated with dignity and respect, that home will be stripped of Goddess Lakshmi’s blessings.
Showing respect and dignity toward women has a profound impact on every aspect of life!
When the women are unhappy, there you will find a family whose Lakshmi is disappearing.
When women are loved and respected, you will find a home filled with kindness, spiritual pursuit, abundance, and harmony. The children in that home will be loved, nurtured, cared for, and respected.
As well as Maa Lakshmi, we celebrate Lord Kubera. Kubera is a Vedic deity, Lakshmi is a Puranic deity. Kubera is the keeper and distributor of wealth, whereas Lakshmi is the wealth being distributed. Both are worshipped together along with Ganesha, as no puja can start without Him and Sarasvati Maa as a reminder of the importance of education in terms of accruing wealth.
It is up to you where to spend your wealth, how to prioritize it. Wealth is not just referring to money. Mahalaksmi comes in eight forms, with eight general categories of wealth:
- Adi Lakshmi: continuous flow of wealth and prosperity
- Dhana Lakshmi: wealth of income, comfort, virtue, and character
- Dhanya Lakshmi: wealth of grain and health
- Dhairya Lakshmi: wealth of patience, spiritual strength and courage
- Gaja Lakshmi: wealth of animals, power, royalty
- Santan Lakshmi: wealth of desirable family, children, social connections
- Vijay Lakshmi: wealth of victory to overcome all hurdles on path, strength
- Vidya Lakshmi: wealth of wisdom, knowledge, arts, sciences
Given this list of possible wealths, combined with the bombardment of multiple priorities in life, it is no wonder that sometimes it is difficult to make the best decisions on how to enjoy the wealth given to us.
A rule of thumb to remember that for those who give, Mahalakshmi stays. For the tight-fisted, She is gone in a flash. She may stay with you in the form of money, but she may leave you in other forms of wealth, like contentment and happiness.
Those who give of themselves – their lives, their efforts, their time, and their financial wealth for the sake of others – have attracted Maha Lakshmi into their lives. Maha Lakshmi is the abundance that manifests in those who give and contribute beyond the call of duty.
It is the Skanda Purana that tells us to light the diyas at Diwali which are symbolic of Surya, the sun god who transitions in the month of Karthik.
Also according to some scholars, Diwali celebrates of the legend of Yama (God of Death) and Nachiketa (a precocious young student) on Karthika Amavasya. This is a legend about light v darkness and knowledge v ignorance and is mentioned in the Katha Upanishad composed at the turn of the Common Era.
Diwali origins seem to mirror the celebration of Ram return to Ayodya afte 14 years of banishment into the forest. These events are told in the epic Ramayana by Valmiki.
Diwali celebrations are incomplete without puja to Lord Ganesha (destroyer of hurdles), Goddess Lakshmi (queen of wealth), Goddess Saraswati (giver of knowledge) and Goddess Kali (destroyer of evil). All these poojas will be wasted if the Vastu of your home is improper. Thus, before you get started with the Diwali celebrations and puja-s, ensure the Vaastu is correct. The northern sector of a home is associated with wealth. Lakshmi Pooja should be offered in that location. Prayers, songs and rituals are designed to welcome Lakshmi in the home. Cleanliness, light and fragrance are essential. Apart from devotional music, let soothing tunes permeate the air throughout the day and fill your home with the right ambience for prosperity.
Make ‘Rangoli’ near the entrance of the house and in front of the Puja room. ‘Rangoli’ is a design made on the floor with colored sand. In a traditional household, the lady of the house begins her daily chores by drawing rangoli. The traditional geometrics purify her mental activity and make her stay fresh and lively through the entire busy day.
Diwali is a shortened name for Deepavali, Sanskrit for a Row of Lighted Clay Lamps. It goes for 5 days and each day has special significance. When placing the Diyas on the boundary walls, ensure that they are in multiples of (4) four, as each Diya represents the reigning deity of Diwali : Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, Lord Kubera and Lord Indra.
- 12 November 2020 : Govatsa Dwadashi is considered first day of Deepavali.Govatsa Dwadashi is celebrated one day before Dhanteras. On Govatsa Dwadashi, Cows and Calves are worshipped. Wheat breads & halwas are given to them for prasad after their worship. People observing Govatsa Dwadashi abstain from eating any wheat and milk products during the day. Govatsa Dwadashi fasting is observed as Nandini Vrat. Nandini is Divine Cow in Hinduism.
- 13 November 2020 : Dhantrayodashi is also known as Dhanteras and is the first day of five days in the Diwali festivities. On the day of Dhantrayodashi, Goddess Lakshmi came out of the ocean during the churning of the Milky Sea. Hence, Goddess Lakshmi, along with Lord Kubera who is the God of wealth, is worshipped on this auspicious day. However, Lakshmi Puja on Amavasya after two days of Dhantrayodashi is considered more significant. Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras should be done during Pradosh Kaal which starts after sunset and approximately lasts for 2 hours and 24 minutes. Knon also as Dhanvantri Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the God of Ayurveda, the living Tulsi is worshipped as Health is the Greatest Wealth. Yamadeep is when the lamp for Yama the God of Death is lit outside home to ward off any untimely death of any family members.
- 14 November 2020 : Lakshmi Puja Vrat and rituals are celebrated today. On this day, wake up early in the morning perform Tarpanam – pay tribute to the ancestors and worship the gods close to you. Because it is Amavasya day, you may also perform Shraddh for the ancestors. Devotees of Goddess Lakshmi observe a day long fast on the day of Lakshmi Puja. The fast is broken after Lakshmi Puja in the evening. Decorate the home and office with marigold flowers, Ashoka, mango and banana leaves on the day of Lakshmi Puja. For Puja preparations, at the right hand side in the Puja room, on a raised platform install murti-s of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha on a new red cloth. Dress them with clothes and jewellery. At the left hand side on a raised platform install Navgraha Gods on a new white cloth. Put nine grains of Akshata (unbroken rice) in front of the Navgraha on the white cloth and put sixteen seeds of wheat on the red cloth. Lakshmi Puja is described in the e-book prasad to download. On this day, Lakshmi Puja should be done during Pradosh Kaal which starts after sunset and lasts for 2 hours and 24 minutes.
- 15 November 2020 : Most of the time Govardhan Puja day falls next day after Diwali Puja and it is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated God Indra. Sometimes there might be one day gap between Diwali and Govardhan Puja. Depending on starting time of Pratipada, Govardhan Puja day might fall one day before on Amavasya day on Hindu calendar. Gowardhan Puja is also known as Annakut Puja. On this day food made of cereals like wheat, rice, curry made of gram flour and leafy vegetables is cooked and offered to Lord Krishna. In Maharashtra the same day is celebrated as Bali Pratipada or Bali Padva. The day commemorates victory of Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, over King Bali and subsequent pushing of Bali to Patal Lok (the underworld). It is believed that due to boon given by Lord Vamana, Asura King Bali visits the Prithvi Lok from the Patala Lok on this day. Most of the time Govardhan Puja day coincides with Gujarati New Year day. Depending on starting time of Pratipada Tithi, Govardhan Puja celebrations could be done one day before Gujarati New Year.
- 16 November 2020 : Bhai Duj and Yama Dwitiya Puja are observed today . On Bhaiya Duj, sisters pray for their brothers to have long and happy lives by performing Tika ceremony and brothers offer gifts to their sisters. Yama Dwitiya is observed today. Most of the times, Yama Dwitiya falls two days after Diwali Puja. Yamraj, the lord of death, is worshipped on Yama Dwitiya. Yamuna Snan is suggested in the morning before Yamraj Puja during Aparahna. Arghya should be given to Lord Yama after Puja.
In anticipation of Diwali 12-16 November there are a couple of dozen recommendations in the Vaastu Shastra about how to prepare one’s home for Lakshmi’s visitation so that you are ready to accept the abundance that she has to give you. According to Vaastu Shastra:
- Even if you get lazy all year long, observe these preparations in the days before Diwali.
- Make or buy clay earthen diya lamps, as many as to fill your home & garden.
- For floating on the river, make non-polluting diya from wheat & water clay which feeds the fish.
- When making, lighting diya, be cognizent of the inner light that banishes the darkness of ignorance.
- Use new cloths to clean the photos or murti-s, and use them for this purpose only.
- Thoroughly clean your home incl doors & windows, open them & light them with welcoming diyas.
- The first 2 days before Diwali are dedicated to health, hygiene and cleanliness.
- The last 2 days are dedicated to victory over untidiness, filth & diseases.
- Put pictures of water or a Kalash in the East or North of the Puja room.
- The murti-s must not face the door of the Puja room or one another.
- Do not keep photos of those who have passed away in the Puja room.
- Do not keep two images of the same god at the Puja place.
- Place the murti-s in the North-East direction in the Puja room on a bright red new cloth.
- Observe the shubh Murhurta for each puja according to panchang.
- Observe the laws of Vaastu, architecture & placement. There is a Vaastu compliant way of placing the idols of Lakshmi and Ganesha, Indra and Kubera. The worshipper faces the North-East or North or East while praying. Lord Ganesh is on the left side of Maa Lakshmi. Kubera and Indra should be placed either in front of them or on the left side. Lakshmi and Ganesha should preferably be made of clay and any picture of Goddess Lakshmi must be of a sitting position. Offer kumkum, chandan, akshat, flowers and sweets. After the Puja, give some of each to all your family
- Throw the useless old things, magazines, clothes, broken furniture, toys & decor, as they obstruct the positive energy from entering. It will unblock the energies of prosperity and clear stagnant energy too. Diwali is the time to de-clutter even the closets, junk drawers & neglected corners.
- Fresh Paint! Treating your home to a fresh coat of paint is an important Diwali Tradition.
- Dissolve Sendha Namak (rock salt) in water and spray this saline solution in all corners of the house. According to Vaastu Shastra, salt has a property to absorb all evil energies. Add a pinch of crushed rock salt while mopping the floor to ward off negativity. Place rock salt in glass bowls in all the four corners of your home or office.
- Besides the diyas, turn on all the lights in the house and even hang a few more outside, like Christmas lights. For decoration, using specific colored lighting bulbs for different directions are as follows: North: Put extra blue, yellow and green colored light bulbs for decorating the house. East: Use more of red, orange and yellow light bulbs. South: Decorate with white, indigo, violet and red colored light bulbs. West: Add more yellow, orange, pink and gray light bulbs.
- Hang Torans (door toppers) made with mango leaves and marigold flowers to bring good luck, happiness and success to your home. In the absence of the fresh, use cloth handicrafts.
- Do not leave any obstructions to your doorway, not even visual clutter.
- Invest in gold! Any gold coins which are used during the ‘Pooja’ should later be stored in red pouches with golden strings.
- Mix rice flour & water to make a pasty paint. Paint the feet of Lakshmi entering your home. add kum kum vermilion to symbolize the Goddess’ entry into your home, then create colorful ‘rangoli’ designs oustide the entryway.
- In the North: A water feature can be extremely valuable, especially if placed in North, East or North-East direction or on the right-hand side of the door.
- North direction is ruled by lord of wealth, ‘Kubera’ and is known as ‘Kubera-Sthanam’. It is the best place for keeping the safe/locker for your valuables. Keep a statue of Goddess ‘Lakshmi’ in the safe with your valuables.
- South: Hang rock mountain pictures that inspire you to achieve more.
- North-East: A bowl of fresh water on top of a 100 Dollars note for your business’s prosperity. A water tank or reservoir in the East is very auspicious to start new projects and make progress in life.
- West: A clay pot with yellow flowers will increase savings.
- North-West: Place a piggy bank to enhance your energy to work and make money.
- South-West: To improve cash flow and speed up recovery, hang a crystal ball.
- South-West: Keep your bank/investment papers in this sector facing towards North. East: Put a picture of rising Sun to achieve name and fame.
- South-East: Put nine stick bamboo plant to grow.
- Write down your wealth aspirations. Prepare a metal water bowl (Silver/Copper/Steel) in the North. The area must be kept clean at all times. Put a silver coin in the water. Place the bowl above a bill of 100 denomination in the North or East window of the house and let it receive maximum exposure of the light. If there is no window in these directions then you can place a mirror on North wall and place the bowl near it. After keeping this water bowl in North take three coins, wrap them up in red cloth or a pouch and put them next to the water bowl. Kept it there for five days of Diwali. On the final evening, take all these four coins and place them together in same red pouch/cloth. Now keep these ‘Energized Coins’ at your money place/locker until next Diwali. Pour the bowl water in any potted plant only inside the house, not outside the house. This will charge up the North Zone Energy and increase in money inflow.
- Make a Mangal Deepak with a crystal bowl filled with water and rose petals in the ‘Brahmasthan’/central place of the house to bring positive vibes. An inverted glass tumbler can be placed in the middle of tbe bowl on which to stand a small seated Lakshmi murti. Float five ‘diyas’ or candles in it and light them after sunset.
- Place mirrors on the North and East walls of your house to duplicate the positive energy of ‘Kuber-Sthanam’ and ‘Indra-Sthanam’ and bring in knowledge and wealth.
- Welcome Goddess Maha Lakshmi to your home by stamping or drawing with chalk small footprints systematically from the entrance of the house to the Puja room.
- Avoid wearing black on Diwali. Wear red, yellow, purple, white, cream, blue.
- Distribute Sweets to placate the planet Mars. Gifts are exchanged. Sweets & dry fruits are distributed.
- Make list of all loans to be paid off one day before Diwali, start repaying from the following Tuesday.
- Clean all your jewelry made of gold, silver and precious stones.
- Do not give fire crackers in the shape of gifts. Do not give leather and knives as gifts.
- Move 27 things in your home on Diwali in appropriate directions as per Vastu principles, and watch as good fortune purvades your life.
The word ‘Diwali’ is a colloquialism of the Sanskrit word ‘Deepawali’, meaning ‘a row of lighted lamps’, and the festival is aptly called ‘The Festival of Lights’. Diwali is celebrated after about 20 days of Dussehra on the dark night of the new moon Amavasya of the Kartika month.
It has two festivals before: Dhanteras and Naraka Chaturdasi’(Chhoti Diwali), before its celebration and two festivals after: Govardhan Puja and Bhaiya Duj.
The two festivals, which come before Diwali day, are related to cleanliness, hygiene and health. On Dhanteras, the first festival before Diwali, Lord Dhanwantari, the physician of Gods, appeared from the ocean with Amrita Kalash (a pot full of nectar) for the welfare of mankind, as a result of Samudra Manthan (churning of the sea) by all the Devas and Rakshashas. The next day, Naraka Chaturdasi, celebrates Lord Krishna’s victory over Narakasura, the embodiment of untidiness, dirtiness and diseases.
Diwali is called the Festival of Lights and is celebrated to honor Lord Rama Chandra, the seventh Avatar (Incarnation of the God Vishnu). It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana. All the people lit their houses to celebrate his victory over evil (light over darkness).
: om tat sat :
Next week: Maa Narmada is a form of Maha Lakshmi.
༺🔥༻ Blessings fom Amma Niradhara नर्मदे हर NARMADE HAR! ༺🔥༻
22 October 2020
: Week two : FLAMES NOT FLOWERS :
In light of the above westernized, modernized Devi Siddh Kunjika Stotram, it stands to be remembered that Navaratri is an unbroken tradition minimally 10,000 years old. Today in a patriarchal society, we may think that Navaratri is a feminist celebration but in reality, Shiva & Shakti have always been equal in the Hindu perspective. What is Purusha without Prakriti? the Divine Mother is perhaps even moreso revered than the male counterparts since She literally IS life itself. The whole material world belongs to Her and IS Her. In fact, ‘mater’ial is formed from its root ‘the Mother’. THE Birther. Since both Male & Female have always been equally worshipped in Hinduism, Feminism seems a step backwards. In fact, the entire substratum of Hinduism is based on these 2 seemingly dual-natured entities, which in our limited human way have named male/female, yet they are indeed one and the same. Two sides of the same coin.
FIRE is the nature of Mahadevi in the form of Kundalini. The name for the vessel in which Yajnya is performed is the KUNDA. This pyramidal shaped vessel is neccesarily made of copper and has a flat bottom to set on the Earth just as our Muladhara Chakra touches the Asan. the opening of the Kund corresponds with our Sacral Chakra Svadhisthana. From inside the Kunda, the Sacred Fire rises up through all the energy centers to Ajna Chakra to our ultimate Self-Realization. It is this Fire, the innerYajnya that is the Fire of Cognition, of Illumination, of Enlightenment.
Fire is also expressed as Shiva Rudra. Whereas the Fire of the Divine Feminine is Illumination, the Fire of the Divine Masculine is of wrath. Both aspects can and do wield their firey nature towards both Love & War. Meditate on Fire. What is it essentially? What can it do from cooking food to nourish us to nuclear bomb.
Fire in all its forms is inseparable from all the other elements known to us and is the form of all the Dieties who are essentially Light Beings.
The egalitarian concept of Divine Feminine Energy is celebrated through Navratri, the 9 nights for the 9 moods, the 9 emotions, the 9 shades of the women, ranging from the mild to the wild, from compassion to retribution, from love to war, from defense to defiance – all raw and expressive. Here, the goddesses are not a symbolic resource but the very personality – and more importantly, the potentiality – in every woman. We classify 3 Major Archtypes (Triple Goddess) which are again re-classified as 3 Minor Archtypes for each of the 3 Major ones. Thus we have 9.
We might limit feminism to rebellion, based on its Western definition. But Sanatana Dharm provides a wider context on the human condition. The subtler shades of unity and sisterhood are seen in the Archtypes through- underlying and distinct sub-textual premises of divinity which points to the difference between the spirit and the body, the soul and the flesh.
Bodies have a gender, not the soul which is beyond duality, it is the divine union of these dichotomies. We might think that our soul lives inside of our body, but really, the body is inside the soul. By the unique blueprint of that Soul, the body expresses its chosen set of qualities.amma niradhara
In the Devī Māhātmya (Chandi Path), the manifest form of Durga received the Bell (Ghanta) from Indra’s elephant Airavata (2.22). She is then called Chandraghanta, bearer of the Silver Bell. While battling the demons of Egomania (Mahiśaṣāsura), the goddess uses her bell to break the energies of the demons and confuse them (2.56).
When pūjā begins or ends, or when you walk into a Hindu Temple, a bell is rung to clear the space of both the inner and outer chatter. The sound of the bell is a tool for the breaking or clearing negative energies to allow peace of the mind and the peace of a location.
The practice of ringing a Sacred Bell Vajra is adapted as a Buddhist practice to clear the mind and create a fresh energy when continuous thought to bothers the meditation. Vajra means thunderbolt. Perhaps this is a more apt description of Durga’s fiery power.
Durga’s lion roars a battle cry and she joins in with the clanging of her bell (8.9). And in battle, she fills all space with the ringing of her bell. The foundation of the demon’s strength (tejas) is broken (9.20).
Tejas can mean strength, vital energy, brilliance as well as the fire of cognition. When we call someone brilliant, we are referring to their tejas. In the case of Mahishasura, this brilliance is used for dualistic selfish gains at the expense of the well-being of fellow beings. Conquest and acquisition of territories, invasion including rape and terrorism, predudice and nationalism, lack of empathy, and more mundane thoughts of competition are some forms of egomania tejas.
Daitya is a term translated as demon, it means ‘those born of Diti.’ There is a story of two sisters, Diti and Aditi. Diti, meaning difference, gave birth to all the demons. Aditi, meaning no-difference, gave birth to the Vedic gods. Those born of Diti, are those born of dualistic thinking. Their perspective manifests as aggression, competition for profit at the loss of other beings, greed, shaming, blaming, any form of harm.
On an internal interpretation, the bell (nāda) removes the energy of the negative thoughts, on an even deeper level, removes the dualistic thought (daitya-tejas).
By the fact of being born, we are trapped in the dualisms of life. Our soul having taken birth is confronted by the myriad forms of manifestation in a world in which we must strive to survive. Our deeper nature is beyond the transitory situation before us, but yet we still are attached to temporal objects and people in this time and space that will leave us, take away our comfort and peace and cause us pain.
The Saptashati mentions key weapons, these are allegorical for inner mechanisms that we employ in Yoga to defeat our lower natures and become fully Realized Beings, it is translated:
“Oh Mother Goddess, protect us with your triśula, protect us with your sword, Protect us with the sound of your bell and the twang of your bow.”
- triśula is the three pronged energy of the three guṇas as we seek their balance
- sword is the discrimination of the balanced mind, honoring our words and not using them to harm
- bell is the awareness to the nature of who we are, a wake-up alarm sounding time to inner awakening
- movement/ vibration of the bow is the Cosmic Spanda that propels everything into action by the sound of AUM, the arrow is the focus & aim of our attention.
The days ahead are the Durgostav heading to the climax of Her Victory Day on the 10th day (after Navratri, the 9 nights have completed).
The Bilva Puja was yesterday (21), offering the Bael Patra leaves to Mother Skandamata, the Mother of Kartikeya (the God of War). Today (22), 9 special leaves & Sarasvati Puja are offered to Maa Katyayani. Next (23) is Kalaratri, then (24) Durgasthami with Maha Gauri Puja & (25) Maha Navami and (26) Vijay Dashami. with Visarjan of the murti-s before noon followed by Feasting.
What will you focus on this Navratri? Energy of Divine Mother’s Grace is magnified by the 4 seasonal equinoxes – global sandhya timings. 2 billion people Earth are fueling Her energy body, singing Her praises, invoking her blessings, offering gratitude for Her grace.
: om tat sat :
week 1 has the full devi descriptions in an ebook as prasad, scroll down if you missed it last week. here i am offering the Navgraha – Nine Planets Vidhi and Lakshmi Puja e-book, also applicable for 2 weeks from now, Diwali Puja.
༺🔥༻ Blessings fom Amma Niradhara नर्मदे हर NARMADE HAR! ༺🔥༻
15 October, 2020
oh 2020! your gestation period is about to end, Mother’s time has come. She is riding in on a Lion called Grace and a Tiger called Mercy. Don’t let the kind words fool you. Grace in 2020 is Fierce. Mother is here to wield Mercy in the face of wild beasts, to look them square in the eye and whisper a lullaby while slaying them (always with a smile).
Whatever was this dark time in the womb, it’s getting birthed, the unveiling of Truth, a divinely appointed Radical Bliss is about to be revealed – The Ecstatic Reality of Human Consciousness : SAT CHIT ANAND.
It’s Navaratri beginning on Saturday. 9 nights devoted to Divine Mother. Armour up. Put on your big girl pants. It’s about to get Real.
Navaratri 2020 in India will begin on Saturday, 17 October and ends on Sunday, 25 October. The eighth day, Durgasthami on Saturday 24 October is the most important day for Yajnya, if you fast only one day during Navratri, this is the day. Then the 10th day is Vijaydashera or Dusserha, a feasting victory day – the Goddess prevails!
Navratri is an evolutionary Self-realization. Singulary & globally. Jagadambika creates the world and IS the world, She is the Mater-ial World. She is constantly gently purifying Herself by purifying us and the planet. purge purge purge. Removing layers upon layers of the illusions she delights in constantly changing, she awakens us to the True Inner Self, beyond this world of outer deceptions. During the nine nights of Navratri, leading up to Vijayadasami, Devi is worshipped in 9 different manifestations. Kali-Durga manages the time-space continuum, our health, aging, the conditions of the impact of wear & tear on the planet, astrology falls under her domiain. MahaLakshmi, blesses us with success & wealth, our social statuses, marriage, children, good healthy food, beauty & luxury, home & career. Sarasvati incites our wisdom, knowledge of ourselves & the Universe through poetry, song, epics of writing including shloka, mantra, etc, the arts such as music & dance, crafting & all sorts of re-creation .
Beyond material prosperity, Navaratri gives the message of a seeker’s step-by-step evolution towards the final goal of Self-realization. Jagadambika removes the impurities and destroys the ego of the seeker who has made God-realization his life’s goal. In the stillness thus created, she awakens one to the Inner Self.
We are but an instrument in the hands of the Divine — like a brush in the hand of a painter or a pen in the hand of a writer. Whatever be our profession — be it a soldier, teacher or a tailor or whatever — we give our tools to Durga on the 8th day of Durgashtami. The objective here is to remember that God is the real doer and power behind our actions. It is an act of surrender to the Divine. It helps us to be less egoistic in our successes and more receptive to grace.
The greatest blockages in spiritual life are inertia including ignorance, lack of knowledge. When a mind is steeped in tamo-guna [inertia], rajo-guna [the quality of action] is often more effective than sattva-guna [the quality of purity] to bring one out of it. Most often, our mind is reactive. If it is in the grip of tamo-guna, a call to action is needed.
Hence, we out on the armor of the Kavacham and begin Navratri with Argala Stotram. It is like the alarm clock. . Inertia is conquered through action. Negativity is dispelled through cutting sound waves like a bell, conch, drum, sound of an elephant leading a parade of pilgrims. We have the Kalika Stotram to take refuge in this fortress of the Goddess. The name of this fort is Merciful Grace and the door is Surrender in full Faith of her Power. Fasting is the main way that people show their surrender. Chanting the Devi Mahatmyam, participating in Yajnyas, household & temple pujas are all done with devotional surrender.
Here we begin the 700 verses known variously as Durga Saptashati, Chandi Patha or Devi Mahatmyam. Maa in her many forms brings out all her weaponry and slays the demons that plague us. One by one, sometimes 2 by 2. At times sweeping up masses of demons with a single wave of her smile.
On Durgashtami, we put away our books and tools for worship and crack them open again on Vijayadasami. This symbolizes offering our lives to the Divine and receiving back what we offered as prasad. It is a new beginning after surrendering to the Divine.
The 9th day is Maha Navami, the great culmination of all Goddess’s Glory and the Maha Gauri Pujan. Goddess Herself is pure and refreshed from all her battles. Vijaydashama celebrates Her victories as well as Ram’s defeating of Ravana.
On the 10th day we carry all the beautiful Mahadevi images to the River and immerse them. This symbolizes Her going back to pure Spirit form. Then we break our fasts and feast this day.
Every conceivable demon is told about in Durga’s Saptashati, Devi Mahatmyam and can be traced to Fear itself, the Greatest Demon – Mahisasura. The foremost manifestations are Shumba & Nishumba. self-doubt aka ego & doubting others. Today we could pin this to doubting our Safety and Protecting ourselves from others. All this under the egoic pursuit of ‘doing good’ and ‘being good’ External Validation, Shumba demon in the form of self-righteousness as an indignation.
Durga Saptashati tells us that Chanda & Munda are responsible for Shumba & Nishumba. Sri Devi Bhagavatam is another source and gives us a definition of Chanda which is commonly translated as terrifying, fierce, passionate. But these are the outcomes not the root of the word itself. Chanda is literally shape or the outcome of intention, goals and competition. while Munda stands for Brahma’s head, the lord or husband in the sense of the patriarchy.
Thus is the culmination of Mother’s work to save her children from these energy-sucking psychic vampires called Rakshasura-s or simply Asura-s.
That which is commonly called Brahman is also the Mother. When inactive It is Brahman, when creating, preserving and destroying, She is Adi-Shakti.
Active Light Beings have Vahana-s (vehicles) to traverse around the Cosmos. Each is a sort of Spirit Animal that represents their qualities. Mahadevi Durga is accompanied by Mahasimha, the Great Lion who emerged out of Her with a roar – to symbolize her valor after slaying the Mahisasura in Markendeya Puran Devi Mahatmyam. Confusion sometimes arises because the Parvati form of Durga rides Somanandin, the Tiger who voluntarily devoted himself to Her after she had been filled with Mercy and compassion for his hunger to devour Her as she sat meditating.
From the Shumbha Nishumbha passages: Dhumra means smoke and lochana means eyes. Dhumralochana is one who has a dim hazy view. Here we are in the year 2020. Who among us sees the highest perspective with clarity of perception? Stress, anxiety & fatigue contribute to clouded perceptions. Chanting the bija HUM cuts through these mental blockages. Sudarshan Kriya is a Pranayam technology that liberates us from the root of it all, Fear, and reveals things as they truly are. We will practice these on Sunday during e-Satsang.
Chanda represents a manipulative pre-conceived kind of opposition, often disguised as a friendly competition or ‘just business’. Munda doesnt need a reason or a plan and is driven by thoughtless, arrogant, reckless self-entitlement. Together with Shumba & Nishumba, these are the top Maha-asuras, the greatest demons. Mother takes care of each and every one. Efficiently. And with a pleasant smile.
False logic and skewed perception aka propaganda in popular media coverage fuels the dhumralochan. So, we doubt our own instinct and we doubt moreso others, clouded by Fear. Due to paralyzed fear we suffer lack of energy, Mother Shakti is debilitated in us when we are in this state. When you are full of hope, faith, trust, enthusiasm none of these asuras (demons) can come in you.
This 2020 is a Maha-yajnya because it is the great purifier to clear the pollutants that cloud our vision and free us from the burdens that weigh down our energy fields.
This is not a time to be passive. Purification requires positive action against negative forces. It requires us to turn around the Tiger and maybe even give him a belly-rub.
“Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kali temple that it was She who had become everything. She showed me that everything was full of Consciousness. The image …, the altar …, the water-vessels …, the door-sill …, the marble floor …—all was Consciousness. I found everything inside the room soaked, as it were, in Bliss—the Bliss of Satchidananda. I saw a wicked man in front of the Kali temple, but in him I also saw the Power of the Divine Mother vibrating. I fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that the Divine Mother Herself had become everything.”Gospel of sri ramakrishna m 345-346
All over Hindusthan this week, life-sizd to diminuative statues of Durga on her Lion are being sculpted of straw, mud-and-lime-plaster, decorated with sarees, jewlery, and every detail of makeup and mehndi lovingly applied. She will dwell in our homes and hearts for these 9 nights and then on the 10th morning we parade all of these individual and varied Durgas to the River for submersion. A return to Her own whole and complete form as the Universe itself.
The Chandi Path is the bible of Shakta-s and the basis of Divine Mother worship particularly at Navaratri. Durga Saptashati aka Devimahatmyam are included in this book of Devi-details. Its passages declare that the Mother is the supreme reality and that She herself is this Universe. Chandi is one of the most ancient sacred of all Shakta texts. The ‘newer’ hymns about sixteen hundred years old. Some of the traditions preserved in the Chandi are inconceivably older, from the Rg Veda. We know from the evidence of archeology that some of the Chandi’s ideas on the Motherhood of God go back 7,000 years or more. Votive statues that survive from neolithic India and Pakistan portray a Goddess in two different aspects: a nurturing mother with hand held to breast and as a hooded grim-reaper figure.
This dual distinction of the Divine Mother is an enduring feature throughout the history of Indian dharm surviving to this day. Throughout the ages the Tribal cultures and high civilizations that rose and fell on Indus Valley left their mark on the 13 chapters of the Chandi. Devi-sukta, a hymn of eight verses is found in the most ancient Hindu sacred text, the Rg Veda.
The Devi-sukta (Rg Veda 10.125) declares that the Goddess is the power expressed through all the Gods, that they are united in Her, whose Chaitanya shines forth as Consciousness, that her presence is all-pervading, that she supports all of creation, that She is the source of righteousness and the reveler of truth, that she is the source of all worlds, yet that she shines transcendent beyond them. Among Shakta-s this Vedic hymn is held in high esteem and is considered to be the source from which the entire Chandi sprang. Later, the Chandi itself was elaborated upon in the Puranas and Tantras.
As i may have mentioned earlier, the Chandi Path is known by two other names. The most common and widely recognized is Devimahatmya (The Glory of the Goddess). The other is Sri Durga Saptashati (700 Verses to Maa Durga). In reality the Chandi contains fewer than 700 verses, and the number 700 is arrived at only through creative means, such as counting a half verse as full or a full verse as three.
Though the authors of the Chandi were Shakta-s, it is clear they patterned the structure on the Vaishnava-s scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, which consists of 700 verses.
Even the wise are thrown into the whirlpool of self-delusion and superficial competition by the blessed goddess Mahamaya.
Who is this Mahamaya? She is none other than All That Is. Whatever was, is and ever-shall-be.
Because there are three mythsos of Tridevi, the Chandi naturally falls into three parts, and they can be related to the three gunas, the universal energies or qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas.
The first third is chanted for the first 3 days of Navaratri, hymns about the Divine Mother in her dark, deluding aspect that ensnares humankind in the bonds of ignorance and attachment. It teaches us about the nature of reality and asks us to question: what is the meaning of divinity, the Universe and humankind? She is Kali-Durga.
NOTE: In some communities, the first third belongs to Sarasvati and the final belongs to Kali-Durga.
The second part is chanted days 4-6 of Navaratri and represents the Mother as the fiery and active power that vanquishes evil and upholds the moral order of the Universe. She is Maha Lakshmi.
ahhh the eternal fight between good and evil. When we will see them as two sides of the same coin? This is how we must live in this world, where we are torn between the poles of duality: good and evil, right and wrong, enjoyment and suffering. Even as we set out to be a do-gooder in the world, helping people, at the same time we are creating people who need to be helped, perpetuating the evil that made them helpless. This is why it is considered best to educate – feed the mind – rather than just provide food for the poor. With time, education gives the student freedom from being helped, they can earn and live independently of helpers.
The final third is chanted the last 3 days of Navaratri and reveals the luminous, benevolent form through which the Mother grants enlightenment and liberation. It guides us to transcend the world through the higher wisdom of Spirit. She is Sarasvati Maa.
Again, note, in some communities, the first and third segments are reversed. Culture is fluid between regions in Hindustan.
At the end of the 9 Nights, on the 10th morning, we carry all the Durga murti-s to the river for visarjan. Immersion which signifies returning Her to the Spirit world after having 9 glorious nights with her in our homes.
With grisly narratives of bloodshed and slaughter, the Chandi Path integrates hymns that are rich in philosophical, allegorical and theological lure. Of surpassing beauty, these hymns are sublime outpourings of devotion. Like the Bhagavad Gita, its war stories can be taken metaphorically relating to our own inner battles, behavior and circumstances. Its hymns inspire us to devotion for the personal forms of Goddess as Mother; and its deeper, philosophical and esoteric interpretation leads us to the realization of God as the impersonal supreme reality.
: OM TAT SAT:
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