Let’s Celebrate NAVARATRI at Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple Houston Aadheenam!
Navaratri, one of the most intensely celebrated festivals of Hinduism & the Vedic tradition, is an occasion to connect with the feminine form of the divine. ‘Nava’ means nine and ‘ratri’ means night and also intensity.
Navaratri is a festival which celebrates nine different expressions of Devi (Cosmic feminine energy) spanning over a period of nine nights and ten days. It is a time when people can become more intense in their desired field & it is an auspicious time for one’s own spiritual evolution
Intensity means radiating the energy that does not create any conflict inside and outside. In these nine days whatever may be the nature of a person, it becomes intense. Celebration & dance become a complementary support for devotees to express their intensity.
At Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple Houston Aadheenam, we will be celebrating Navarathri with great pomp and grandeur!
Devi Nithyanandeshwari Abhishekam
The auspicious festivities of Navaratri begin & end with Devi Nithyanandeshwari Adi Shakti’s Abhishekam (Sacred Bath). Abhishekam will be performed on Thursday, September 21st, and Saturday, September 30th, 2017.
Devi Abhishekam Sponsership ($108)
Sponsors will be receiving the benefit of the Abhishekam, with a blessed Sandalwood paste and Kumkum worn by Devi Herself.
Lalitha Sahasranamam & Kumkum Archana
Lalitha Sahasranamam is a powerful set of verses which expounds on Devi’s 1000 unique names, the various attributes of Devi, the Goddess of Bliss. Each name in the Sahasranama refers to different quality or attribute of the Divine. When we chant each name, it enlivens those qualities in our consciousness and they manifest in us. We will be chanting the Lalita Sahasranama daily at 6pm during the nine nights of Navaratri. Lalitha Devi who is Parashakti is the embodiment of Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswati will bless all the devotees who participate in this auspicious Sahasranama.
Kumkum Archana Sponsership ($51)
Sponsors will be receiving the benefit of the day’s rituals, with a blessed Kumkum offered to Devi.
Daily at 7pm, the celebrations begin with the Grand Rathotsavam, the chariot procession of each form of Devi around the Temple.
Day 1 – Devi Raja Rajesjwari
Devi Raja Rajeshwari – the Royal Divine Queen of all Kings – is the most splendid form of the Cosmic Mother – the merciful protecting energy of the Cosmos.
Rajarajeshwari is the focussed form of all Gods and Goddess; the sum total of all energies of the Cosmos. She is care, love, mercy, and grace intensified. Rajarajeshwari is known as Avyajakaruna murthy – Merciful without any reason.
The scriptures describe Her to be seated on a Simhasana, upon Lord Sadashiva – the Cosmic Consciousness whose legs are Lord Brahma, Rudra, Indra and Vishnu. Also, she is fanned by Goddess of wealth – Lakshmi and Goddess of Learning – Saraswati. She is depicted to be worshipped by all the 330,000,000 Devas and Lord Ganesha and Subramanya.
The Sri Chakra and the Maha Meru are the mystical figures and forms of the Devi Rajarajeshwari.
Day 2 – Devi Meenakshi
The Mother of the Cosmos, “Adi Shakti” (the original source of energy), the divine consort of Lord Shiva, “Lord Sundareshwara.” She is a mighty queen, & she rules the kingdom exuding exemplary administrative powers, cosmic justice, & causeless compassion as Universal Mother to all.
We know, Swamiji is Incarnation of Devi Meenakshi Herself. “Meenakshi’ means “the one who has eyes like that of a fish”. Just as fishes protect their young as their own eyes, Devi Meenakshi looks after her devotees. With her one look, one glance our miseries disappear.
Day 3 – Devi Kamakshi
One day Lord Shiva entered unexpectedly into Maa Parvati’s place. At that time some yoginis were present without dress. Maa Parvathi close the three eyes of Lord Shiva immediately without any thought. But as Lord Shiva’s eyes resemble Sun, Moon, and fire, the world became dark completely because of Maa Parvathis action. Goddess Parvathi also became dark. She surprised and asked Lord Shiva how this happened? and how to remove her dark color complexion? Lord Shiva explained the reason and advised her to do penance to get rid off the sin that was generated by her action.
Maa Parvati accepted and came to earth as Katyayini (Daughter of Katyayana Maharshi) and went to Varanasi and became as Annapurna and did anna dana and changed her dark complexion into golden complexion. After that, she came to Kanchi and did penance for Lord Shiva. She did penance with Pancha Bana mantra beneath a mango tree. Lord Shiva suffered with this penance and send Ganga Mata to test her devotion. Ganga mata came aggressively to destroy Maa Parvathi puja. But Maa Parvathi stopped and caught Ganga in a holy Kapala, along with Ganga Lord Shiva also caught in that holy Kapala. Lord Shiva became angry and increased water flow tremendously, Maa Parvathi afraid and praised Maha Vishnu for advice. He advised to completely surrender to Lord Shiva and this is the only solution in this critical situation. Maa Parvathi praised Lord Shiva and hugged Shiva linga and completely surrendered to Lord Shiva. Today also we can see some marks of Parvathi Mata jewels on Ekamreshwara Shiva linga. A mango tree also present in Ekamreshwar temple.
Lord Shiva accepted her devotion and married her again on request of Pramatha ganas. Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Katyayana maharshi conducted the Shiva paravtahi kalyanam. At that time Maa Parvathi fulfilled all her devotees desires with her looks. hence the name Kamakshi mata.
Day 4 – Devi Visalakshi
Devi Visalakshi means wide eyed Devi. The earrings and the three eyes of Goddess Sati are said to have fallen on this holy spot of Varanasi. Visalakshi is the deity of the Visalakshi Temple & Kalabhairava, who is believed to be the protector of Kashi is her Bhairava. The temple is situated by the famous cremation grounds of Manikarnika.
Day 5 – Devi Annapoorneshwari
Goddess Devi is worshipped as Annapurna, the Goddess of Nourishment.
Parvati was told by her consort Shiva that the world is an illusion and that food is a part of this illusion called māyā. The Divine Mother who is worshiped as the manifestation of all material things, including food, became angry. To demonstrate the importance of her manifestation of all that is material, she disappeared from the world. Her disappearance brought time to a standstill and the earth became barren. There was no food to be found anywhere, and all the beings suffered from the pangs of hunger. Seeing all the suffering, Mother Parvati was filled with compassion and reappeared in Kashi and set up a kitchen. Hearing about her return, Shiva ran to her and presented his bowl in alms, saying, “Now I realize that the material world, like the spirit, cannot be dismissed as an illusion.” Parvati smiled and fed Shiva with her own hands. Since then Parvati is worshiped as Annapurna, the goddess of Nourishment.
The alankar done to Devi will be of Mother Shakambari where Devi is transformed into a Goddess Annapurna with vegetables, fruits & flowers. The name Shakambhari comes from “shakam” joined with the root “bhri”(“shaka” = vegetables or food and root “bhri” = to nourish).
Day 6 – Mahalakshmi Devi
Puranas refer to the story of the churning of the milky ocean and this narrative explains the birth of Lakshmi the Goddess of fortune.
She not only controls the physical wealth in the form of money but she controls all other forms of wealth also.Ashtalakshmi is the unified form referring to eight aspects of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual.
All forms of wealth are interlinked with each other. Man needs to have all of them so that he can become the master of wealth. The word Lakshmi is derived from the Sanskrit word Laksh, meaning goal. Lakshmi, therefore, represents the goal of life, which includes worldly as well as spiritual prosperity.
Day 7 – Mahishasura Mardhini
Durga is a fierce form of Devi, the Mother Goddess, the all-powerful almighty goddess. According to a legend, the gods could not defeat the buffalo demon Mahishasura, who was threatening the existence of the universe. They begged Shiva for his assistance, and Shiva advised all the gods to release their shaktis.
The shaktis of the gods emerged in female form. These goddesses fused together in blinding light from which arose a magnificent goddess with many arms. She was as beautiful as she was deadly. Durga was born fully-grown and is depicted as extremely beautiful and full of rage.
The gods called this goddess Durga, the invincible one, and they armed her with all their weapons. Thus armed, Durga rode to the top of a mountain on a lion. In a bloody battle, she defeated Mahishasura and his army of demons and thus saved the Universe from this demon’s menace.
Day 8 – Saraswati Devi
The story of Saraswati is an extremely important one in Indian mythology, because without her it’s said that life wouldn’t exist in the organized way it’s present today.
After creating the universe, Brahma was looking over what was made and realized it was unformed and utterly lacking in concept.
To help him with this monumental task of creating form, Brahma decided to create the embodiment of knowledge. So from his mouth emerged the Saraswati- the goddess of knowledge and wisdom.
Saraswati emerged from Brahma and began to give him direction on how to create order in the cosmos; the sun, moon, and stars all came into being.
She later became the bride of Brahma, as their matching created the order we see today.
Dressed in white, she rode on a swan, with books in one hand and the veena, a musical instrument, in the other. By way of sense, thought, understanding, and communication she helped Brahma see how to change chaos into creation. When she played the veena, he heard the soothing music amidst the roar of commotion. Chaos started taking shape; the sun, the moon, and the stars were born. The oceans filled and seasons changed. The joyous Brahma then named Saraswati, Vagdevi, the goddess of speech and sound. Thus Brahma became the creator of the world with Saraswati as his source of wisdom.
Day 9 – Devi Bhuvaneshwari
Bhuvaneshwari is the Queen (Ishvari) of the phenomenal world (bhuvan). It is the prime force Parashakti, which manifests herself as the phenomenal world.
Once Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, quarreled over who was supreme. When the quarrel became too serious, the Divine Mother took them to her abode, where they saw themselves as three women attendants, taking care of creation, preservation, and destruction.
Bhuvaneshwari is one of the ten Mahavidyas, the others are Kali, Tara, Shodasi, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Matangi, Kamala, Bagla Mukhi. The Mahavidyas represent some or other incarnation or manifestation of the Divine Mother.
Her bija sound is the same as that of maya. Through the worship of Bhuvaneshwari the divine plan is realized and the illusionary nature of maya becomes the play of the divine Leela. This brings a deep change in the emotions and in body chemistry.
Devi Alankaram Sponsership ($250)
Sponsors will be receiving the benefit of each day’s rituals, with a blessed Sari worn by Devi Herself.
Kirtans & Garba
Navaratri is celebrated in different ways throughout India. Garba is a local dance form, performed during Navaratri. The significance of performing Garba is that it awakens Devi from her meditation. It is a prayer to Devi, entreating her to assume her destroyer form to save the Universe. While playing the Garba, a rhythm of three claps is used to invoke the energies of Lord Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva.
On the first Saturday of Navaratri (September 23th) at 4.30pm, we will be performing Thiru Vilakku (Lamp) Puja. We will be invoking the great mother Devi Mahalakshmi in all her eight auspicious forms during the Thiruvilakku puja to bless us all.
The worshipping of the Great Lakshmi & the Pancha Bhootas, during Thiruvilakku puja by women brings auspiciousness in all walks of life for herself, her extended family & in turn the whole world.
Adi Lakshmi or Maha Lakshmi :The great first incarnation of Lakshmi
Dhana Lakshmi : Blesses us with money & gold
Dhanya Lakshmi: To bless us with food grains or agricultural wealth
Gaja Lakshmi: Giver of animal wealth, like cows, goat, horses, elephants etc
Santana Lakshmi: Blesses us with offspring and well being of children
Dhairya Lakshmi : Blesses us with Valor
Vijaya Lakshmi : Giver of victory, not only in battles but also in conquering day to day hurdles & to beget success.
Vidya Lakshmi : One who bestows us with all the knowledge of arts and sciences