Each of us work with rituals that sustain and nourish us. This month I am suggesting that students work with this simple Devi Puja, as a new ritual for immersing in and supporting your practice.
Rituals do not exist to make us more neurotic and rigid. They exist to help us see and experience beyond our mundane life to our sacred core.
This month work with the Devi Puja exercise and watch your practice evolve.
Love & Blessings,
Preparations for Puja:
- Quietly go to the market and purchase fresh flowers and fruit.
- At home place these items in an area where they will not be disturbed (please do not place these, or any puja items on the floor).
- Set aside an hour where you will not be disturbed as you make the offering (i.e. no phone calls, texts, chatting with people, etc.).
- Focus your attention on the meaning of the Devi. Wash your hands.
Please note: Puja’s are never accompanied by alcohol or the consumption of animal meat of any kind.
It is highly recommended that one refrain from these items as a practicing yogi-in-training. However for the purpose of the puja it is highly recommended specifically to refrain from them for the duration of the festival.
Clean your entire altar area. If you have a statue of the Goddess wash it in buttermilk or simply in cool water. Dry off and place back on your freshly cleaned altar. (If you do not have a Goddess murti do not worry. Just clean the altar or sacred area you have with care and love and that will suffice.)
- Place the fresh flowers you got at the market all around your sacred altar.
- Place fresh fruit on a plate near your sacred area. (After the puja this fruit is to be offered to others).
- Important: Energize your mind and attention on the Goddess and see what you want to request in terms of support. If nothing comes then perhaps you simply want to honor the mother for a blessing, wishing that all be calm in your life at this time. If, however, something or someone comes to mind, silently request healing and protective light from her generous and beautiful source.
- Next, place a fresh candle on your altar. Light it.
- Perform Aarati (wave light in a clockwise direction three x’s over the statue).
- Repeat this mantra 108 x’s (or 9 x’s)
Jayanti Mangala Kali
Durga Shiva Ksama Dhatri
Svaha Svadha Namo’Stu Te
We extend reverence to the nine aspects of the divine mother.
May she ever guide and protect me.
Translation by Manorama
- After performing aarati and chanting sit silently for 20 min* and feel the resonant healing energy you have all around you. (*If you are a beginner please sit for no more than 5 to 8 min.)
- Afterwards touch the altar or offer your head on the floor, as a symbol of your love and reverence.
- Begin your day with reverence in your heart.
- Repeat this simple exercise each day for 30 days.
This is a simple devi puja. The most important thing is to be sincere while offering and to be simple and genuine in your offering.
Enjoy the process and be blessed everyone.
© 2014 Luminous Soul/Sanskrit Studies & Manorama