Friday, September 30, 2016

Navaratri Sadhana

Navaratri Sadhana
Receiving Grace from Faminine Energy

In the yogic culture, the summer solstice which falls in the month of June marks the beginning of Dakshinayana, which means in the Earth’s sky, the Sun begins to trace a southward movement in the northern hemisphere of the planet. Similarly, the winter solstice which falls in the month of December marks the beginning of Uttarayana or the northern run of the Sun. The half of the year from the beginning of Uttarayana in December to the beginning of Dakshinayana in June is known as gnana pada. The other half of the year from the beginning of Dakshinayana to the beginning of Uttarayana is known as the sadhana pada.

Infographic - The Benefits of Horsegram
The southern run is the phase of intimacy or the feminine. The earth is acting out her role as a woman. Festivals concerned with the feminine energy are celebrated only in these six months. The whole culture of this land was attuned to this. Every month, there is a festival of some kind.

In the Indian culture, there was a time when there used to be a festival every day of the year – 365 festivals in a year – because a festival is a tool to bring life to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm. That was the significance and importance of festivals. The whole culture was in a state of celebration. If today was ploughing day, it was a kind of celebration. Tomorrow was planting day, another kind of celebration. Day after tomorrow was weeding, that was a celebration. Harvesting, of course, is still a celebration.

Nowadays, unfortunately, a festival means a holiday, and wake up only at twelve noon, then eat a lot and go for a movie or watch television at home. It wasn’t like that earlier. A festival meant the whole town would gather in a place and there would be a big celebration. A festival meant to get up at four early in the morning, and very actively, lots of things happened all over the house with full involvement of altogether.

In this feminine half of the year, September 30th, marks the autumnal equinox, and the first Amavasya or new moon after this is known as Mahalaya Amavasya. Mahalaya Amavasya is a special day dedicated to making an offering (shraadh) to express our gratitude to all the previous generations of people who have contributed to our life. 

Mahalaya Amavasya is also the beginning of Devi’s time. The quarter from the Amavasya to the beginning of Uttarayana in December is known as the Devi pada. In this quarter, the northern hemisphere of the planet becomes “gentle” because it is the quarter where the northern hemisphere receives the least amount of sunlight in the year. So everything becomes subdued; it is not “on” in a big way.

Worship of the feminine energy

The day after Mahalaya Amavasya marks the first day of Navaratri and Dussehra, which is all about the goddess. 

The nine days of Navaratri are classified as per the three basic qualities of tamas, rajas and sattva. The first three days are tamas, where the goddess is fierce, like Durga and Kali. The next three days are Lakshmi related – gentle but materially-oriented goddesses. The last three days are dedicated to Saraswati, which is sattva. It is related to knowledge and enlightenment.

Tamas means inertia. Rajas means activity, passion. Sattva, in a way, is the breaking of boundaries, dissolution, melting and merging. Among the three celestial objects with which the very making of our bodies is very deeply connected – the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon – Mother Earth is considered tamas. The Sun is rajas. The Moon is sattva.

Tamas is the nature of the Earth, and she is the one who gives birth. The gestation period that we spend in the womb is tamas. It is a state that is almost like hibernation, but we are growing. So tamas is the nature of the Earth and of our birth. The moment we come out, we start activity – rajas begins. And if we are aware enough or fortunate enough, sattva will touch us. 

Those who aspire for power, for immortality, for strength, will worship those forms of the feminine which are referred to as tamas, like Kali or Mother Earth.

Those who aspire for wealth, for passion, for life and various other gifts that the material world has to offer, naturally aspire towards that form of the feminine which is referred to as Lakshmi or the Sun. 

Those who aspire for knowledge, knowing, and transcending the limitations of the mortal body, will aspire for that aspect of the feminine which is referred to as sattva – Saraswati is the representative of that – or the Moon.

These nine days are arranged in this way because it is after all from the earth that we arise, and we could live an active life which is rajas – the second nature of the Devi. The third one may come in our way or may not. If we want to bring her down into us, we have to strive. Otherwise she will not get down to us. Kali is on the ground. Lakshmi is sitting on a flower. Saraswati is riding a peacock.
It is important to approach these nine days and every aspects of life in a celebratory way.

If we approach everything in a celebratory way, we learn to be non-serious about life but absolutely involved. The problem with most human beings right now is if they think something is important, they will become dead serious about it. If they think it is not so important, they will become neglectful about it – they don’t show the necessary involvement. The secret of life is in seeing everything with a non-serious eye but absolutely involved, like a game.

Navaratri - Forms of Faminine Goddesses

!!Jai Mata Di!!
Navratri days are celebrated during the begining of Spring and Autumn seasons and solar prevalences. Hindu deity Shakti is worshiped throughout India during Navratri. This period is the prelude to the festive season and the air is rife with festivity.

About Goddess Durga: Goddess Durga is one of the most popular Goddess in Hindu religion. Maa Durga is a form of Shakti (Maa Lakshmi, Maa Saraswati & Maa Kali). In Sanskrit ‘Durga’ means as the one who is unbeatable and can not be defeated hence unconquerable. During the auspicious nine days of Navratri or Navratras nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped predominantly.

Goddess Durga forms: The revered nine forms of Goddess Durga are Shailputri, Brahmcharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandmata, Katyaini, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhatri. Devi Durga is also known as Mahishasurmardini i.e. slayer of a mighty evil buffalo demon called Mahishasur.

Durga Maa Photos

Navratri is celebrated with true devotion in all parts of India. Durga Puja is another name for Navratri which is celebrated with great reverence; fervor in West Bengal. The tenth day after Navratri is celebrated as Dussera or Vijayadasmi.

Durga Pics

During the nine days of Navrarti, Maa Durga devotees conduct special puja to praise the Goddess Durga, perform aarti, Mata bhajans  & chant Nav Durga mantras or slokas in order to seek blessings of Durga Maa who protects her devotees from all the evils & mishappenings.

Maa Durga slokas or Navratri mantras
The word ‘Mantra’ is derived from Sanskrit word “mantrana”, which means advice or suggestion. Mantras are a method to connect to our innerself by reciting a particular mantra again and again. Chanting mantras continuously symbolically effects the chanter & listener both. The chanting of these mantras & slokas during Navratri puja will definitely give you health, wealth, prosperity and would help solve all your problems. Here we go…
Lets begin with the sacred & most loved Sanskrit verses for the Goddess…

Sarva mangala mangalye shive sarvaartha saadhike
Sharanye trayambake Gauri
Narayani namosthute

सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके
शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते

Many of us must be knowing this sloka verse.
sarva mangala mangalye – To auspiciousness of all auspiciousness
shiva -to the Good
sarvarrtha saadhike – to the accomplisher of all objectives
sharanye – to the Source of Refuge
tryambake – to the mother of the three worlds.
Gauri – to the Goddess who is Rays of Light
Naaraayani – Exposer of consciousness
Namostute- We bow to you again and again. We worship you.

Goddess Durga

Ya devi sarva bhutesu, shanti rupena sansitha
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, shakti rupena sansthita
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, shraddha rupena sansthita
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, laxmi rupena sansthita
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, buddhi rupena sansthita
Namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namaha!

या देवी सर्वभुतेषु शान्तिरूपेण संस्थिता
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु शक्तिरूपेण संस्थिता
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु श्रद्धारूपेण संस्थिता । 
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु लक्ष्मीरूपेण संस्थिता ।  
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु बुद्धिरूपेण संस्थिता 
 नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥१२॥

The goddess who is omnipresent as the personification of universal mother
The goddess who is omnipresent as the embodiment of power
The goddess who is omnipresent as the symbol of peace
I bow to her, I bow to her, I bow to her again & again.

Ohh...! Goddess (Devi) who resides everywhere in all living beings as intelligence and beauty I salute to you. Take my salutations again and again.

Namoh devyai mahadevyai shivayai satatam namah
Namah prakrutyai bhadraayai niyataah pranataahsma taam

नमो देव्यै महादेव्यै शिवायै सततं नमः
नमः प्रकृत्यै भद्रायै नियताः प्रणताः स्म ताम् ॥१॥

Maa Durga wallpaper

Jagdamb Vichitramatra Kim Paripoorna Karunaasti Chenmayi I Aparadha Parampara Param Na Hi Mata Samupekshate Sutam II

O mother of the world Jagdamba, you are the one who looks after her children. Your love and kindness towards me is no surprise O mother goddess. Being a mother you forget all our sins and correct us without abandoning your children.

One of the most sought after mantra for Goddess Chamonda…

Maa Kaali Durga Photo

Mantra or sloka for Devi Annapoorna (Goddess Food)
Annapoorne sadapoorne shankarah praanavallabhe
Njana vairaagya sidhyardham bhikshaam dehi cha parvati

Om Durge Smritaa Harasi Bheeti Masesha Jantoehoe
Swasthai Smritha Mathi Matheeva Shubhaam Dadaasi
Daaridrya Dukha Bhaya Haarini Kaa twadanyaa
Sarwopakaara Karanaaya saaardra Chthaaha

Photo of Maa Durga

Sloka or mantra for overcoming problems
Om Sharanaagata Deenaartha paritraana paraayaney
Sarwa syarthi harey devi Naraayani Namostutey

Mantra for Shakti
Om Sarwa swarupey sareshey sarwa shakthi samanwithey
Bhayebhya Straahinoe Devi Durgey devi namostuthey

Goddess Durga Photos

Durga Stutti
Yaa Devi Sarva Bhooteshu Vishnu Maayethi Sabdita
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha 
Sloka Meaning: Salutations again and again to the Devi (Goddess) who dwells in all living beings as power and maya of Lord Vishnu.

Mantra for warding off all the evils & mishappenings:
Jayanti Mangala Kali, Bhadrakali Kapalini Durga Kshama Shiva Dhatri Swaha Swadha Namoastute.