Omkarananda Kamakshi Devi Mandir

Brahmotsava of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir
in Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, Muni-ki-Reti, Rishikesh,
from 25th March to 27th March 2013

The annual Brahmotsava for Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir began on Monday, 25th March 2013, in the Yajnashala of this Temple.

In front of the Hawanakunda a small Altar had been erected, on which two Kalashas, one for the Deity Omkara-Mahaganapati and one for the Deity Shri Mahakala-Bhairava, were placed.

Lord Ganesha, in form of Omkara-Mahaganapati, and Lord Mahakala-Bhairava had to be invoked and worshipped first in order to obtain Their permission and protection for starting the Brahmotsava.

A beautiful and powerful Hawana was conducted and the Purnahuti of this Hawana was performed by H.H. Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda Saraswati, President Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas.

After Purnahuti, the Kalashas, in which the presence of Shri Omkara-Mahaganapati and Shri Mahakala-Bhairava had been invoked through special pujas and prayers, were carried in a procession to their respective Temples.

Kalasha Yatra to Shri Omkara-Mahaganapati and Shri Mahakala-Bhairava at the beginning of the Brahmotsava.

Shri Swami Vishveshwaranandaji carried the Kalasha of Shri Omkara-Mahaganapati to His beautiful Shrine, where Abhisheka was performed to the Pranapratishtha Murti. After Alankara, Arati and Pushpanjali for Omkara-Mahaganapati, Prasad was distributed by the Priests.

The Kalasha of Mahakala-Bhairava was carried by Shri Suresh Panditji to the majestic Mahakala-Bhairava Mandir, up on the Hillside, and placed inside the Shrine for Abhisheka. The Deity of this wonderful Temple, Shri Mahakala-Bhairava, overlooks and protects the whole Ashram and Temple-Area of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas Headquarters, including Omkarananda-Shanta-Durga Mandir, Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir, Omkara-Mahaganapati Mandir, Omkarananda-Hanuman Mandir, Maha-Meru Mandir etc. etc.

After performing Abhisheka with the holy waters and other ingredients like fragrant Vibhuti, Kumkum, Milk, Honey, Curd, etc. the Omkarananda Ashram Priests nicely decorated Shri Mahakala-Bhairava and then offered Arati and flowers to Him. Afterwards all Devotees could enjoy a delicious Prasadam, which first had been offered to the Deity.

Thus the special rituals of the first day of the Brahmotsava were successfully concluded.

The beautiful Navagrahas ready for Puja.
In the afternoon of 26th March 2013 all the Omkarananda Ashram Priests were busy in establishing and decorating a most beautiful Altar with Utsava Murtis of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi, Maha-Saraswati and Maha-Lakshmi, and also Pictures of Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati and Lord Shiva, in the middle of the Temple-Mandapa of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir.

Different silver and brass Kalashas, with holy water and coconuts, surrounded with fresh Mango-leaves, for invoking the Presence of the Divinities, resident in the Pranapratishtha Shrines of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, were installed on this Altar. The Kalashas looked colourful and attractive, since they had been decorated with many-coloured fine cotton-threads, which had been woven in an intricate manner around the Metal-Kalashas.

Around this Altar, in the Temple-Mandapa, different Temple Clothes were spread on the clean Temple-Floor, and on them exactly 1000 small earthen Kalashas, filled with Ganges water, were arranged in geometrical shapes by the Priests.

Prayers for invoking the Divinities.

Everything was ready for a grand and elaborate Puja in the night. The Moon was shining brightly above the Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir, adding to the grandeur of the holy function.

Sankalpa by Swami Vishveshwarananda along 
with a Priest of Omkarananda Ashram.
From ca. 8.30 PM onwards all the Omkarananda Ashram Priests, under the guidance of Chief-Priest Suresh Shastriji, were engaged in elaborate rituals for invoking the Presence of the Deities, residing in all the Pranapratishtha Shrines of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, into the Kalashas on the Altar, reciting Their respective Mantras and Mystical Syllables and worshipping Them with flowers and different types of Aratis.

For Sankalpa and other important rituals, Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda Saraswati was called by the Priests to the Altar.

An important part of this holy celebration was the recitation of the Lalita-Sahasranama, the thousand names of the most loving, most beautiful and enchanting Goddess, Shri Lalita Maha-Tripurasundari, who is the same as Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi.


Sanjay Panditji is offering flowers and rice corns to 1000 small Kalashas, 
filled with Ganges water, during recitation of Lalita-Sahasranama.
With every name, describing in a beautiful way the extraordinary Qualities and Powers of the Divine Mother, Shri Sanjay Panditji offered fresh flower-petals and rice-corns into each of the thousand small earthen pots, which had been filled with holy water. Thus all the thousand small Kalashas were charged with the Powers of the Divine Mother Tripurasundari or Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi.

The second day of the Brahmotsava Celebration was concluded late in the night, at around 11 PM, with Arati and Pushpanjali performed by Swami Vishveshwarananda along with the Priests, and Prasad-Distribution to all.

This function was also attended to by Shri Swami Satchidananda Saraswati, Treasurer of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, Shri Swami Pragyananda, Member of Omkarananda Ashram and some very close Devotees, like Nageswary Devi and others.

The Omkarananda Ashram Priests had worked extremely hard for conducting this Brahmotsava Celebration but the main day was still to come.

Arati for the Divinities.

Nageswary Devi receives the Arati. Swami Satchidananda receives divine Blessings.

The third and final day of the Brahmotsava Celebrations of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir arrived on Wednesday, 27th March 2013, in the Hindu month Chaitra, under the auspicious Nakshatra Uttara Phalguni, during Purnima.

In the morning a special grand Hawana was conducted by the Omkarananda Ashram Priests in the Yajnashala of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir, in which Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda Saraswati and Guru-Bhakti-Ratna Kumari Somashekhari also took part. Purnahuti was offered by Kumari Somashekhari.

A team of special Pandits recited powerfully and uninterruptedly Vedic Hymns while preparations for the grand Kalasha Yatra around Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir were in full swing.

Each participant of this holy procession got one Kalasha with a special Divinity, which had to be carried around the Temple, before it was offered as Abhisheka to the respective Pranapratishtha Murti in the Garbha-Griha.

The Procession was led by Swami Vishveshwaranandaji, Swami Satchidanandaji, Kumari Somashekhari, Suresh Panditji and Sanjay Panditji and followed by other Omkarananda Ashram Priests and several Devotees. Each of them was carrying with utmost devotion a holy Kalasha with a special Deity.

Preparations for the Kalasha-Yatra around Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir.

Swami Vishveshwarananda, Swami Satchidananda, Kumari Somashekhari and the Priests are ready for the Kalasha Yatra.

The holy procession around Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir.

While proceeding around the Temple, Sanjay Panditji stopped the procession after every few meters and performed special types of Karpura Aratis in front of the participants, carrying the Kalashas, in order to remove all obstacles and also the "evil eye".

Afterwards all Kalashas were put into the different Shrines and Abhisheka was performed by the Priests, while all Devotees could watch this grand Ceremony.

As a grand Finale the 1000 small earthen Kalashas, filled with holy water, flower-petals and rice-corns and charged with prayers and divine power, were handed over from Devotee to Devotee in a long line with deep devotion, till they reached, one by one, the Shrine of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi. From there they were taken over by the Priests, who poured the holy waters lovingly on the Divine Mother Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi.

During this ritual constantly Mantras were chanted in a powerful and enthusiastic way.

One by one the thousand small Kalashas are on the way, from hand 
to hand, for the Abhisheka for Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi.

After an elaborate Abhisheka for Divine Mother Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi, the Priests needed some time for dressing and decorating the Devi in a most beautiful way, behind the closed curtain.

At ca. 12.30 PM in the early afternoon, all Devotees waited in the Temple-Hall for the Darshan of the Devi. When the curtains of the Shrine were opened, the Divine Mother Omkarananda-Kamakshi revealed Her amazing divine Beauty to all.

Arati was performed for Her and then Prasadam was distributed to everybody.

Swami Vishveshwarananda, along with Suresh Panditji, offers Dakshina to the assisting Priests, 
while Mukesh Panditji blesses them with a Tilak.

In the night, which was luminous with the Full Moon, shining brightly above the Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir, a special Navavarana Puja was performed by the Chief Priest and his assistants inside the Garbha-Griha of Divine Mother Omkarananda- Kamakshi-Devi.

The atmosphere in the Temple was extremely calm and charged with a Mystical Power.

As conclusion of this wonderful and powerful divine ritual, a Suvasini was worshipped by Kumari Somashekhari and the Priests in front of the Garbha-Griha. The Suvasini was presented with nice gifts, like ornaments, Sari etc.

Kumari Somashekhari offers Arati to a Suvasini.

The three day long Brahmotsava-Celebration was completed in the late Full Moon night of 27th March 2013 with Prasad Distribution.

Divine Mother Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi combines in Herself all the Powers of Parvati-Parameshwari, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Saraswati.

She is the most loving, beautiful and benevolent Form of the Divine Mother, full of Compassion for all the true Seekers of the Divine.