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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sharada Navarathri 2013


There are 6 Navarathris in Honour of Divine Mother of our Universe - one for each Rithu (season), and this navarathri falling in the sharad rithu is the most important one as it is the one recommended for householders.

Navarathri schedule for different parts of the world.

Navaraathri austerities begin from October 5, 2013 in India, Gulf countries, European countries and all nations in American continents.

Those living in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Fiji must observe this from October 6, 2013.

Durga pooja is to be observed on October 12, 2013 throughout the world except those living in USA, Canada, and other nations of the American continents who must observe this on October 11, 2013 itself.

Mahaa Navami (Saraswathy Pooja, Ayudha pooja) should be celebrated on October 13, 2013 throughout the world - except for those living in USA, Canada, and other nations of the American continents who must observe this on October 12, 2013 itself.

Vijaya Dasami -

There is some confusion in this matter this year.....While Kanchi almanac and some other panchanga scholars opine that Vijaya Dasami also should be observed on October 13th itself in India, Sringeri vidwans and other experts suggest the observance on October 14, 2013.  We are more inclined to side with the Sringeri tradition in this regard since Dasami operates during sunrise of October 14, 2013 and it does not happen until 1:19 p.m. on October 13, 2013. [Dharma shastraic injunctions in this regard suggest that for sukhla paksha dasami related vratas, the reckoning time is sunrise during which time Dasami must operate; if the vratam is about krishna paksha dasami, then we must see on which of those solar days Dasami operates for more time and then take a decision - and it is usual to give preference to the day which has dasami predominating during the night on such occasions if it operates for almost equal duration on both days during krishna paksha....just for your academic interest regarding dharma shastraic injunction of sages in this regard].

So, we leave the observance of Vijaya dasami in India to their respective traditions while I will be giving the traditional Vijaya Dasami Chandi homam poornaahuti done at the end of the Daily Navarathri observance only on October 14, 2013 morning.

In countries of the American continent,  Europe and middle East countries, Vijaya Dasami must be observed on October 13, 2013. (yes, for some regions - like in Europe and in Middle EAst countriesMahaa Navami and Dussera fall on the same day - October 23, 2012; going into the astrological/ astronomical/ panchang sookshma nuances will be beyond the comprehension of most normal devotees who would just like to observe the festivals on the correct dates/ days as per shastric doctrines and so I am not going deeper into this).

For those living in countries to the east of India, Vijaya Dasami must be observed on October 14th, 2013.

Methods of celebrating Navaraathri.

It is traditional to keep "Kolu" - an arrangement of dolls during Navaraathri. This is to signify that Our Divine Mother resides as Inner Soul in all Forms. Some people make the arrangement in such a way that the various steps of the kolu represent the Order of Evolution - like keeping invertebrates and such other forms of lives in the bottom step, keeping dolls representing human life in the middle of the kolu steps, and keeping dolls representing Divine Legends, Dasa Avataars, etc. on the top most step of the kolu arrangement. It is traditional to keep 5 rows (to represent Five Elements of Life), 9 rows (to represent the Nine Forms of Divine Mother), 11 rows (to represent the 11 forms of Lord Rudra), 13 rows (one in Honour of each chapter of Durga Sapta Sati), or 15 Rows (one in Honour of each syllable of Shri Vidhya panchadasaakshari mantra) as per one's convenience; traditionally, people avoid arranging the kolu in 7 rows for sentimental reasons (there is a belief that such an arrangement in 7 rows might affect financial prospects).

I request all our members to perform simple worships as per their convenience during the Navarathri period and become recipients of Divine Grace. This is a period when we Celebrate our Universal Mother - so, that joy should be there in our minds when we observe this austerity (we should not be unnecessarily tensed or make this too complicated with too many taboos! One does not think of protocols when approaching one's mother - but just go with the moment with unbounded joy and affection; such should be our attitude when we worship Our Universal Mother during this period - assuming we are all Her Children and we are invoking Her Presence in our homes - celebrating this with affectionate respect and joy).

Recital of Lalitha Sahasranaamam, Dasa Mahaa vidhya sthothrams, simple Devi sthothrams, Abhiraami Andhaadhi, Lalitha Anubooti, Soundarya Lahiri, Dugra Sthothram, Chandi Path (Durga Saptasathi), etc. can be auspicious during this period.

During this period, we should consider all women as Forms of Divine Mother and treat them with courtesy and respect. One who observes the Navarathri austerities intensely, but insults women knowingly/ unknowingly does not get the benefit of the austerities. Remember this, and treat women (including those in your own family) with affection and respect [Ideally that should be the case always! Because Shastras say that where virtuous women are honoured, Divine Grace visits even in an uninvited manner! This is the reason why women should take special care to safeguard their basic dignity, be affectionate and gentle in dealings with family members, avoid letting corrupting thoughts/ behaviour patterns enter their life styles, etc. in an attempt to maintain their Divine nature that is intrinsic to them; All higher forms of lives spring from the feminine gender of the species, and a virtuous woman is a living Form of the Universal Mother - and can be a source of happiness and Grace to herself and to everyone who is blessed enough to move with her).

Those who have Tulsi plant in their houses, can offer prostrations to that Divine Plant and pray for prosperity and Divine Grace in its vicinity. (All the Holy Rivers are in subtle forms in the roots of the tulsi plant; All Divine Forms are manifest in the middle portion of the Tulsi plant, and All Vedas and Holy Scriptures are manifest in the tips of the Tulsi plant, as said in the Puranas).

Offering Go-Poojaa (prayers to Cow visualized as embodiment of all Divinities) on Fridays and Tuesdays of Navarathri period can give unlimited merit.

It is also auspicious to read a small portion of Divine Legends that depict how the Gracious and Kind Mother Manifested in Angry Forms to annihilate all enemies to peaceful life on Earth every night during this navaraathri period, and invoke such Manifestation of Power in our lives also to annihilate all our enemies (both intrinsic like anger, greed, laziness, and ignorance within us, and our external enemies/ unruly elements who try to disturb peaceful and gentle citizens in the society unnecessarily).

Recital of Chandi Paaraayanam is a powerful remedy not merely for our families but for ensuring peace in the land where we live in. In fact, if austere persons of Faith keep reciting the Chandi Path and Shri Rudram regularly, and if there are many of them in a land, shastras proclaim that the elements of nature's Fury like floods, pestilence, droughts, etc. will never harm that land and prosperity will rein in that land. So, it is partly our duty as Universal Citizens to offer special worship to Divine Mother during this period and pray for relief to all the distressed souls who have been harassed much by the floods in Northern parts of our blessed land, and also pray for peace throughout the world in these troublesome days where you can never read a newspaper without coming across some inauspicious event/ mishap in one corner or other of the earth.

SPECIAL WORSHIPS AT MY PLACE DURING NAVARATHRI.

As usual special worships will be performed at my residence in Chennai in connection with Sharada navaraathri from October 5, 2013 to October 14, 2013. We will be offering poojas and homams for Universal welfare daily during these days, and those who are interested in sponsoring the austerities are welcome to do so.

The part-sponsorship of each day's austerities (beginning from early morning till night.....Ganapathy homam, Laghu chandi homam, recital of Devi Mahaatmyam, Lalitha Sahasranaamam, Soundarya Lahiri sthothras, Dasa Mahaa Vidhya japams, Select verses from Devi Bhagavatam,  veda mantra chants  etc.) is US$80(US Dollars seventy five only). Resident Indians might offer Rs.4500- (rupees four thousand five hundred only for the same). We are not restricting participation in the daily homams/ austerities this year. Those who wish to be part-sponsors for more than one day's rituals are also welcome to do so.

Mahaa chandi homam is planned on October 14, 2013 on Vijaya Dasami day. The part-sponsorship for this Mahaa chandi homam on October 14, 2013 is US$400 (US Dollars four hundred only).

To enable persons who are interested in taking part in some form of prayers at our place but are unable to afford the part-sponsorships, this year we have decided to offer the following special poojas at affordable sponsorship rates:

1) Durga Sookta, Lalitha Sahasranaamam paaraayanam, and Durga Sapta Slokhi paddathi deepa pooja for general welfare and removal of planetary afflictions in the evenings - US$15 (US Dollars fifteen only).  Part-sponsors of the day's austerities are automatically included in this - so they need not register again for this performance in the evening.

2) Saraswathy kavacha paaraayanam and other special chants on Vaak Devi from Yamala tantraic literature to improve general intelligence and promote academic prospects on Saraswathy Pooja day - US$15 (US Dollars fifteen only). This is recommended for those who wish to do aksharambam for their kids this year on Vijaya Dasami.

You can select your option of special worships from the drop=down menu given below at the end of this write-up.

Even those who are unable to offer sponsorships for these rituals need not feel let down; prayers are offered for Universal Welfare at the end of each day's austerities, in addition to the prayer for specific special sponsors, and the prayer for Universal Welfare covers everyone - including you!

May Divine Mother Bless us all.
Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI
Various sponsorship options
Name, nakshatra, gothra

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