2018 NAVRATHRI ALANKARAMS
DAY1 - SRI DEVI SHAKAMBARI
Shakambari Devi is another incarnation of Devi Parashakthi who appeared on earth as the rejuvenator of Earth after it became arid due to the bad deeds of an asura. She is said to have killed the asura and assured the greening of earth through Agricultural wealth. She is seen as the "one wearing vegetables (Shaka=Vegetable, ambari= wearing/adorning). We worship and pay homage to Her as Shakambari during Navarathri to ensure timely rains and good forest and agricultural prosperity. She is also known as Vanashankari, Banashankari, Banadevi, Shankari and Satakshi. There are major Temples in Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bengal, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. In Vijayawada, Andhra, Shakambari Devi Alankaram during Navarathri is very popular.
DAY2 - SRI DEVI KAMAKSHI
The goddess Kamakshee is a form of Sri Tripura Sundari The main abode of Kamakshi is the Kamakshi Amman temple at Kanchipuram. Goddess Kamakshi is considered to be the representation of Shri Vidya - Shri Lalita Maha Tripurasundari - she reigns supreme in Kanchi. The image of the goddess has been carved out of a Salagrama shila and the Meru in the temple is also made of Salagrama, believed to be consecrated by sage Durvasa, one of the renowned Shrividya upasakas. Kanchi is one of the most powerful pithas of the Devi.
Devi Kamakshi is the 62nd name of the Divine Mother in the Lalitha Sahasranamam. Kame eva akshini yasya sa. She who is the lovely one; Kama (Kamaniye) akshini yasys sa. She whose eyes are Kameswara. She is seated in Padmasana, holding a sugarcane bow and bunch of flowers in the lower two of her arms and has a pasha (lasso), an ankusha (goad) in her upper two arms. There is also a parrot perched near the flower bunch.She has lovely eyes. Her eyes are full of grace, compassion and mercy for the universe. That is why her eyes are so beautiful. She fulfills all the desires of her devotees by her looks alone. Normally, our thoughts are reflected through our eyes. Kama is the combination of two bijas ka+ma. Ka means Saraswathi and ma means Lakshmi. These two goddesses are said to be the eyes of Lalitha. Kama also means Shiva. This can mean that she is the eyes of Shiva.
DAY3 - SRI DEVI MEENAKSHI
Devi Meenakshi is considered as a form of Lalitha Tripura Sundari. Goddess Meenakshi appeared from the sacrificial fire as the daughter of the hitherto childless Pandya King Malayadwaja an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. She grew up as a personification of Shiva Shakthi. She prayed to Lord Shiva and Siva appeared as Sundareswara and married Meenakshi. In her Temple in Madurai, she appears in the standing posture, Her color is Green and She has a Green parrot sitting on her right shoulder. Adi Shankara Bhagawathpada has composed a very descriptive slokam known as Meenakshi Panchrathnam in Sanskrit which glorifies and describes the various aspects of Meenakshi Devi.
DAY4 – SRI DEVI NAARAYANI (VAISHNO DEVI)
Narayani is one of the names of Goddess Parvati/Durga Devi. Durga is called Naryani because she had appeared from the body of Vishnu(Narayana). Lord Vishnu first had allowed and offered his divine powers to Devi Durga to kill Mahishasura as there was blessing to him that he would be killed by any female only. Narayani is Adi Parashakti. Adi Parashakti in turn incarnated from the mystic sleep of Narayana as Mahakali or Narayani. Mahakali later becomes Parvati and marries Shiva together to form Arthanareeshwara. She is also thus known as a sister of Narayana. This is a similar relationship between Krishna and Draupadi in Mahabharata. Krishna is the incarnation of Vishnu and Draupadi that of Kali. Narayani is Maa Kali, Maa Durga, Maa Sati, Maa Parvati.
Sri Vaishno Devi is the incarnation of Devi Druga. Mata Vaishno Devi was born in the Southern part of India, and was named Trikuta. She was later called Vaishnavi because she had taken birth from the lineage of Lord Vishnu. When she was 9 years old, Trikuta sought her father's permission for performing penance on the seashore. Trikuta sat there, praying to Lord Rama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. At that very time, Lord Rama passed along the seashore, in search of Goddess Sita, who had been abducted by the Demon King, Ravana. Rama approached her and blessed her. Trikuta told Rama that she had already accepted him as her husband. Rama, being Eka Patni Vrata and moved by the girl's devotion towards him, gave her the name Vaishnavi and promised her that during Kaliyuga, he would take an avatar of Kalki and would then marry her.
Rama instructed Trikuta to meditate in a particular cave found in the Trikuta Range of Manik Mountains, situated in Northern India. Rama also promised her that the entire world would sing her praises and revere her as Mata Vaishno Devi. It is due to Rama's blessings that Mata Vaishno Devi attained immortality and now attracts several hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to the shrine each year. Maa Vaishnavi is presently penancing at Trikuta Parvat and waiting for Lord Sri Ram to come there as he had promised at the end of Kalyug.
DAY5 - DEVI ANNAPOORNESHWARI
Devi Annapoorneshwari is another avatar of Devi Parashakthi (Parvathi) who appeared on earth to give food to people. She is the giver of Food and nourishment. According to legend, Lord Shiva told Parvathi that the world including food is only an illusion (Maya). The divine Mother wanted to demonstrate to her consort that Food is indeed very real and is important and so she disappeared from the world which brought on misery and death of people due to Hunger. Having demonstrated this, She reappeared in the City of Kasi (Varanasi) and set up a kitchen to feed the hungry. Lord Shiva realized what His consort wanted to emphasize, came to Her with a begging bowl and hence Shiva is also called Bhikshandavar (One with begging Bowl).
DAY6 - SRI BALA TRIPURA SUNDARI
Sri Bala Tripurasundari is a playful, young girl aspect of Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari. Sri Tripurasundari is also the primary goddess associated with the Shakta Tantric tradition known as Sri Vidya. Goddess Lalita Tripura Sundari has three forms:
a) Bala(Bala Tripura Sundari), the young girl
b) Tripurasundari ( Sundari), the Mother
c) Tripura Bhairavi, the more matured but not aged form.
Bala holds in one left hand a book — the symbol of knowledge, other left hand shows the abhaya-mudra — the symbol of fearlessness, one right hand holds a rosary and the other shows the varada-mudra — the symbol of compassion bestowing the good. She wears red clothes which symbolizes Shakti, therefore the red colour is very significant for the shaktas. Her three eyes are the symbols of the Fire, the Sun and the Moon. She is adorned with the crescent on her hair (ardha-chandra) — the symbol of the Divine Light and of the Divine vision (clairvoyance) the power of vision through any distance (space) . The adornment on the head means the Divine knowledge. Her earrings stand for Divine Hearing and the ornaments on her hands symbolize the power of catching anything even objects at a great distance Ornaments on her feet are the symbols of the Divine Migration (motion, displacement). The adornment of the neck means the Divine voice . The fingers of her hands symbolize the Divine touch and four arms — the four aims of life .
DAY7 – SRI DEVI MAHALAKSHMI
Sri Mahalakshmi is the Goddess of Wealth, auspiciousness, purity, prosperity and generosity. Lakshmi, the Consort of Sri Maha Vishnu, also incarnates as Sita (during Vishnu's avatar as Rama) and Rukmini and Radha (during Vishnu's manifestation as Krishna).She is often depicted as an indescribably beautiful woman, seated on a full-bloomed lotus, holding lotus buds in two of her hands, a pot of gold in the third and benignly blessing all those who come to her for succour. She is flanked by elephants, which symbolizes her royal status. Sri Maha Lakshmi, being the Goddess of Wealth, is also depicted as dressed in rich red silk, fully ornamented from head to toe in gold and precious stones. Sri Maha Lakshmi's four hands represent four Spiritual virtues. The fully bloomed lotus she is seated on, represents the seat of Divine Truth. The aura of joy surrounding her depicts mental and spiritual balance. Peace and prosperity always exist around her.
DAY8 - DEVI KANAKA DURGA
Devi Kanaka Durga appears as Durga in a sitting position in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh where her eight hands are decorated with eight strong weapons that are Sankha, Ari, Sula, Keta, Ankusa, Pasa, Sanaka and Mourvi. The goddess is also seen in the standing position where she is on the Mahishasura devil killing him with her powerful trident Sitting on top of the hill she spreads she blessings on her devotees who worship her to bless them with wealth, health and prosperity. It is said that once upon a time, the growing menace of demons became unendurable for the natives living in this region. The sage 'Indrakila' did severe penance to appease Goddess Kanaka Durga. Pleased, She asked him to spell out his desire. The sage begged Her to reside on his head (INDRAKILA HILL) and keep a vigil on the wicked demons and punish them for robbing the peace of the innocent people. His wish was granted and after killing the demons, Goddess Durga made Indrakila her permanent abode. Later she also slayed the demon king Mahishasura freeing the people from the clutches of evil.
DAY9 - DEVI SARASWATHI
Devi Saraswathi is the Goddess of Learning and wisdom. She is one of the main trinity of Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswathi. She is also called Vak devi , Chaduvula Thalli, Sharada, Sharade, Sharadamba ,Pustaka dharini, Vidyadayini, Vani, Veenapani, Vaani , Bharathi, Varadhanayagi , Thurathadi/ Tipitaka Medaw ( Burmese), Biàncáitiān ( Chinese), Benzaiten ( Japanese), Surasawadee ( Thailand). Thus, Her name is spread all over and is worshipped everywhere. Saraswati represents intelligence, consciousness, cosmic knowledge, creativity, education, enlightenment, music, the arts, eloquence and power. We Hindus worship her not for "academic knowledge", but for "divine knowledge" essential to achieve moksha. She appears in White representing purity with four arms holding a Veena in both hands and the other hands holding a maala and Vedic knowledge.
DAY10 - VIJAYA DASAMI
In this Avatara she manifested as Durga to kill the Asura Mahishasura who took many forms including that of a Buffalo. The day of this victory over evil is known as Vijayadasami. In North India this day is also celebrated as the day Rama defeated Ravana. This manifestation and that of others of the Eternal mother is vividly described in the Devi Mahatmyam also known as Durga Sapthasathi and Chandi path. This description in the Markandeya Purana is actually a means for us to realize our own battles to destroy the ego and other Asuric aspects in us. Durga is the original manifested form of Mother Adi-Parashakthi. Adi Parashakthi or Mahadevi, the supreme power is Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati in her mild form; Goddess Kali and Goddess Chandi in her wrathful form. Durga is also called Padmanabha-Sahodari and Narayani, the sister of Lord Vishnu. The Mahishasuramardhani alankarams conveys the message that all evil will be eliminated by the Supreme Mother and that we should all strive to remove all physical and spiritual dirt within us and become pure so that our Atma (soul) may attain union with the ultimate Paramathma.
Significance of Chandi Homam
A Chandi Homam is an ultimate prayer to Devi Chandi which can be extraordinarily beneficial to us for removing all kinds of Obstacles and help us achieve our goal in life by clearing all our problems in life as per Ancient Vedic Texts. Chandi is a very fierce and powerful deity – She is the primordial energy that is responsible for the creation, sustenance and destruction of this entire universe. She is the sum total of the energies of all beings of this universe. By performing the Maha Chandi Homa, one can become free of evil eyes, curses, obstacles and they are also blessed with a lasting health, wealth and prosperity. By performing the homa five times, evil planetary influences are removed. The performance of this homa seven times removes all fears, performance eleven times begets royal influence and sixteen times begets progeny.
The Main procedure of the Chandi Homam involves an entire recitation of the Durga Saptashati for 9 times and a Homam is performed with the 10th path of Durga Saptashati. The Durga Saptashati contains 700 secret and powerful mantras in 13 chapters and they are split in to 535 full verses (Containing 4 padas), 66 Verses (containing 3 padas), 42 half verses (containing 2 padas) and 57 small words like “Uvaacha” (said). These 700 secret and powerful mantras are recited in praise of Goddess Chandi(Durga) in which she defeats various demons. The Durga Saptashati narrates the three tales of Sri Chandika fighting and destroying the evil forces in the forms of Madhu, Kaithabha, Mahishasura and Shumbha & Nishumbha. With recital of each of the 700 slokas, an "Ahuti" ( Offering ) is made to the Sacrificial Sacred Fire seeking the blessings of Devi Chandi and the Chandi mantra "Aim ! Hrim ! Klim ! Chamundaye ! Vichhe !!!" is chanted.
Gain the blessing of the supreme primordial Goddess with the divine technique of Chandi Homa.
SIgnificance of Navakshari Homam
Navakshari is a nine lettered Mantra on Goddess Chandika Parameswari, who is considered as the embodiment of Sri Maha Kali, Sri Maha Lakshmi and Sri Maha Saraswathi. Navakshari Mantra.It is also called Navarna Mantra or Navavarna Mantra. It is one of the principal mantras in Shakti Worship apart from the Sri Vidhya Mantras. It customary to chant this mantra when chanting the Devi Mahatmya. She is supposed to live in a place called Mahakal, which is close to Kailasa. Various sweets and savories are offered to Goddess Chandi during the moola mantra Homam.
Significance of Neela Saraswathi Homam
Sri Neela Saraswathi is the Blue Goddess of education. She is also known as Neela Devi and Tara Devi. Offering Prayers to Neela Saraswathi helps in Vidya Vriddhi. The Neela Saraswathi Maha Mantra is chanted to get success in education and remove all obstacles and hindrances in one’s education. Chanting of this Mantra will also enhance one’s memory, creativity and intellectual capacity. Students aspiring to study abroad or going for Higher Education or those seeking loans for Education will greatly benefit from this Homam.
During the Homam, this mantra is chanted while performing Havan for the Goddess Sri Neela Saraswathi.