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A Story and a Simple Goddess Puja

The Durga Devi Puja was my teacher, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati’s, favorite festival. He often ate very light during the festival and would remain absorbed in deep contemplation. Each morning he, and we, would chant mantras to the cosmic mother in all of her many aspects. Culminating in over 700 verses being chanted by the end of the nine days. The full array of devi chants is very powerful to bring about healing.

In those days, it would not be unusual for me to go upstairs to his private apartment to check in on him. I’d find my guru immersed in deep silence. The room would be completely still, peaceful and magnetically charged.

As I came inside the apartment a little creaking sound would’ve been made as I climbed his staircase. Occasionally, he would rouse as I walked in, half opening his eyes. I’d ask if he needed anything and he would say in an almost whisper, “Nothing, nothing is needed. Only mother’s grace.” Recalling those precious days brings tears to my eyes. The great gift of being able to serve or be in Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati’s glorious presence, as he immersed in the light of Durga Mata.

Since the time that my mother and I met our Guru whom we affectionately call Guru ji back in the 80’s, my mother Marlene, Shri Saraswati Ma, never missed a Durga festival. And though she knew very little of Sanskrit or Indian protocol and it’s traditions, she too felt supremely drawn to the mystery and healing power of the cosmic mother.

In their light, I offer these stories to you and this simple Durga Puja (see below) so that you too may experience the blessed healing power of the great cosmic force known as DEVI.

Love and Light,
Manorama

Luminoua Soul Durga Puja Offering:

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 about 45 min to 1 hour where you will be undisturbed for making the offering. (i.e. no phone calls, texts, chatting with people etc.) Focus your attention on the meaning of Durga and her festival.

Wash your hands.

Please Note: Puja’s are never accompanied by alcohol or animal meat of any kind. It is highly recommended that you refrain from these items in general as a practicing yogi-in-training. However, for the purpose of the puja it is recommended specifically to refrain from them for the duration of the festival.


Dates for Devi Festival in 2018:
Sunday to Tuesday, March 18th – 26th, 2018

Altar, Flowers, Fruit, Candle:

Clean your entire altar area. If you have a murti (statue) of the Goddess wash that murti in buttermilk or simply in fresh cool water. Dry off the murti and place her back on your clean altar.
(If you do not have a Durga or Goddess murti ndon’t worry. Just clean the altar or sacred area which you have with care and love and that will suffice.)

Place fresh flowers all around your sacred altar or space.

Place fresh fruit on a plate near your sacred area.
(after the puja this fruit is to be offered to others or to be eaten by yourself).

Important:
Energize your mind and attention on the great Goddess Durga and see what comes to you to request in terms of support. If nothing comes then perhaps you simply want to honor her for the blessing that all is calm in your life at this time. If, however, something or someone comes to mind silently request that the person or the situation receive healing and protective light from her generous and beautiful source.

Next place a fresh tea light on your altar. Light it.
Perform Aarati (waving of light in a clockwise direction three x’s either over the murti or over a picture of a luminary)

Chants:

OM Dum Durgayai Svaha
Repeat this mantra 108 x’s (or 9 x’s)

Reverence to Durga Ma, the great supreme force of light and protection.

~ Translation by Manorama

Chant:

OM
Jayanti Mangala Kali Bhadra-Kali Kapalini
Durga Shiva Ksama Dhatri Svaha Svadha Namo’Stu Te
Repeat this mantra 108 x’s (or 9 x’s)

Reverence to the nine aspects of the divine mother.
May she always guide and protect us.

~ Translation by Manorama

Meditation:
After performing aarati and chanting:
Sit silently and feel the resonant healing energy you have all cultivated around you.
Sit silently for 20 to 30 min
(if you are a beginner sit for 8 min)

Afterwards touch the altar or offer your head on the floor (if this feels comfortable), as a symbol of your love and respect.

Begin your day.

_____________________

You can repeat this each day for the nine days of the festival or you can do this 3 x’s over the course of the festival.

This is a light and simple puja. Most puja’s are taught directly so please know that this is not written in stone. I just felt to offer you something in the way of guidelines for you to engage for practice and offering.

The most important thing is to be sincere while offering and to be simple.

Be blessed everyone.

Pranamah,
Reverence
Manorama

©2018 Luminous Shabda, Sanskrit Studies & Manorama