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Friday, March 5, 2010

Vasantha Navarathri - March 16 to March 25, 2010


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 16, 2010 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 17, 2010. (The same holds true for Ugaadhi celebrations also!)


Shri Raama Navami is to be celebrated on March 24, 2010 throughout the world except New zealand and Fiji - where it should be observed on March 25, 2010.


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.


Just one person will be the special beneficiary of each day's religious routines. So, the list of beneficiaries will be drawn up on a first-come-first-served basis. I am giving special preference to Paaraayanam group members as per the stated objective of the group - giving special preference to our members when I restrict the no. of beneficiaries for special poojaas. ( The sponsorship for one day's austerities (in the period March 16 to March 24, 2010) - beginning from Ganesha homam early morning, Laghu chandi homam, Chandi path recital, Lalitha Sahasranaamam recital, Soundarya lahiri recital, Dasamahaa vidhya mantra recitals and recital of portions of Devi Bhagavatam - will be US$65 (US Dollars sixty-five only). Resident Indians may remit Rs.3000/- (rupees three thousand only) for the same.

Mahaa Chandi Yagnya is also being planned on Vijaya Dasami day (March 25, 2010). Again the no. of participants in this is restricted to 5 persons. 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.


You may send the money by demand draft drawn in favour of "R DAKSHINA MOORTHI" or by paypal after getting confirmation from me regarding your sponsorship previlege. (kindly get my confirmation before sending the money drafts because if the no. of beneficiaries touches 9, I will not be enrolling anymore persons as beneficiaries for daily navaraathri poojas. Similarly, for the Chandi homam, if the no. of beneficiaries touches 5, I will not be accepting any more persons as special beneficiaries).

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 two years back.

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.

May Divine Mother bless us all.

Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for nice article...

You have mentioned that Lalitasahastranama is for people who are initiated in that tradition. So, does it mean that Shri chakra puja can only be done who have been initiated ?

(I have a shric chakra on a coin and was thinking to don puja during vasantha navarathri)

Pandit R. DAKSHINA MOORTHI said...

Dear reader of the blog who asked about sri chakra pooja:

Anyone can meditate and offer respects to a properly consecrated Shri Chakra - but doing the elaborate pooja rituals is preferably done after getting in touch with reputed shakti upaasakas/ upaasakis near your place from good families who have that in their Guru tradition or family tradition.

Regarding Lalitha Sahasranaamam, it is best listened to in the initial stages till you are sure of the pronunciation; it is always best to have the pronunciation checked with experts and then go ahead with the actual recital personally.

Anyway, if your inner mind says that you can go ahead with the recital, please do so; Goddess may sometimes impel you to do such rituals, and when they are done with absolute Faith in Her - the incidental discrepancies/ minor errors will be condoned by Her - the Divine Mother.

Please ask your inner mind whether it is real bhakti that is impelling you or the influence of others around you (we do sometimes see others doing it and tend to imitate them....such imitations are wrong in spiritual traditions and cause unnecessary outcomes). If your inner mind clearly says that it is real bhakti of the untainted sort and the boundless affection on Her - Our Divine Mother that is impelling you, kindly go ahead with the express declaration "oh Mother! I wish to do this pooja - somehow I am impelled to do this - I don't know whether it is right or wrong - please correct me through the right sources whenever I am wrong".

If we begin doing poojas with such attitudes, our imperfections will gradually fade away and one fine day we will be perfect.

In fact, even the so called experts do have certain flaws in performance - no human can be perfect...we are all moving from lesser perfection to greater Perfection...it is only the question of degree of perfection - that is all:)

On a different note, check the coin that has Shri Chakra....ensure that there are no broken lines or smudges of metal cast (causing the lines to be smudged or unclear). Performing pooja to an imperfect yantra can be sometimes productive of troubles...it is to remove all such doubts and uncertainties that traditional taboos insist on Guru deeksha from house-holders who are already practising such poojas.

Any symbol of God can be venerated...but while doing ritualistic poojas, we need to be more careful.

Kindly take your decision based on these words that I have written for your guidance.

May She with Infinite Wisdom guide you appropriately on this.

Blessed be.
Pandit R DAKSHINA MOORTHI.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your elaborate answer. It will definitely help me.

Saurabh said...

How many rounds for navadurga chanting each day will you suggest? (1, 5, 11 etc.)

Also, apart from std mantra like om shailputrye namah, etc, are there any other mantras for navadurga sadhna?

Pandit R. DAKSHINA MOORTHI said...

Dear Reader Saurabh:

Reciting the respective Nava Durga mantra for 1008 times daily is the recommended thing - though you can do as little as 108 repetitions.

Or, you can do 1 maala of repetition minimum and 10 maala of repetitions maximum (more than that may not be feasible unless you are an intense upaasaka devoting the whole day for austerities; even in such cases, it may be good to chant other mantras also apart from this).

Works like Devi Bhaagavatam clearly explain the ancillary austerities/ rituals to be done for Nava Durga pooja. As they can be too elaborate, I have not written on them here. My attempt was to make it simple and followable by the modern aspirant who has time-constraints but still wishes to propitiate our Divine Mother due to intense bhakti. For that, recital of the name of Nava Durga Form of each day is the best.

Blessed be.

Saurabh said...

I have found some other mantras for nava-durga sadhna. one is for skandamata like this:

Simhasanagatha nityam padmashritha kara dwayaa ! Shubhadaasthu sadaa devi Skandamaata yashaswini !!

Are these dhyan-mantras good for chanting during navaratra? (I did not find any beej-aksharas like hrim in any of these mantras and hence wanted to cross-check with you.)

you articles inspire to do something new for every festivle. Thank you for that! :)

Pandit R. DAKSHINA MOORTHI said...

Dear Shri. Saurabh:

Yes, the dhyana slokhas are very good for recital during Navarathri. You can go ahead on that.

Regarding beeja mantras, it is best to get it initiated by a practitioner of these rather than learn it from internet. There are subtle matters in mantraic rituals and unless they are adhered to, we won't get the full benefit.

So, the dhyaana stothras are the best for you to follow. By the power of these, you will definitely become recipient of Divine Grace which will manifest as a good Guru in your life - who will take you higher and higher on this path.

Guru paada moolam sarva abheeshta dhaayinam.

Blessed be.
Pandit R DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

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