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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Vasantha Navarathri - 2009


There are 6 Navarathris in Honour of Divine Mother each year - one for each Rithu, and the Saaradha Navaraathri falling in sharad Rithu (October - November) is the most important as this is the festival recommended for householders. The next in importance among the 6 Navarathris is the one falling in Vasantha Rithu (March - April) called Vasantha Navarathri. This Vasantha Navarathri occupies the pride of place in the schedule of Devi upaasakaas, and rituals done during this period are for awakening Wisdom and Spiritual Perfection. Thus, as the saaradha Navarathri is for the "Bhogis" (householders and family), the Vasantha Navarathri is for Yogis (those aspiring Spiritual perfection), sadhus, and spiritual minded upaasakaas (who may still be in family but live life as an offering to Divine Mother - balancing mundane and spiritual lives harmoniously). It is traditional to venerate Divine Mother in Her Gnaana Shakti Form during this period. We don't keep kolus or socialize much in this celebration (whereas the saaradha navarathri is as much a social occasion as it is spiritual!). The emphasis is more on spiritual sadhanas and meditation during this period.
This vasantha Navarathri marks the beginning of the lunar calendar based New year (followed by those following Telugu/ Kannada traditions in South India), and it is also associated with Shri Raama Navami which falls during this period. So, during this vasantha navarathri you can also organize Sundara Kaandam recitals at your places praying for family welfare.


Vasantha Navaraathri schedule for different places around the world:


Vasantha Navaraathri begins on March 27, 2008 throughout the world except for Far Eastern countries, Hawaii (USA), Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand. Those living in these places should begin Navarathri austerities on March 26, 2008 itself. (The same holds true for Ugaadhi celebrations also!)


Shri Raama Navami is to be celebrated on April 03, 2009 throughout the world.


Dasami is to be celebrated on April 04, 2009 in all countries around the globe.


I request all our members to do simple prayers that are possible for them in Honour of Divine Mother during the Vasantha Navaraathri and receive Her Grace. Those who are initiated may recite Lalitha Sahasranaamam and Soundarya Lahiri on these days to become recipients of Divine Grace. Others may simply recite names like "Om Shree MaatrE namah" (Salutations to Thee who Art the Mother), "Om Durgaayai namah", "Om Sadaakshyai namah" (Salutations to Thee with 1000 Eyes = this is for prosperity), "Om siddhi dhaatryai namah" (Salutations to Thee who gives accomplishment), etc.


Those who have Tulsi plant in house may light a lamp in that sannidhi and offer 12 prostrations praying for peace and prosperity in the family and for the whole world. You may consider getting initiated into mantras like "Brindaavani Dasaakshari" (the beeja mantra for Tulsi worship that is very powerful), "Surabhi mantra" (for GOmaataa), etc. during this auspicious period.
You may also read Divine legends related to Mother Goddess which have been identified as powerful ones for prosperity based on authentic classical sources and based on teachings of Sri Vidhya Upaasaka traditions. Many such legends abound in the classic Devi Bhaagavatam. One such legend can be read by clicking the following link:
http://dakshinastro.blogspot.com/2008/04/divine-legends-that-ensure-peace-and.html
You can also listen to wonderful Devi sthothras that are available for download from various sites in .mp3 format. There are some wonderful Devi sthothrams available in text format in the site http://www.sanskritdocuments.org/. You may visit these sites and use the text of sthothras for recital.


Worship of 9 Forms of Durga Devi on 9 days


There are 9 forms of Durga Devi - "Shaila Putri, Brahmachaarinii, Chandrakantaa, Kooshmaandaa, Skanda Maata, Kaatyaayinii, Kaala Raatrii, Mahaa Gourii, Siddhidaa." You may meditate on each of these names in order from day 1 till day 9 (like on the first day - keep chanting "Om Hreem Shaila Putryai namah" or simply "Hreem Shaila putri namo namah", etc.).
These 9 names by themselves are powerful words with immense Divinity in them. Details about these 9 forms may be available elsewhere in the net; so I am not going too much into details about these. Those who are interested may do a web search on this and get further information, if desired.


Important thing to note when doing navaraathri worship even in simplified forms in Honour of Mother Goddess


Treat all women with dignity and respect during these 9 days (actually women should be treated with respect at all times - but it is more important during these 9 days). Offer auspicious items like sindhoor, kumkum, turmeric paste/ powder/ tubers, small mirrors, bangles, blouse-bits (avoid black colour), small toys for young children, etc. as per your convenience and economic viability. Even unknown women (irrespective of caste, creed, or religion) who visit your houses accidentally during these periods must be treated with respect and courtesy - Mother may visit you in any form!


Special worship at my place during Vasantha Navaraathri


As usual, special worships will be done at my place during Navarathri. I will pray for the welfare of all our members (and in fact for Universal wellbeing and Harmony). But those who wish to sponsor the poojas are welcome to do so.


The sponsoring fee for a single day's pooja (right from morning till night....Ganapathy Homam, Laghu Chandi Homam, Full recital of Devi Mahaatymayam (chandi Path), Lalitha Sahasranaamam, Soundarya Lahiri, Dasa Maha Vidya japams, select verses from Devi Bhaagavatam each day, etc.) is US$60 (US Dollars sixty only). (Resident Indians may remit Rs.2500/- if they wish to sponsor a single day's poojaas/ homams).


I am not restricting the number of sponsors for the daily homams during Navarathri, except on the day of the Mahaa chandi homam, i.e. you can sponsor the homam on any day as you want in the period March 27 to April 03, 2009, and I am not restricting the no. of sponsors for the daily homams/ poojas (last time I had restricted to just one person per day on normal navarathri pooja days). But, I am restricting the number of participants in the Mahaa chandi homam to just 5 - exactly like last time.


The Mahaa chandi homam will be on April 04, 2009 in which only 5 sponsors will be allowed . The sponsorship fee for the same will be US$350 (US Dollars three hundred and fifty only). Resident Indians may remit Rs.15,000 (rupees fifteen thousand only). Those who are interested may get in touch with me through my email-id (dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in) at the earliest to book your participation for the Mahaa chandi homam.


Please confirm your participation before March 20, 2009. After March 20, 2009, I intend to close the sponsorship booking for the navarathri celebrations. Those who wish to take part as sponsors may send the money draft or by paypal after getting confirmation from me regarding your sponsorship previlege. (kindly get my confirmation before sending the money drafts for the Mahaa Chandi homam; if the no. of beneficiaries of the Mahaa chandi homam touches 5, I will not be accepting any more persons as special beneficiaries; this restriction does not apply to those who wish to take part as sponsors of the other day's homams during this Navarathri as there is no limit on the no. of beneficiaries/ sponsors for the other days' homams. But, they should also send their request before March 20, 2009). Of course, I will pray for Universal Welfare and for the welfare of our group members at the end of the prayers.


So, those who are unable to get enlisted as special beneficiaries due to sponsorship slots getting filled up, or who are unable to afford the sponsorship fees need not feel let down. The restriction in number of participants is only for enlistment as special sponsors as per indications I received in a Divine Revelation last year.


Please note that those who sponsor the homams/ poojas need to come in person to get the prasad or holy ash of the homam. In case you are unable to attend the homam on the specified days, the inclusion of your name, birth star, rashi, and gothra details during the homam/ pooja sankalpam is deemed as "in-absentia" participation from your side. The homam prasad/ Holy Ash will not be sent by post due to ritual purity reasons.


Blessed be.


Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

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