Omkarananda Kamakshi Devi Mandir

Navaratri Celebrations in Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas
30.09.2008 - 09.10.2008

The Celebrations of Sharadiya Navaratri in Omkarananda Ashram started with the 'Kalasha Sthapana' on the auspicious day of 'Prathama Navaratri'. In the morning Special Pooja and Hawana were performed of Mata Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri according to the sequential order during the nine days.

Every form of Maha-Durga has its own significance, importance and power.

First form of Maha-Durga is 'Shailaputri'. The literal translation of the word 'Shailaputri' is 'Daughter of Mountain' i.e. 'Parvati, the Daughter of Himalaya'. She is also worshipped in the 'Mooladhara Chakra' of the Kundalini and She bestows Beauty and Strength.

Second form is 'Brahmacharini'. She is the goddess of celibacy and purification. She is the store-house of knowledge and wisdom. She also purifies the heart and mind of the worshippers because knowledge and wisdom can only be attained when there is purification and celibacy in life.

'Chandraghanta' is the motherly form of Maha Durga showering peace, serenity, beauty, enchantment and ecstasy. She is the light which shines during the darkness of difficulties of our life.

'Kushmanda' emanates a solar aura and she is the knowledge of cosmic intricacies in the human race.

'Skandamata' is Lord Kartikeya's mother who is also called as Skanda. She is the motherly figure which is the power that changes you, transforms you internally and externally, so that the Sadhaka can continue his spiritual journey without any obstacles.

'Katyayani' is the form which became the daughter of 'Maharshi Katyayana' and henceforth called as 'Katyayani'. She cuts the cycle of life and death.

'Kalaratri' is the personification of the enemy of darkness and ignorance and She is the slayer of the evil spirits. Though She has a fearsome appearance, She is always auspicious in effect and the giver of inexhaustible virtues, so She is also called as 'Shubhankari'.

'Mahagauri' is the eighth form of Maha Durga and She radiates Peace and Compassion from Her being. This day holds a lot of significance among the devotees and is also called as 'Maha-Ashtami'.

'Siddhidatri' is the giver of all forms of achievements (Siddhis), which according to the Markandeya Purana are Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Ishitva and Vashitva.

Beautiful dance was performed in the Divine Presence of Maa Durga by Kumari Somashekhari and her students on the special occasion of Maha-Ashtami. Spectators were truly immersed in the dance and when the dance was finished, it took them few seconds to applause it.

On ninth night Saraswati and Chandi Yagna were performed for the whole night and 'Poornahuti' (conclusion of the ceremony) by H.H. Swami Vishveshwarananda Saraswati was done on 'Vijaya Dashami', along with performance of special poojas.

During the 'Kanya and Suvasini Pooja' nine small girls and a Suvasini were invited as different forms of Devi and they were gifted with all the adornment items.

Apart from these Pujas, 11 Brahmins were also invited for the 'Brahma Bhoj'.

Our Pujya Gurudev Swami Omkarananda said: 'This Consciousness of the Divine Mother, which is everywhere, the infinite Consciousness, is Light, Fire. Fire is always pure. Completely pure. This all-seeing Eye of the omnipresent, omnipotent Divine Mother is Meenakshi, absolute purity, absolute beauty, absolute perfection - and these are all one and the same. Without purity no perfection, no beauty. Meenakshi is everywhere present.' So, Navaratri is the festival of the absolute Divinity, absolute Beauty and absolute Perfection.

During the celebrations, every day in the morning Tripurasundari Nava-Avarana Pooja, Mandap Pooja and Chandi Parayana were performed by the temple priests and in the evening, Hawana was performed accordingly.

The whole environment had become even more divine during those ten days and everyone visiting the temple felt the inner bliss.