Sri Devi Navaratri 2017

Am 21. September beginnt das diesjährige Sri Devi Navaratri Festival im Mysore Ashram. Das Programm kann hier heruntergeladen werden.   

Es ist eventuell das letzte Jahr, in dem die Rituale von Sri Swamiji in diesem großen Umfang durchgeführt werden und lohnt sich daher besonders, diese noch einmal direkt oder per Live-Übertragung zu erleben.

Die Festlichkeiten werden über Livestream übertragen, hier ist der Link:

Es gibt auf der Datta Peetham Webseite die Möglichkeit, Pujas und Homas online zu buchen sowie zu spenden. Bei Buchungen aus Europa bitte immer US Dollar als Währung angeben:

Navaratri Day 1 message:
Śri Ganeśāya namah
Śri Saraswatye Namah
Śripāda vallabha nŗsimha Saraswati
Śri Guru Dattatreyāya namah

Worshipping the Supreme Almighty as a Mother has its own specialities! This is because mother is an embodiment of love. Her heart overflows with love and warmth towards her children.

 It is possible perhaps for a father to be annoyed seeing his childs mischief, but it can never be the case with a mother, who, at all times, showers unending love upon her children even if they are mischievous by nature. When the frightened child approaches her, she lovingly cajoles the child, dispels all fears, reassures him/her and ensures that a smile is restored in that face.

The Divine Mother too showers unending maternal love upon her children. Freeing them from the shackles known as birth, death, grief and attachments, She permanently elevates them. In those who worship Her with unflinching devotion, She destroys the illusion created by Her and shows to them Her true form as knowledge.

If a person seeks to obtain permanent happiness coupled with prosperity showered by Goddess Lakshmi and knowledge blessed by Goddess Saraswati, he needs extra-ordinary luck. He also needs to undertake intense penance. However, through worship of the Divine Mother, a person is easily blessed not only with prosperity and knowledge, but in addition, is also blessed with every auspicious result that can be obtained. He is freed from every form of bondage.

The fruit that blossoms from the creeper called Vedas is Mother Goddess! If a person is blessed, even once, with an opportunity to relish this tasty fruit, the desire to taste any other fruit gets completely eliminated from him.

Amŗtasya vai putrāḥ- say our scriptures. The truth is that all of us are deathless or immortal (amrita). Enveloped by spiritual ignorance (ajnana) we mistakenly consider ourselves to be subject to death (mrta). Mother Goddess destroys this spiritual ignorance and makes us realize that we are truly immortal. To achieve this, it is imperative to hold on to Her lotus feet.

 A worldly mother can cure physical diseases (vyādhi), but in no way can she cure mental diseases (ādi) that afflict her child. The Divine Mother however cures both physical as well as mental sufferings of her children. Discarding the feelings of "I and mine", the person should accept that everything belongs to Her alone! He should thus whole-heartedly surrender to Her and destroy the feelings of "I-ness" (egoism) that exists in him. Only then Her grace will fall upon him. 

A person was travelling from one town to another when night fell. As he was stumbling in the darkness, accidently he slipped and fell into a deep well. Much to his relief, he fell on a tree growing in that well. Instantly he caught a branch of that and was hanging from it. He thanked Mother Goddess for having saved him from the jaws of death.

The next morning when it dawned, he noticed that the branch he was holding on to was filled with many edible fruits. He alleviated his hunger by eating those fruits. He now noticed the huge rocks that were situated at the bottom of that deep dry well. Death was certain if he accidently slipped down. He trembled. He now called out for help. Sadly, there was none to rescue him. Believing that Mother Goddess alone could save him from this predicament, he now called out to her, "O mother."

Divine Mother immediately arrived near the well. Addressing him, She said, "My dear son, do you need my help?" The man replied, "O mother, why are still questioning me? Please quickly pull me out from here".

Mother Goddess replied, "Surely my son, I am here to help you. Nonetheless, at first you need to answer these questions of mine". The man agreed.

Mother Goddess asked, "Do you truly have faith in me?" He replied, "Is there any doubt in it, O mother?"

"If so, will you do exactly as I say?" -asked Mother Goddess. "Yes, of course"- he said.

"Ok, then let go off that branch you are holding. I will immediately hold your hand"- said Mother Goddess.

The man was thrown into a dilemma. He thought, "If I continue to hold on to this branch while sustaining on its fruits, there is a chance that some passer-by will rescue me. If I let go off this branch I am bound to fall on those rocks and break my head. If a person truly decides to help me, he/she should use a rope or any other instrument to rescue me unlike this lady who is asking me to let go of this tree on which I am hanging precariously. Could she really be Mother Goddess?"

The man could not get himself to listen to her commands. He continued to hang on to that tree waiting for some help. He did not call her again. Mother Goddess, on the other hand, sat beside the well hoping he would call her and that She could immediately help him. This person however lacked faith in her. Why then would he call her? He kept waiting for some other help.

 Let us understand the symbolism in the story. The well represents worldly bondages (samsāra). The tree is the persons egoism. Holding on to the tree called egoism (I-ness) the individual hangs on to this samsāra. Only when the person places full faith in Mother Goddess and releases his grip over the feelings of I-ness (ahamkara), She will hold his hand and elevate him. 

Hence in Lalita Sahasranama the Divine Mother is extolled as:
Oṃ rāgasvarūpa-pāśāḍhyāyai namaḥ
Oṃ krodhākārāṅ-kuśojjvalāyai namaḥ |

  These names state that Mother Goddess uses the noose called "love" and the goad called "anger" to uplift people in this creation. 

Just as we experience dualities such as joys-sorrows or birth-death, likes and dislikes (love and hate) are another pair of dualities. Feelings of love and hate cause the individual to remember his worldly duties and keep him away from leading a righteous life. Bartŗhari, one of the greatest philosophers of ancient India, has declared that in the presence of anger, fire has no role to play. It implies that anger can burn like fire.

We often hear of persons, who, overcome by mad frenzy, commit heinous violent demonic deeds and fall to unimaginable levels. From this it is evident that harbouring feelings of love (raga) and anger (krodha) leads to sorrows. These dualities when offered to Her, obediently follow Her dictates.

On this first day of Śaran Navaratri, those who place implicit faith in Mother Goddess Gowri and who reverentially worship Her, will no longer be bound by dualities known as likes-dislikes. They will overcome anger. May the grace of Mother Gowri, cause the ahamkara-granthi (knot of I-ness) to be shred in all!

Jaya Guru Datta.

Navaratri Day 2:
Śri Ganeśāya namah
Śri Saraswatye Namah
Śripāda vallabha nŗsimha Saraswati
Śri Guru Dattatreyāya namah

Namo devi mahāvidye namāṃi caraṇou tavā
Sadā jnana prakāṣaṃ me devi sarvārta de Śive

On this second day of Śaran Navaratri, in accordance with their respective customs, different people worship different incarnations of Mother Goddess. In Dattapeetham on this 2nd day, She is worshipped as Rāja-rajeśwari.

Lalita Sahasranama extols Mother Goddess as - Oṃ Rāja-rajeśwaryai namah.
When this name falls into our ears, we get goose bumps. We are reassured that we are in the custody of Mother Goddess, who is an embodiment of infinite energy, when we listen to this name. Mother Rāja-rajeśwari is the supreme ruler who rules even greatest Gods such as Trinity, Kubera and others. She is the commander for even the greatest emperors who rule all other kings.

 "īśwari" means She who possesses not just prosperity but also authority. She rules and protects every living entity while also fulfilling his/her desires. It is She who bestows upon the Guardian-deities and Demi-gods the capacity to diligently complete their assigned duties. She provides them with the equipments, assistants and wealth needed for its completion. With the help of the energy and equipment bestowed by the Supreme Mother, the Demi-gods splendidly complete their duties and rule over the universe perfectly. 

"Will such a Supreme Empress hear our prayers and come to our rescue when called?" To this, it can be emphatically declared, "Yes, She will."

Two ardent devotees of Mother Goddess resided in a town. As a result of his intense austerities one among them could become the ruler of that land. The other became an ascetic who had absolved himself from all worldly desires (vairagi).
Hundreds of attendants would be ever-ready to serve the king the moment he signalled. However, when the ascetic called, the Divine Mother alone would respond. While the king enjoyed luxurious lavish meals in the palace, the Mother Goddess would daily arrive in some form or the other, and feed the ascetic with some fruit or some meagre food. All the citizens of that land were aware that this mendicant, who resided beneath a tree near the village, was a great accomplished ascetic.
One day, the news of the accomplished ascetic reached the king. Hearing this, he thought, "Both he and me were classmates and friends. Both of us worshipped Mother Goddess with equal dedication. As a result of my worship, She rewarded me with kingship while blessing him with sainthood. When I call, She never responds. However, when he calls, She responds. She supplies him with a fruit and then disappears. What could be the secret behind this? I need to delve deep into this matter. I too seek to be bestowed with Her grace".
With this intention, the king called the ascetic to the palace and said, "Both of us are childhood friends who studied and grew up together. Both of us put in equal efforts to worship the Divine Mother. Why then does She respond to your calls while ignoring mine? Could you please enlighten me in this aspect?"

The ascetic replied, "O King, please pray to Her with a completely focused mind. She will also talk to you."

The king replied, "Sir, I pray to her with complete concentration. I am asking her to extend the kingdom under my territory and to bless me with good health plus longevity".

The ascetic replied, "O king, Mother will not respond when you pray seeking fulfilment of selfish desires. Pray selflessly seeking the well-being of every living entity in the creation. Pray that all your neighbours, friends and acquaintances are freed from all troubles. Pray for the welfare of the creation. Since I pray in this manner, Divine Mother responds to my prayers. She takes care of my well-being. You too adopt this approach. She will talk to you"- saying this, the ascetic went away.

Having grasped this important secret, the king immediately stopped entertaining selfish desires. He instead began to pray for the well-being of the creation. As days went by, one morning the Divine Mother spoke to the king.

All of us are children of Mother Rāja-rajeśwari. It is Her grace that sustains us. We should all strive for the well-being of others in this creation. We should share our love with others. Only then we will become eligible to be rewarded with Her loving gaze.

If we abandon seeking fulfilment of our selfish needs, and instead pray for the well-being and happiness of all other entities in the creation, we will be blessed with mental peace. Her loving, tender gaze will fall upon us. May the grace of Mother Rāja-rajeśwari transform every person and fill him/her with selflessness! May everyone be showered with Her blessings!

Jaya Guru Datta.

Navaratri day 3
Śri Ganeśāya namah
Śri Saraswatye Namah
Śripāda vallabha nŗsimha Saraswati
Śri Guru Dattatreyāya namah

Lalita Sahasranama extols Mother Goddess as:
oṃ tuṣṭyai namaḥ |
oṃ puṣṭyai namaḥ |
oṃ matyai namaḥ |
oṃ dhṛtyai namaḥ |

Tuṣṭi means deep contentment. It pertains to the mind. Only with the worship of Divine Mother the person can enjoy such deep contentment.

The Demi-gods reside in the minds of those who are eternally contented. As such, these persons enjoy strength i.e. Puṣṭi. They are blessed with wisdom and discriminatory intelligence i.e. Matih. Courage and determination i.e. Dhŗti, strengthens in them. A person who has achieved these states is no longer tormented by external situations! The person who enjoys absolute contentment is worshipped in all the three planes of existence.

The Divine Mother blesses this creation in Her forms of contentment (tuṣṭi), strength (puṣṭi), wisdom (mati) and courage (dhŗti). She blesses the person with the ability to convert both the inner as well as outer world (situations), to suit his convenience. For this reason, it is imperative for every individual to strive and increase the divine qualities within him/her. In case we fail to develop these qualities, we will be the losers.

In a kingdom, the king as well as his minister were ardent devotees of Mother Goddess. However, the faith that the minister had in the compassion showered by Mother Goddess, far exceeded that shared by the king. Due to the grace of Mother Goddess, the kingdom flourished. The citizens were righteous in nature. As they were not deprived of any necessity, they led happy, peaceful lives.

One day, the king and his minister were walking leisurely in the garden, when the king spotted a caterpillar. Wanting to see the caterpillar metamorphize into a butterfly, the king began to observe it keenly. The minister, who read the king’s thoughts, said, “My dear king! Why should we bother about that insect? Let it travel per its destiny”. The king however was insistent.

After sometime he noticed a butterfly struggling to emerge from its pupa (chrysalis). Pitying the butterfly that was struggling to emerge, the king took a knife and made a small opening in the pupa. The butterfly slid out easily, nevertheless, as its wings were underdeveloped, it crashed to the ground and died. The king was upset seeing this.

Addressing the dejected king, the minister said, “My dear king! Mother Goddess had already bestowed the butterfly with the energy required to struggle and emerge successfully from the pupa. You thwarted divine plan. Unable to complete its efforts, the butterfly died.

Using the energy bestowed by Mother Goddess, every living entity should strive to elevate itself. Only then it will understand its true capabilities.

When a Guru is angered with his disciple, it should be understood that He is striving for the disciple’s reformation. From the Guru called Nature (prakŗti) living entities should learn to survive, isn’t it?

Through its own efforts a butterfly cuts through the pupa and emerges. Using the energy bestowed by Mother Goddess it works hard and ensures that its limbs are strengthened. Using the energy bestowed by Mother Goddess, it gets its wings strong and flapping. It then flies happily in space.

Had you not helped the butterfly, it would have, with its own efforts torn the pupa, strengthened its wings and would have flown away happily”- through this advise, the minister explained the gradual evolution that should take place in the journey of life of every being. Realization dawned on the king with this advice.

The Divine Mother exists as contentment (tuṣṭi) and strength (puṣṭi). Through stringent efforts, the spiritual aspirant should acquire these qualities of contentment and strength. This Mother exists as wisdom (mati) and courage (dhŗti). Every human being should overcome life’s difficulties through wisdom and courage.

Tensed that their children will struggle in life, in this present era parents are showering excessive love upon their children. They are needlessly pampering them. As a result of such indulgence, the children will grow up into inefficient and dependent adults who fail miserably in tackling difficulties with maturity, wisdom and determination.

Remember that the Divine Mother exists as contentment, strength, wisdom and courage in the body. Please introduce your children to these divine qualities even when they are very young. Please ensure that your excessive pampering does not become an obstacle for their complete all-round development.

Since every individual is a child of Mother Goddess, She causes these qualities to grow in one and all. It is up to us to recollect these divine qualities and to strengthen them within us.
May with the grace of Mother Goddess Durgi-lakshmi, who is an incarnation of the Divine Mother, inclination towards righteousness increase in everyone! May you be blessed with prosperity and dedication in this aspect!
Jaya Guru Datta.

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