Navratri is the 9-day festival dedicated to Devi Durga by Hindus all over India. The nine days represent the 9 manifestations of Goddess Durga. Navratri comes from the Sanskrit words "Nava" denoting nine and "Ratri" which means night. Throughout this festival of nine nights, the nine forms of Shakti (also known as Navdurga) are worshipped across the country. Devotees invoke Mother Goddess Durga, who symbolizes the Supreme Energy of the Universe. She is the natural force that drives the tasks of creation, preservation, and destruction.
Navratri dates are meant to have a duration of nine days dedicated to the nine divine expressions of Goddess Durga. Following below on this article is a detailed description of what is Navratri, Navratri meaning, Navratri festival and why is Navratri celebrated, along with Navratri fasting rules, a description of different types of rituals and pujas from easy home-made to more formal and traditional ones, and all you need to know about the forthcoming Navratri celebrations in India and around the world.
SIGNIFICANCE OF NAVRATRI FESTIVAL
'Navratri' means 'nine nights.' 'Nava' signifies 'nine,' and "Ratri" translates to "night."
The night gives relaxation and renewal. With sleep, you turn inwards during the night, and you awaken feeling renewed and rejuvenated. Similarly, Navratri or the 'nine nights' is the period of year when you have the opportunity to enjoy profound rest. This deep sleep provides relief from annoyances of all kinds, profound relaxation, and inspiration.
During Navratri, fasting, meditation, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines contribute to this profound repose. Even abstaining from overindulging in sense objects at this time might benefit in the process of achieving restful sleep.
The nine-day slaying of the demon Mahishasur by the goddess Durga is recounted in every legend associated with Navratri. Its metaphorical meaning entails eradicating all the demons in our minds and all the evils in our lives in order to attain a profound inner bliss. Being in tune with our inner core instills us with positive qualities and eradicates laziness, arrogance, obsession, desires, and aversions. When the hardship of negative emotions and situations is eradicated, we experience nine nights of transformation.
During Navratri, we worship the energy part of God in the shape of the universal mother, known as "Durga," which translates to "she who removes life's sufferings." She is also known as Devi (Goddess) and Shakti (energy or power). This energy enables God to continue his task of creation, preservation, and destruction.
Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati are seen as three aspects of nature, or tamas, rajas, and sattva, respectively. The nine days of Navratri are categorized by these main aspects. The first three days honor Durga, the next three honor Lakshmi, and the last three honor Saraswati. Vijayadashami, the tenth day, represents the victory over these three aspects of existence.
Astrological Significance of Navratri
The nine nights of Navratri begins from the day following the new moon or Amavasya. This is true for the four navratris celebrated during the year. These initial nine days of the lunar cycle are feminine. The ninth day is referred to as Navami. The subsequent 18 days of the monthly moon cycle are attributed to the masculine side of nature. Thus, Devi is related to the feminine phase of the lunar cycle. In accordance with tradition, all devotion prior to Navami is therefore dedicated to mother Durga and Navratri festival.
WHEN IS NAVRATRI FESTIVAL CELEBRATED?
As per Hindu scriptures, such as the Shakta and Vaishnava Puranas, Navratri occurs four times a year and is popularly celebrated twice a year. The most celebrated of them is Sharada Navratri, which occurs around the fall equinox (September–October). Vasanta Navratri, which occurs around the spring equinox (March-April) is the second most popular celebrated.
There are many significant reasons why Navratri is mainly observed for nine days twice a year. Spiritual, natural, and mythical causes are among them. All of these reasons help to make Navratri, which is celebrated twice a year, a success. These two main Navratris occurs on the eve of two seasons.
The first is celebrated in the transition between winters and summers, and the second in autumn, which is also the transition between summer and winter. As a result, both Navratris are celebrated at the onset of seasonal changes. Mother Nature experiences a significant shift just before the start of summer and winter, which is celebrated by this festival to honor Goddess Shakti, who is an incarnation of Nature herself.
Scientifically, the length of the day is almost equal to the length of the night between March and April, as well as September and October. It is scientific evidence that Navratri is celebrated precisely at the end of summer and beginning of winter. Both Navratris are celebrated during periods of good weather. During Navratri, you won't have to deal with the sweltering heat of the summers or the biting cold of the winters. Because the weather is so pleasant, these two times of year are ideal for festivities.
Previously, Navratri was only observed during the summer vacation. However, while Lord Ram was fighting Ravan, he did not wish to wait another 6 months to seek Maa Durga's blessings. As a result, He established the custom of celebrating Navratri shortly before winter, around the fall equinox in during the lunar month of Ashvin. He performed a Durga Puja before departing for Lanka and returning triumphant. In all instances, the importance of Navratri stays the same. Nature and her mysterious ways are symbolized by the passage of time. On the other hand, the celebration of Durga Puja also known as Navdurga Puja is the biggest event of the year in West Bengal during Shardiya Navratri, the Indian region most devoted to Shakti celebrations.
After Shardiya or Maha Navratri the next most important Navratri is Chaitra Navratri or Vasanta Navratri, also known as Basant Navratri, Nava Ratri, or Navratra, which occurs in March or April, around the spring equinox. This Navratri occurs in the auspicious month of Chaitra, which corresponds to the Gregorian months of March and April. Chaitra Navratri concludes on Ram Navami, the birthday of Lord Vishnu's incarnation, and is the first month of the year as per the Hindu calendar, the start of the spring. Due to the fact that this Navratri is associated with the birth of Lord Ram, all locations related with his birth, exile, and other elements of his life are adorned, and devotees visit them to adore the deity. Thus, Chaitra Navratri is primarily celebrated in Uttar Pradesh, Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Bhadrachalam in Telangana and Sitamarhi in Bihar.
Ashadha Navratri, also known as Gayatri Navratra or Gupta Navratra, occurs in June or July, at the start of the Monsoon season. Gupt navratri is also acknowledged as Shakambhari navratri and Gayatri navratri. It is celebrated with great merriment and reverence throughout India, particularly in the northern states. During the ancient Vedic period, this Gupt Navratri was only known to a small number of adept Sadhaks or Sages. The Gupt Navratri is of particular significance to Tantriks and Sadhaks.
It is believed that by performing 'Saadhna' for Goddess Durga during this time, all material problems will be resolved. Consequently, Gupt Navratri is most well-known for Tantrik Puja. During this time period, Sadhaks invoke the goddess Durga for knowledge, wealth, and success. This auspicious festival is celebrated for nine whole days with great fervour and devotion by Hindus and its festivities are also celebrated by people of various ethnicities across India.
After Diwali and during the winter season, Magha Navratri is celebrated in January or February, coinciding with the first months of the Gregorian calendar. When people pray to Goddess Durga with a pure heart and in secret, their wishes might come true. If its rites are observed with unshakable conviction, Magha Gupt Navratri will produce fruit and the goddesses will shower their heavenly favours on devotees. The Magha Gupta Navratri is the most popular and enthusiastically celebrated Navratri in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Uttarakhand.
While the main Navratris, which occur in the summer and beginning of winter, are widely discussed, the Gupta Navratris are celebrated in secrecy and silence and rarely mentioned in public, while seekers have always wondered why. This is because these Navratris are extremely sacred and are typically observed by a Guru and his or her students. The Devi Energy is at a much higher level during these times, so all rituals and practices must be conducted under close supervision and the rituals are carried out with the assistance of spiritual masters.
Though the days and ways of celebrating Navratri vary from season to season, these nine days are considered auspicious across the nation and are enjoyed with enthusiasm and joy. Nevertheless, it is on Maha Navratri (Sharada Navratri) only when it is believed that Goddess Durga comes down on earth every year while riding a lion and wielding an arsenal of weapons in her ten hands as a sign of Shakti, or feminine power.
DATE TIME MUHURAT OF EACH NAVRATRI FESTIVAL
Chaitra Navratri 2023
Chaitra date on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
Ghatasthapana Muhurat - 06:23 AM to 07:32 AM
Ashadha Gupt Navratri 2023
Ashadha date on Monday, June 19, 2023.
Ghatasthapana Muhurat - 06:01 AM to 08:03 AM
Sharada Navratri 2023
Sharada date on Sunday, October 15, 2023.
Ghatasthapana Muhurat - 12:01 PM to 12:48 PM
Magha Gupt Navratri 2024
Magh Gupt date on Saturday, February 10th, 2024.
Ghatasthapana Muhurat - 09:01 AM to 10:35 AM
HISTORY AND LEGENDS OF NAVRATRI FESTIVAL
The ancient Brihat Dharma Purana narrates the story of how the ten forms of Devi (Dus Mahavidyas) first originated. According to this legend, Sati the daughter of the powerful Daksha, had married Shiva against her father's wish. In order to spite his son-in-law, Daksha organised a Yajna (fire sacrifice) to which he invited all the gods and divine personalities except Lord Shiva. Sati learned of her father's yajna through Narad Muni and requested permission from Shiva to participate. Shiva, seeing through Daksha's insult, told her she couldn't leave. Sati got enraged to the point that her body became black and she took the appearance of Goddess Kali. Sati took on various forms of the Divine Mother in order to demonstrate her true Self to Shiva. The universe trembled beneath the weight of her rage, and Shiva attempted to escape, but the ten forms of Divine Mother halted him in every direction. Das Mahavaidyas refers to these ten forms.
Navratri is consequently a significant holiday honoring the divine feminine. The nine-night celebration is devoted to the different aspects of the divine feminine force, or shakti. While the schedule varies somewhat by area, the first third of the festival usually concentrates on elements of the goddess Durga, the second third on aspects of the goddess Lakshmi, and the final third on features of the goddess Saraswati. Offerings are offered to the goddesses and their many manifestations, and ceremonies are held in their honor. Every day is devoted to one of the goddess Durga's nine avatars (Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri), and each day has a color significance.
Navratri festival commemorates the triumph of good over evil throughout the course of history. In legend, goddess Durga fought the demon Mahishasur (who represents egoism) for nine days and nights, until the demon was beheaded by her on the last day, which is known as Vijaya Dashmi or Dussehra. The festival of Navratri culminates with the celebration of Her victory every year through Durga Pooja, which is performed on the ninth day. Devi Mahatmya, an ancient Indian epic, describes this event.
In various areas of the country, the event is known by different names, and ceremonies and customs change from state to state. In many areas of Northeast India, Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja. Devotees in the north and west of the nation commemorate the festival by fasting, performing ‘Ramlila,' and concluding with Dussehra, when the effigies of Ravana and his siblings are burned, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. In Tamil Nadu, it is known as Golu, while in Gujurat, it is known for its dandiya evenings.
Navratri is a vibrant and colorful celebration. Navratri is celebrated with zeal across all the country, but in West Bengal, it is the largest and most significant festival of the year. In all cities of West Bengal (India) people celebrate Navratri as Durga Puja.
MORE ABOUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF NAVRATRI FESTIVAL
According to Hindu scriptures Navratri always falls during the bright half of the Hindu lunisolar months. However the Hindus' celebrations, which vary depending on the location, are based on their own ideas and tastes. As previously stated, the most well-known Navratri festivals are Chaitra and Shardiya Navratri.
This year, the divine festival of Chaitra Navratri will fall on the 22nd of March 2023 and end on the 31st Of March 2023.People belonging to the Maharashtrian ethnicity (ethnolinguistic group of people who speak the Marathi language) observe the first day of Navratri as Gudi Padwa which is the ‘New Year’ of the Maharashtrians as per the Hindu Luni-Solar calendar. Similarly, the Kashmiri Hindus celebrate the first day of the year as ‘Navreh’ on the first day of Navratri. Whereas, the people of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh celebrate, the first day of Navratri as ‘Ugadi’. The goddesses venerated during Chaitra Navatri are the same Nine forms of Durga venerated during the autumnal Maha Navratri. Chaitra Navratri is the first major Mother Durga festival celebrated annually in India, outside of regional customs, and for those who could not celebrate other Navratris for whatever reason, this is a wonderful time to celebrate Navratri festival. After all, it is no coincidence that the Hindu year begins worshipping Shakti.The customs and rituals observed during Chaitra Navratri are similar to the ones observed during the Shardiya Navratri in the month of September or October. Shardiya Navratri and Chaitra Navratri have the same Ghatasthapana Puja Vidhi.
Sharada is the most renowned of the four Navaratri festivals. Sharada signifies autumn and it is also known as Shardiya or Maha Navratri. In 2023 it falls between the 15th and the 24th of October, thus beginning on the first day of the bright half of the lunar month of Ashvini.
The festival is held for nine nights once a year during this month, which normally falls between September and October according to the Gregorian calendar. The precise dates of the event are established by the Hindu lunisolar calendar, and depending on the adjustments for sun and moon motions and the leap year, the celebration may be conducted a day earlier or later. In certain locations, the event occurs after the harvest, while in others, it occurs during the harvest.
During Sharad Navratri, people perform rituals in their homes or temples dedicated to various incarnations of Goddess Durga. The Maha Navratri rituals are accompanied by mantra chanting, bhajan recitals, and shloka recitals for nine days. The festivities include the worship of nine goddesses during Navratri, stage decorations, the recital of the legend, live dramas and reenactments of the plot, and the chanting of Hindu scriptures.
The nine days are also an important time for crop harvesting, followed by cultural events, pandal design competitions, and stage decoration. People enjoy visiting these pandals, where daily pujas are performed until Dashmi.
NAVATRI 2023 GODDESSES AND THEIR WORSHIP
Navratri festival starts with the first three days dedicated to Durga and Her three forms. The next 3 days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Her three forms and the last three days to Goddess Saraswati and Her three forms. Each of these main deities gave rise to three divine forms and hence in all, these nine forms together are known as Nav-Durga. During the festival, after the aartis (morning and evening) are performed, a lot of offerings are made to the deities such as dry fruits (5 types), milk, bananas, mishri or other fruits, flowers and the like.
There are also nine colours associated with Navratri, each representing a significant aspect of Mother Divine. Colours are phenomenal elements of the nature (material and spiritual). They are associated with our outer and inner well-being. They also indicate the seven Chakras and how we are connected with Durga or Mother Divine.
Below are the dates and goddesses for Chaitra and Shardiya Navratri 2023:
1st DAY - Ghatasthapana, Shailputri Puja
Chaitra Navratri Date 2023 – 22nd March 2023, Wednesday Shardiya Navratri Date 2023 – 15th October 2023, Sunday
Tithi – Pratipada Chakra - Muladhara (Root) Mantra - Om Shaam Sheem Shoom Shailputryai Namah || Offerings & Significance – Cow ghee, it is believed to bring good health and keep the diseases away. Goddess Shailputri manifests the Earth and everything present in it. She is known as Mother Nature hence She is worshipped in this form. Color - Red It is associated with Goddess Shailaputri. The Muladhara Chakra and Shailaputri, who is worshiped on the first day of Navaratri. Red represents the foundation, the grounding, the passion, and the blood. It is a hue of vitality and life energy. It symbolizes survival and helps you navigate change. It foretells of dread, danger, or anything unexpected. It tells us to pay attention or be attentive in that situation. It represents our connection to the Earth.
Chaitra Navratri Date 2023 – 23rd March 2023, Thursday Shardiya Navratri Date 2023 - 16th October 2023, Monday Tithi – Dwitiya Chakra - Swathisthana (Sacral) Mantra - Om Braam Breem Broom Brahmcharinyai Namah || Offerings & Significance – Sugar and fruits, it is believed to give longevity to the dwellers. Invoking Brahmacharini Devi with pure devotion is sure to bring rich benefits. She imparts knowledge and wisdom to Her devotees. Color - Orange
It is associated with Goddess Brahmacharini who is worshiped on the second day of Navaratri, as well as the Swadhisthana Chakra, our emotional hub of power. Orange is a combination of red and yellow and is linked with serenity, tranquillity, and knowledge. It comes after our foundation (represented by red), indicating continuous development with lighter joys (yellow) and sorrows (red) along the way.
Chaitra Navratri Date 2023 – 24th March 2023, Friday Shardiya Navratri Date 2023 – 17th October 2023, Tuesday Tithi – Tritiya Chakra - Manipura (Solar Plexus) Mantra - Om Hreem Kleem Shreem Chandraghantayai Namah || Offerings & Significance – It is claimed that giving milk, kheer, or sweets to Maa Chandraghanta will provide you with respite from sorrow and agony. By Her blessings the sorrows are dispelled and the warrior within is evoked. Color - Yellow
It is associated with Goddess Chandraghanta who is worshiped on the third day of Navaratri, as well as the Manipura Chakra Yellow, a hue of brightness, vitality, and power, dispels all dark aspects in the same way that the sun does. It is linked with your life’s purpose, maturation, development, and optimism. It is the focal point for all of your energy in your body.
Chaitra Navratri Date 2023 – 25th March 2023, Saturday Shardiya Navratri Date 2023 - 18th October 2023, Wednesday Tithi – Chaturthi Chakra - Anahata (Heart) Mantra - Om Hreem Kushmandayai Jagatprasootyai Namah || Offerings & Significance – Malpua (without fennel seeds), offering this delicacy to the Goddess is believed to improve decision-making and intelligence. The divine blessing of Maa Kushmanda helps you fulfill your desires. She brings enemies in your goodwill. Color - Green
It is associated with Goddess Kushmanda who is worshiped on the fourth day of Navaratri, as well as the Anahata Chakra Green is likened to grass as a hue of love and compassion. Walking barefoot on the grass allows the freshness of nature and the touch of Mother Earth to penetrate your body via your feet. It calms your mind (mental), body (physical), heart (emotional), and soul (spiritual) all at the same time.
Chaitra Navratri Date 2023 – 26th March 2023, Sunday Shardiya Navratri Date 2023 - 19th October 2023, Thursday Tithi – Panchami Chakra - Vishuddha (Throat) Mantra - Om Hreem Saha Skandmatryai Namah || Offerings & Significance – Banana, it is believed that it appeases the goddess and keeps you physically fit and healthy. Worshipping Skanda Mata bestows the devotees with the blessings of Lord Kartikeya, the God of Victory over War. This is the only form of Navadurga that possesses this quality. Color - Green
It is associated with Goddess Skandamata who is worshiped on the fifth day of Navaratri, as well as the Vishuddha Chakra Blue is associated with the element of sky and is a hue of calm, clarity, grandeur, and eternity. It is linked to anything other than your mental conjecture. Blue is all-encompassing, and it is also one of the element colors of space. Lord Shiva and Sri Krishna are blue because they are all-encompassing. It is the pinnacle of a pure, peaceful, quiet, and serene mind in Buddhism.
Chaitra Navratri Date 2023 – 26th March 2023, Monday Shardiya Navratri Date - 20th October 2023, Friday Tithi – Shashthi Chakra - Ajna (Third eye) Mantra - Om Hreem Shreem Katyayanyai Namah || Offerings & Significance – Honey, it is thought that giving honey appeases the goddess and she bestows beauty and good health upon you. Maa Katyayani is known to bless Her devotees abundantly. It removes all the obstacles that are causing the delay in getting married. Color - Indigo
Chaitra Navratri Date 2023 – 27th March 2023, Tuesday Shardiya Navratri Date 2023 - 21st October 2023, Saturday Tithi – Saptami Chakra - Sahasrara (Crown) Mantra - Om Aim Hreem Shreem Kaalratryai Namah || Offerings & Significance – Jaggery. Offering this bhog to the goddess is believed to erase all evils, ills and sorrows from your life. It also protects you from unforeseen disasters. She removes the darkness of worry from the life of Her bhaktas and destroys all sorts of calamities and miseries. Color - Violet
It has ties to the goddess Kaalratri. Violet is revered on the sixth day of Navaratri, as it is a royal color that symbolizes deeper and inner knowledge connected to your thoughts. It signifies your mental acuity and comprehension. It links you to everything by revealing the big picture. It is capable of destroying all of your mental delusions.
Chaitra Navratri Date 2023 – 28th March 2023, Wednesday Shardiya Navratri Date 2023- 22nd October 2023, Sunday Tithi – Ashtami Chakra - Sahasrara (Crown) Mantra - Om Hreem Shreem Glaum Gam Gauri Geem Namah || Offerings & Significance – You may maintain one ripe coconut at your home's temple altar. It represents the realization of one's desires. Coconut offering appeases the goddess, and she rewards you by removing all your sorrows and blessing you with prosperity. She bestows a kid on the childless couple. She leads you to path of virtue and self-realization. On the final day of Navratri, you must submerge this coconut. Color - White
It is associated with Goddess Saraswati and Mahagauri. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on 7th day of Navratri whereas Mahagauri on 8th day. White contains all the seven colors in their brightest luminosity. It indicates purity and your detachment of colorful opulence and material comforts and attachment to the path of Spiritual Light.
9th DAY - Maha Navami, Ayudha Puja, Navami Homa, Navratri Parana
Chaitra Navratri Date 2023 – 30th March 2023, Thursday Shardiya Navratri Date 2023 - 23rd October 2023, Monday Tithi – Navami Chakra - Sahasrara (Crown) Mantra - Om Hreem Saha Siddhidatryai Namah || Offerings & Significance – Flowers or Til (sesame). Offering sesame or flowers makes this goddess pleased. It is believed that if a Sadhaka (devotee) worships Siddhidatri Mata with utmost devotion and according to the vidhi mentioned in the Holy ancient Scriptures, he is blessed with the Siddhi that enables him to realize that everything that exists is Brahman or the Supreme Being, and that he can attain anything he desires from this universe. Color - Pink
It is associated with Goddess Siddhidatri. She is praised for giving Siddhis (perfections) to Yogis and Sadhaks. The conclusion of Navratri Poojan is marked by the worship of Goddess Siddhidatri on the last day of Navratri. The universal color of love is pink, which is associated with Venus and its higher expression, Neptune, the planet of dissolution into oneness.
Magha Gupt Navratri occurs during the Shukla Paksha of the Magha month, therefore, Magh Gupt Navratri 2024 will fall on the 10th of February 2024 and end on the 18th of February 2024.
As it occurs between the winter months of January and February, Magha Gupt is also referred to as Gayatri 'Shishir Navratri'. It is referred to as "Gupt," which means "secret," because it is worshipped in secrecy, and even this Navratri is not widely known. During Magha Gupt Navratri, it is believed that the Devi Consciousness is at its peak, hence the benefits of tapping into and harnessing this energy are endless and unlimitedly powerful.
Magha Gupt Navratri Puja Vidhi
At auspicious muhurat, barley-grown Kalash is placed in front of the goddess Aadhya Shakti's idol. A second Kalash is placed atop a raw coconut, and its sthapana begins. Aakhand jyot is lit before Goddess Bhagwati, and then Ganesh puja is performed. Then the Varun Dev and Vishnu Dev puja is performed. Then the puja of Shiva, the Sun, the Moon, and the Nine Planets is performed, followed by the worship of Goddess Bhagwati. During this Navratri, fasting and the recitation of the Devi Path and Durga Saptashati are observed.
The goddesses and most of the rituals observed during Magha Gupta Navratri are similar to the ones observed during the Ashadha Gupta Navratri as described above, but before the beginning of the spring, during the month of February, and they are held in much more secrecy, silence and solitude.
Maha Gupta Navratri is specifically celebrated for the fulfillment of special wishes and the attainment of achievements. During the meditation period of this Navratri, it is believed that by chanting with unbounded devotion to Maa Shakti, performing penance, rituals, meditating, etc., all obstacles in life will dissolve.
ASHADHA GUPTA NAVRATRI
In 2023 Ashada Gupt Navratri will begin on 19th June (Monday) and will conclude on 28th June 2023, Wednesday.
The Ashadha Navratri, also known as Gupt Navratri is observed during the Ashada Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon). AshadaGuptNavratri is also known by several others names such as Shakambari Navratri or Shakambari Utsav, Varahi Navratri, Gayatri Navratri and Bhadrakali Navratri and Guhya Navratri in Himachal Pradesh among others. It is celebrated mostly in North India. The nine days and nights of Gupt Navratri are considered highly powerful, meritorious and beneficial for Shakti and Tantra Sadhanas and accomplishments. As most of the tantric rituals and sadhanas are done in secrecy hence the Ashadha and the Magha Navratris got the name Gupt Navratri.
Ashadha Gupt Navratri is also the best time to worship Dus Mahavidya Goddesses. Dus Mahavidya are ten manifestations or aspects of Adi Shakti or Maa Parvati. Dus means ten and Mahavidya means Great Wisdom thus Dus Mahavidya means the Ten Great Wisdom Goddesses. The ten Goddesses have very prominent significance in Shaktism. Shakti Sadhak i.e. followers of Shaktism, worship the 10 Goddesses as a group or a single Goddess from the group for various powers, siddhis and other benefits.
Dus Mahavidya details are mentioned in Srimad Devi Bhagavatam or the Devi Purana. The ten Mahavidya are Goddess Kali, Tara, Tripura Sundari (or Shodasi-Sri Vidya), Bhuvaneshvari, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala. Each of the Dus Mahavidya have their own Mantra, legend and more. Navratri is considered the best time to worship the Dus Mahavidya along with the nine forms or Maa Durga.
ASHADA & MAGH GUPT NAVRATRI GODDESSES
During the Gupt Navratris, the worship of the Dus Mahavidyas occurs. Das signifies ten, Maha signifies great, and Vidya signifies wisdom or knowledge. These are the ten transcendental manifestations of the goddess Parvati, Adi Parashakti. The worship of Maa Shakti is known as Mahavidya, and each of her forms has its own history, attributes, and mantras. These ten Devis are significant to Tantra Sadhana and are also known as the tantric manifestations of Devi Shakti.
The successful worship of these Mahavidyas grants devotees numerous boons.
Kali is the first among the ten Mahavidyas. She is worshiped for the destruction of disease, for the destruction of enemies, for protection from evil spirits and annihilation of enemies, for destroying all fears and for prosperity.
She truly reveals the type of fully awakened consciousness. The mighty Devi Kali removes the darkness of ignorance and brings the light of awareness of the truth about self.
The second Dus Mahavidya is Goddess Tara, also known as Tarini. She is worshipped for enhancement of intellect and also to achieve steady and sudden gain of wealth and prosperity. Her power is the force of sound, the importance of silence to delve deeper inside the mind. Worshipping and chanting the Devi's Dus Mahavidya Beej Mantra also helps to garner Her blessings.
Worshiping the goddess Tripura Sundari, also known as Shodashi, leads to both salvation and the fulfillment of material desires. She also blesses Her devotees with beauty, marital bliss and good fortune. In Shaktism She is regarded as the Supreme Shakti or the highest form of the divine, beyond all other gods and goddesses. She also presides the Shree Yantra.
Chakra: Hrit Padma (Sacred Heart)
Beej Mantra: Missing
Tripura Sundari Mantra: ॥ श्रीं क ए ई ल ह्रीं; ह स क ह ल ह्रीं; स क ल ह्रीं ॥ || Shrim Ka Aye Ei La Hrim; Ha Sa Ka Ha La Hrim; Sa Ka La Hrim ||
Maa Bhuvaneshwari is the Goddess Who when pleased fulfills any and all wishes of Her devotees in the blink of an eye. She is worshiped for name, fame, growth and prosperity. Devi Bhuvaneswari embodies the dynamics of the world in all of us. She is identified using the mahabhutas (the essential physical elements) and also Prakriti (nature or the physical world). She bestows immense wisdom to Her devotees.
Chakra: Swadhisthana (Sacral)
Beej Mantra: Om Hreem Shreem Kleem Bhuvaneshvaryai Namah ||
She is the fierce warrior Goddess. She is worshiped for victory, protection, power and success. Goddess Bhairavi is the consort of Lord Shiva's fierce manifestation, Bhairava, who is associated with annihilation of evil and negative forces. Bhairavi Sadhana is done to get rid of bad spirits and physical weaknesses. Young girls worship her for early marriage.
Chakra: Muladhara (Crown)
Beej Mantra: Om Hreem Bhairavi Kalaum Hreem Swaha॥
Bhairavi Gayatri Mantra: ॐ त्रिपुरायै विद्महे महाभैरव्यै धीमहि तन्नो देवी प्रचोदयात्॥ Om Tripurayai Vidmahe Mahabhairavyai Dhimahi Tanno Devi Prachodayat॥
Worship of Goddess Chinnamasta Devi helps to overcome fears and attain freedom. Maa Chhinnamasta is worshiped to defeat enemies, for success in career, to gain a strong health and for Kundali Jagran. Its worship removes the ill effects of planet Rahu and her teachings are deep and mostly invoked in Tantra rituals and sadhana.
Chinnamasta Gayatri Mantra: ॐ वैरोचन्ये विद्महे छिन्नमस्तायै धीमहि तन्नो देवी प्रचोदयात्॥ Om Vairochanye Vidmahe Chhinnamastayai Dhimahi Tanno Devi Prachodayat ||
She is the Widow Goddess or the Goddess of death. Goddess Dhumavati Sadhana is performed to eradicate extreme poverty. She is also revered for her ability to rid the body of all diseases. She is also worshiped for relief from all miseries and misfortunes in life.
Chakra: Muladhara (Root)
Beej Mantra: Om Dhoom Dhoom Dhoomavti Phat Swaha ||
She is the Goddess Who paralyzes one’s enemies. She is worshipped for victory over enemies and for protection. She is also worshipped to win the court cases and to get success in all sorts of competitions. Her devotees are protected severely by Her and it is said that anyone trying to cause harm to them will be transfixed, a power which She also bestows to Her devotees.
She governs speech, music, knowledge and the arts. Hence Goddess Matangi is also known as the Tantric Saraswati. She is worshiped to gain deep unknown knowledge and also for wisdom and growth. Goddess Matangi Sadhana is prescribed to acquire supernatural powers, especially gaining control over enemies, attracting people to oneself, acquiring mastery over the arts and gaining supreme knowledge.
Chakra: Manipura (Solar Plexus)
Beej Mantra: Om Hreem Kleem Hum Matangyai Phat Swaha॥
She is also known as the Tantric Lakshmi. Goddess Kamala bestows prosperity and wealth, fertility and crops, and good luck. Hence She is Devi of both Dhan and Dhanya i.e. wealth and grains. She is the Lotus Goddess.
Chakra: Hrit Padma (Sacred Heart)
Beej Mantra: Om Namah Kamalavasinyai Swaha॥
Kamala Mantra: ॐ ह्रीं हूं हां ग्रें क्षों क्रों नमः॥ Om Hreem Hum Haam Grem Kshom Krom Namah॥
The festival is commemorated with reverence by the Hindu community in honor of the Goddess Durga, the supreme feminine power in the universe. The nine days of celebrations are celebrated in honor of the nine incarnations of the goddess Durga. In India, a surge of exuberance and festive mood is seen. Throughout these nine days, devotees are observed chanting holy hymns, dancing to the rhythms of garba and dandiya, or jiving with the bhents performed during the Jagrans as they immerse themselves in their devotion to their favorite goddess. Everyone who observes the devotees as they sing, chant, and dance throughout the event is mesmerized by their joyous expressions. It is essential for the new generations to understand the right Navratri Rituals so that they can pass on the knowledge to their children and preserve the vibrant Indian culture alive for decades to come.
GHASTHAPANA AND GROWING KHETRI ON NAVRATRI
Ghatasthapana is one of the most important Navratri rituals. It signifies the beginning of nine days of celebration. Our scriptures define the rules and guidelines for performing Ghatasthapana during a specific time period at the start of Navratri. Ghatasthapana is the invocation of the Goddess Shakti, and as our scriptures forewarn, performing it at the wrong time (any time beyond sixteen Ghatis after sunrise) may incur the wrath of the Goddess. Ghatasthapana is forbidden on Amavasya and at night.
The most favorable or Shubh time to perform Ghatasthapana is the first one-third of the day while Pratipada is in effect. If this time is not available, Ghatasthapana can be performed during the Abhijit Muhurta. During Ghatsthapana, it is recommended that you avoid Nakshatra Chitra and Vaidhriti Yoga, but neither is prohibited. The most important consideration is that Ghatasthapana is performed prior to Hindu noon time while Pratipada is in effect.
Ghatasthapana is also referred as Kalash Sthapana or Kalashsthapana.
There is a tradition of growing Khetri or barley seeds during this period. People collect clean mud and keep in an earthen pot. Then they clean and wash the barley and soak them in water for 15-30 minutes and put these barleys or ‘jau’ on the top of mud. Then they make a thin layer of mud on top of barley in order to cover the same. Afterwards they tie a red string (moli or mauli) around the Khetri pot. Families consider this process auspicious and believe it is directly associated with the divinity of Goddess Shakti.
It is believed that, the longer the plant grows in the period of 9 days, the more the fortune will shower on the family. On the last day of Navratri, people immerse the barley in moving water or place it under a Peepal tree.
FASTING DURING NAVRATRI
Fasting is the most important aspect of any cultural or religious festival of India. It is to be noted that the fasting is not observed to please the deity. It is completed to detoxify the body and cleanse the mind and spirit.
It is given in the Ayurveda scripture that when the abdomen is kept empty for a certain period, it gets re-energized and generates more jatharagni (fire required to digest food). This increased fire eliminates toxins from body. When toxins get out of the body, you actually become calm. In other words, your body recovers its natural strength. Mind becomes calm and senses become controlled with an increase in the mental ability of focus. Therefore, fasting is an effective method to detoxify the body and increase one’s spiritual strength.
There are two ways in which fast can be observed during Navaratri. Austere fast and partial fast. Below are Navratri fasting rules.
Full Fasting (austere fast) For Advanced Sadhakas
A person does not eat anything for the entire festival except for drinking water. The fast is broken at the end of the festival.
Partial Fasting for General People
Fruits and permitted foods like sabudana, rajgira, kutta kaatta, dairy and nuts in the day and one-time meal in the night.Keep drinking water during fast. You may also take coconut water, butter milk, lemon juice and other juices. It will keep you away from dehydration and weakness. Whatever food is prepared, offer it to the deities and then share it as Prasadam. Keep your home clean at all times possible because a clean home invites the Goddess. Avoid consumption of alcohol, drugs, eggs, non-vegetarian food, onions and garlic during this period.
Navratri festival is rich with colors, tradition, music, and dance, and is also a moment for us to unwind, look inside, and refresh ourselves with new vitality. Fasting during Navratri facilitates the inner path towards happiness and joy. It calms the mind and brings awareness and bliss into the world.
The environment is filled with sattvic guna, the mode of kindness, pleasant feelings, during the Navaratri festival. It makes your mind calmer and more attentive. While praying, the intentions become vivid, positive, and strong.Mentally, emotionally and physically our mind and body become nimble and active. When your body is detoxified, your body becomes filled with positive cosmic energy and with a purified mind, body, heart and soul your prayers become deep.
Gentle yoga postures, stretches, twists, and bends help to break the fast at the end of the festival. It hastens the detoxification process and leaves you feeling elevated and energetic. After kanyaa pooja is done, the Navratri fast is generally broken, although some people keep the fast until the next morning after Navratri.
When to break fasting during Navratri festival?
The majority of families, particularly in northern India, observe a seven-day fast, which is then broken after performing Kanya Puja; this is known as Navratri Parana (fast-breaking). For those who follow this tradition, there is no need to seek out the Navratri Parana Muhurat, as they would break their fast before noon on Maha Navami Puja day.
Chaitra Navratri Parana Muhurat 2023
Date: Friday, March 31, 2023
Chaitra Navratri Parana Time: after 06:34 AM IST
Navami Tithi Begins: 09:07 PM on March 29, 2023
Navami Tithi Ends: 11:30 PM on March 30, 2023
Shardiya Navratri Parana Muhurat 2023
Date: Monday, October 23, 2023
Chaitra Navratri Parana Time: after 05:44 PM IST
Navami Tithi Begins: 07:58 PM on October 22, 2023
Navami Tithi Ends: 05:44 PM on October 23, 2023
KANYA OR KUMARI PUJAN
Kanyaa Pooja is the most essential part of Navratri which pleases Goddess Durga the most. Nine girls (below the age of 13) are invited on the eighth day (Ashtami) and ninth day (Navami) of Navratri, then they are dressed and worshipped as goddesses, as they are contemplated to represent the nine goddesses or nine manifestations of Goddess Shakti.
Kanya puja is performed as part of Devi worship to acknowledge the feminine power bestowed in the female child. According to Hindu tradition, these girls are manifestations of the primordial energy of creation as it is considered that the cosmic creative energies to be of the feminine gender. This primeval energy is the very first force, whose inspiration produced the gods and the rest of the universe. The inspiration is the vital energy that drives everything of creation. Goddesses represent all of the main and minor energy and powers. The Navaratra goddess Durga and all of her incarnations are said to be expressions of the same fundamental inspiration or primeval force of creation.
In this pooja, the family invites the nine girls and washes their feet, ties one mauli (red color string) on their hands and applies tilak on their forehead. After this, the girls are worshiped and offered prasadam such as puri, dry black chana and halwa. It is to be noted some families also invite a boy of the same age and worship him as the form of Bhairava (Shiva).
The coconut kept at the altar is cracked open during this Kanya Puja and shared as prasadam among those girls. Also, all the offerings made to the goddess during the nine days are offered to them.
This ceremony is also known as Maha Ashtami Kumari Puja.
Note: Those unable to find nine girls, still can perform this Kanya Pooja even with a minimum of two girls. Also, if living abroad, and to find such girls and any Durga temple around aren’t doable, you can prepare as many plates of prasad (poori, halwa, etc.) as there are members in your family including your children staying somewhere and offer it Goddess Durga (idol or image). You can then share it as prasadam among your family members staying with you.
RECITING DURGA SAPTASHATI
This is the ideal moment to recite Durga Saptashati, an ancient Vedic text that holds Shakti (Durga) to be the ultimate force and Creative Energy of the Supreme Absolute. Durga Saptashati aka Devi Mahatmya (Mahatmayam) is a tale described in the ancient Markandeya Purana about the violent fight between good and evil, in which Shakti appears as Durga to slay demon Mahishasura. Lakshmi is the manifestation of the Goddess or Creative Energy, who also empowers riches production and pleasure.
It also sheds light on the philosophical foundation wherein the ultimate reality is female energy. Devi Mahatmya text stressed female is the elemental creator; she is also the Tridevi as the tributary creator, sustainer, and destroyer. She is represented, through a language of praise, as the one who resides in all creatures. She is realization of all living beings, she is intelligence, she is matter, and she is all that is form or emotion.
Durga Saptashati is substantial structure to perform Chandi Homa that aims at attaining health and driving away the fear of enemies. The Brahmin or priest chants verses from Durga Saptashti while performing Chandi Homa, offering seven hundred Ahuti (oblations) into the sacred fire in order to invoke Durga Devi. The seven hundred verses (‘Sapta’ means ‘seven’ and ‘shata’ means ‘hundred’) are organized into thirteen chapters. Reading Durga Saptashati is part of the Navratri celebrations in praise of Goddess Durga.
HOW TO DO SIMPLE DURGA PUJA AT HOME
Step 1: Place the deity. To begin, place a Maa Durga statue on a chowki and maintain a clay plot nearby that has been planted with barley. This Ghata Sthapana marks the beginning of the whole pooja.
Step 2: Install the Kalash. Then you must pour holy water (Gangajal) over it and place flowers, mango leaves, and money on top. Close it with a lid, then add uncooked rice on top. Place a roli-wrapped coconut on top (the red clothing).
Step 3: Devotion to Goddess Durga. The worship of Durga begins with the lighting of a Diya in front of the goddess. Panchopchar is used to worship Kalash or Ghat. Panchopchar is the worship using five items: fragrance, flower, Deepak (with batti and ghee), incense sticks (dhoop) and Naivedya (food offerings).
Step 4: Chowki Sthpana. It is all about invoking Goddess Durga in this procedure. Spread the roli on the chowki and knot the moli across and around it. Then, put the Goddess Durga statue directly on the chowki.
Step 5: Navratri Puja. Chanting the prayers and invoking Durga Maa during Navratri Puja is regarded fortunate, and it is thought that Maa Durga enters your house, enlightens it, and blesses your family. To carry out the ceremony of Navratri puja, you must give flowers, bhog, diya, fruits, and so on.
Step 6: Aarti. Decorate a thali with all of the Navratri decorating objects you have while performing aarti. Carry a thali in one bag and a bell in the other. Sing the aarti song, ring the bells, and seek Maa Durga's blessings.
Step 7: Inviting and offerings. Invite nine girls aged 5 to 12 on the final or ninth day of Navratri and prepare meals for them. They are referred to as Goddesses, and the ceremony is known as Kanya puja.
As the name suggests, Panchopachara Puja is a simplified procedure which can be done with the five puja items mentioned in above Step 3. For this you will require Scent, Flowers, Dhoop, Deepak and Naivedya.
First the lamp is showed to the Kalash and all the deities are invoked in it. After lamp offering, dhoop sticks are lit and offered to the Kalash, followed by flowers and scent. Finally, the Naivedhya, i.e. fruits and sweets are offered to the Kalash to conclude Panchopachara Puja.
You may enjoy the benefits of peace and prosperity for your family and dear ones by following the explained above and doing these easy Navratri pujas at home.
ELABORATED NAVRATRI PUJA VIDHI
During Navaratri, performing a Puja Vidhi for Goddess Durga is the most essential spiritual activity of all. In the Vedic scriptures such as Markandeya Purana, Goddess Durga is supremely glorified and Her worship is highly recommended. Durga is the epitome of changes, prosperity, fearlessness, victory and freedom from diseases. During Navratri time, Durga Pooja Vidhi can be performed in any auspicious time (shubh muhurta) but during Navratri period (nine-night festival) it is considered very special and rewarding.
To perform the Navaratri Puja, one needs to get up early in the morning, bathe and wear clean laundered clothes. Ensure that you perform the Puja with complete concentration and devotion.
Given below is the detailed process of performing the Puja.
The place where Navratri/Navdurga puja will be performed must be thoroughly cleaned.
The Aasan on which you will be sitting must be clean.
Arrange the Puja thali with all the Puja samagri (see below).
Spread a new cloth (Red cloth) on a raised platform.
Sprinkle Ganga jal (holy water) on each Prayer article in order to purify them.
Install the idol of Goddess Durga on the Red cloth.
Keep a handful of Akshata (Rice) in the centre and then place a Kalash (earthen or copper) filled with water. You may drop five betel nuts, sugar, rice and a five rupees coin. Keep this Kalash at the altar along with other ritual paraphernalia. Water from this Kalash is sprinkled in your home after Kanjak Puja is performed on 8th or 9th day.
Arrange Mango leaves (Aam ke Patte) in the Kalash.
Light a diya (Lamp) with Ghee and the Agarbatti (Incense sticks).
Place the lamp on the left side of the idol of Goddess Durga.
Place the incense sticks and other articles on the right-hand side of the idol of Goddess Durga.
Lit the fragrant Dhoop batti.
Sit in front of the deity idol in an upright posture.
Blow the ‘Shankh’ to invoke the Goddess.
Now, begin the Durga Puja by offering kumkum, haldi (Turmeric), and flowers to the idol of Durga.
Offer flower garland to the idol of goddess Durga.
Offer Sandalwood (Chandan) to the idol of goddess Durga.
Offer Vermilion (Sindoor) to the idol of goddess Durga.
Offer Scent (Attar) to the idol of goddess Durga.
Offer Sweets (Mithayi), Coconut (Nariyal) and fruits.
Offer Dry fruits (Mewa) to the idol of goddess Durga.
One all the preparations are done,
Read Durga Saptashati book Light 'agarbatti' or incense sticks.
Perform 'havan' using this mantra- "Om aing hreeng kleeng chamundaya vichche namah", 108 times
Give aahuti for 11 times. Fold your hands and pray.
At last, offer prasad and do Aarti of Goddess Durga. Sing the "Kshama Prarthana" of the 13th chapter of sacred Durga Saptshati and conclude the Puja.
Pray with whole heart. Finally, distribute the Prasad to all who are present.
Navaratri Pooja Samagri
Navratri Puja Samagri which is used for Navratri Pooja Vidhi includes:
Ingredients: Navdurga Yantra, Madhurai Kumkum, Sindoor, Turmeric power, Camphor (Kapur), Honey (Shahad), Sandal Paste (Chandan), Black Abir, White Abir, Saffron (Kesar), Attar, Gomutra, Rose Water (Gulab Jal), Ganga Jal (Holy water of River Ganga), Akshat (Rice), Betel Nut (Supari), Navdhanya (Nine grains), (Yellow Mustard), Barley (Jau), Cardamom, Clove and Betel Nut (Elaichi, Laung and Supari), Turmeric (Haldi), Dry Dates (Kharik), Almond (Badam), Jaggery (Gur), Panchameva (5 Dry Fruits mix), Durga Shringar Kit with Chunri, Cotton Wicks (Batti), Janeu (Holy thread), Mauli Thread, Dhoop and Navratri Pujan book.
The Navratri Puja kit includes all the ingredients that are needed for performing Navratri Puja. All the ingredients are natural, sacred and of high quality. We offer you complete Puja Samagri for your Navratri Puja. The puja kit dedicated to Goddess Durga is sufficient for one elaborate Puja or multiple smaller pujas.
Dance nights have already taken place in places such as Brisbane, Australia, with more planned. Navratri is celebrated in Melbourne in the same way as it is in India. There are many events to select from in London (UK), with many locations requiring specific attire for the occasion. From California to New York (US), there is a wide range of celebrations celebrated throughout the course of the nine-day holiday, most of which are carried out by Hindu temples. It should be mentioned that Navratri festivities in New Jersey vary from those in India, where they last until late at night. Canada is another nation where Navratri has been celebrated for a long time, predominantly in Toronto, in the province of Ontario. Navratri celebrations are more casual but present and little by little increasing throughout continental Europe, particularly in the Netherlands and neighboring countries.
Wherever in touch with the Goddess all around the globe, Navratri is about reconnecting with something much larger than ourselves, and these rituals are instruments to help us do so. Furthermore, these nine days have been provided to us in order for us to relax, revitalize, and reconnect with ourselves, which in turn lets us connect with our loved ones and celebrate life to its fullest.
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