ॐ दुं दुर्गायै नमः
Om Dum Durgayai Namaha
Below you can find my posts that I sent to my beloved Sangha for the Sharad Navratri Festival 2021.
"Happy Maha Navratri Navdurga"
Navdurga (nine Durgas) is the name for the nine phases of life of the goddess Parvathi. Parvathi lived through each phase in a different form. These are now venerated during the festive season. Every day a different form, a different avatar, its characteristics and its benefits are celebrated. The ten-day festival culminates with Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami. It's also a very colorful festival. Colors also play a very important role, because every day is assigned a specific color. The color depends on the planet that affects the day. Yellow for Jupiter (Thursday), green for Mercury (Friday) and so on …
Depending on which form of Durga / Parvathi is celebrated, there are also different pujas (rituals). Of course, mantras are recited, prayers are said, sung, meditated, celebrated but also fasted. Depending on how the seeker wants to connect with the divine mother. I wanted to tell you about it last year and I didn't have time. And somehow that's strange, this year I didn't manage to write about it in time either. But I have now made it my goal to share my daily puja experiences with you. I have already built an altar for the great female goddess at home. I don't have a typical Durga figure (riding a tiger or lion, with many arms and attributes), but I have Parvathi who lovingly holds her son, my beloved Ganesha, in her arms. I generally worshiped Durga / Parvathi / Shakti as Yoni in connection with the Lingam (Shiva). I worship Lakshmi as rice (goddess) as I know it from Bali and I also have Shakti in the form of Saraswati, the goddess of art and poetry. My pujas certainly look different than in India. But the most important thing is, I have Shakti in me, she is part of me and I am part of her! Each of us has the feminine power of the Shakti within us, even if we are masculine. Just like women have the energy of the masculine principle in them.
May the next divine days illuminate your life for ever.
Happy Navratri, let's honor Shakti together for ten days!
Om Dum Durgayai Namaha
In prayer, Ma Prarthana Nisarga
my full sannyas name also includes prayer - prarthana, through which I recognize my own nature - nisarga
Navratri Day 1, October 7, 2021, Thursday
Happy Navratri Navdurga, beloved Sangha!
Day1 of my “Durga experience”
For me it is the first time that I really celebrate Navratri. I knew the festival, but I have never so consciously worshiped the feminine aspect of the divine. Let's see where these nine nights lead me. By the way, Navratri means "nine nights". As I wrote to you on Wednesday, a different form of Durga is celebrated every day. In addition, the women dress in a certain color, the goddess is also dressed in the color of the day. I love colors and I live in colors. Anyone who knows me knows that I dedicate a certain color every day and that I am not only dressed like that, but that my food is also in this color. Colors are not only beautiful, light or dark, they also reflect the soul. The colors of Navratri are different every year. It depends on the day of the week. So this year it starts with yellow. And it is the colors that guide me into prayer with Durga.
On Thursday morning I received Durga at my home and also in the shop. In India, all celebrations have the goal of conciliatory approval of the goddess in her aspect as Shakti (cosmic force), so that she may bestow wealth, success, well-being, spiritual and worldly knowledge, strength and power to people. But as you already know from my Ganesha posts, I do not wish for something like that. I bow to the Hindu gods out of gratitude. Statues of gods remind me that I too have the power to be like them. They show me a certain way. They encourage me. And over the next few days I will consciously connect to the various aspects of the feminine energy and see how I will experience it.
Day one of Navratri is dedicated to Shailaputra.
It is said to be the most important incarnation of Durga. On the one hand, I find this very understandable, because it is Durga's first phase of life and if it did not exist, there would also be no other incarnations! Durga as Shailaputri, also known as Parvati, the daughter of the mountain. But I wondered if that really meant mountains? Everything is a metaphor in Hinduism. Everything has a symbol and so the mountains certainly stand for something “higher”. And in fact I found an answer to my question. Not the mountains are meant, but the mountain of all mountains, Mount Kailash. Kailash is the seat of the gods, the peak of consciousness. And so Shailputra is the goddess - Devi - of that consciousness. Devi means pure consciousness. But it also means that if I want to become one with Shailaputra, then my energy has to peak. Only in this way can I recognize and experience the divine. Shailaputra is everywhere, she is the Shakti, the cosmic energy, the cosmic force that sets all aspects in this world in motion - creation, maintenance and transformation. Without Shakti, the "male" gods would have no function! Shailaputra is also known as the goddess of the Muladhara (root) chakra. With the awakening of the root chakra, I began my journey to spiritual awakening and to discovering the purpose of my life today. The Navratri color of first day of this year was Yellow! It means, enjoy your Navratri day with a sense of unparalleled optimism and joy. This is a warm color that keeps you cheerful all day. And so I resolved to experience the divine through peace, prudence and joy. And what mudra can represent these aspects better than the Atmanjali mudra! I met Shailaputra with this mudra, I met my everyday life with this mudra. I met everything with a smile, a smile that came from deep within my heart. It was a smile of consideration and respect. That was my prayer. I have a yellow altar for Shailaputra with yellow fruits and I shared my meal with her today. I recited her mantra and reflected her being.
Om Devi Shailaputryai Namaha
But it wasn't the only mantra. I sang our "Om Dum Durgayai Namaha" all day. Whatever I was doing was inside of me the whole time and when I came to the beach in the evening I wanted to sing the Gayatri, which is also a manifestation of the feminine energy. But I saw that the evening star was already in the sky. The Sandhya time was already over and so I sang the Durga mantra again. I don't know how many cycles it was, but I was one with the energy. I saw the yellow on the horizon, I saw Shakti in the last light of the day and I saw the crescent moon in this glow. It was a gift from the divine. Wow, my first day in the light of Durga!
Om Dum Durgayai Namaha
In prayer, Ma Prarthana Nisarga
(Unfortunately you can't see the crescent moon on the beach photo,
but you can certainly imagine how magical it must have looked)
Navratri Day 2, October 8, 2021, Friday
Peaceful Navratri Navdurga, beloved Sangha!
Day2 of my “Durga experience”
Today Durga is revered as the goddess Brahmacharini and, as the name suggests, it is the ascetic manifestation of the great mother goddess. I have read that Brahmacharini ate only flowers and fruits for 1000 years and only on leafy vegetables for another 100 years! She slept on the floor and gave up all comforts. It was a fast of love and devotion. She loved Shiva above all and wanted him to be her husband, but her father would not allow it. As is well known, Shiva was anything but a beloved son-in-law! Other sources even say that for more than 3000 years (gods have different time relationships than we do, they look from a different perspective), she only nourished herself on leaves until she only drank water. Brahmacharini sacrificed himself in order to have a father in a rebirth who would accept Shiva. It's an incredible story, but I see so many parallels with my own life. My father wasn't enthusiastic about Hubert either. I was just 18 years old and Hubert was over 50 years old. No father in the world is enthusiastic, I was his little angel. I had to promise my father that I would break up again. I made the promise, but I couldn't keep it. I loved Hubert with all my heart and for the next two years (I was still in school) I thought of everything I could to keep my love a secret. Love and devotion move mountains and what high mountains! You can't even imagine what I did for it! Of course it didn't take me 1000 years to convince my dad, but I'm happy that my father and Hubert later became one heart and one soul. That was over 31 years ago.
Brahmacharini, I felt connected to her right away this morning. I did a little puja (ceremony) and decided to have breakfast with her. We ate leaves and fruits together, actually my daily meal. And the longer I sat in front of her, the more I got the feeling that this figure, in which Brahmacharini was present today, had always wanted this place in our house. I never really paid attention to this figure. It stood first on the Shiva altar and later with Ganesha. But I didn't care that much. Now there is such a strong connection. After Navratri it will stay there. It is a room that I have dedicated to nature. There are a lot of roots, stones, autumn leaves: Mother Nature! I am so grateful that this year I chose to celebrate the feminine energy of the divine.
Day 2 of this year's Feat is dedicated to the color GREEN. Green color symbolizes nature and evokes a sense of growth, fertility, peace and serenity. Green also represents new beginnings in life. It all fits. This space is green, blessed with nature and then today Brahmacharini. Wow, I'm floating in another dimension.
Om Devi Brahmacharinyai Namaha
Since Brahmacharini meditated all her life, the second day of the festival is especially good for meditating. In everyday life I didn't have time for that today, but in the evening after the beach. But isn't everything meditation if you do it consciously? Isn't the time on the beach also meditation? In any case, it was a preparation again. With his ball games, Mowgli gets me out of my everyday thoughts and frees me, free for the divine, which of course I was able to experience again on the beach. There is so much magnificence near the ocean waves are coming in waves are coming in ... I just remembered: Brahma means infinity. Brahmacharini is that which moves in infinity. There is no end, no space, no limits. Limitless like the endless ocean. Waves come, waves go, but where are they going? They dissolve in infinity. Infinite as the horizon is not the end. Infinite like the sky that sparkles above me with its stars and the crescent moon.
Isn't Shiva universal consciousness? Brahmacharini surrendered to this consciousness. She wanted to be one with the whole, be one with the eternal change of creation, life and transformation.
I ended my "green" day with total surrender of being
Om Dum Durgayai Namaha
In peace and tranquility, Nisarga
Navratri Day 3, October 9, 2021, Saturday
Moon-lightful Navratri Navdurga, beloved Sangha!
Day3 of my “Durga experience”
Today Durga was worshiped in the form of Chandraghanta. It is a very martial manifestation of the Great Goddess. For me it is the epitome of the Durga representation. I've never found this “aggressive” goddess particularly adorable, I'll be completely honest. At all I don't like anything that looks like war and battle. You can imagine that I found it a little difficult today. At night I decorated the altar in gray, yes, today it was GRAY (more on that later) and resolved to go to prayer without prejudice. Anyway, I “only” have a lovely Parvati figure who is holding her son Ganesha in her mother's hand. So it wasn't that difficult for me. This morning I brought fruit, holy water and incense and greeted Durga with today's mantra: Om Devi Chandraghantayai Namaha
Goddess Chandraghanta is the married form of the goddess Parvati. After the wedding with Shiva, she began to adorn her forehead with a half moon (Chandra) - hence the name “" the one who has a crescent moon in the shape of a bell."This form of Durga is, as already mentioned, a more warlike one apparently aggressive form. She is sitting on a tiger or lion and holding various weapons in her many arms. I found that a bit repulsive as a woman and have therefore never read about her. But today I did it and found out that she has a very maternal side too. She fights like a mother, isn't that a saying too? Her third eye is always open so that nothing escapes her and she can destroy the enemy. Oh god, destroy? I would rather use the word transform, because that is exactly what her job is. It transforms emotions and thoughts. Our mind is constantly going through happiness, sadness, anger, fear, or excitement. It's almost like the cycle of the moon: a constant waxing and waning. But is the moon really changing? Yesterday I saw the waxing crescent moon over the sea, but the longer I looked at it I saw the whole moon. I didn't see it shining, but I saw its outline. Actually it is always full, only one side of it is in the shadow at the moment. What does Durga want to convey to us as Chandraghanta, as a "moon bell"? When I see the moon, I always become silent and reverent, all thoughts stand still for a moment. Perhaps when I see her face I will become still too? Not yet, but I am slowly beginning to understand this manifestation. Chandra (moon) Ghanta (bell) - I love bells, I love their sound. It's a passing sound. The bell symbolizes all emotions and thoughts, they come, they go, they are ephemeral. But have you ever noticed that a bell always sounds the same? No matter how you hit it, it only has one tone. In relation to the emotions, this means that basically all emotions are the same, regardless of whether you are sad, angry or happy, whether you have bad or good thoughts - everything comes from the same energy. For everything you do, you need energy from the same source. In the end, everything that is, good or bad, also comes from the universal, divine energy, from existence. Everything is divine. Oh, I'm just digressing ... I'm just trying to understand Chandraghanta with you and I feel that she should remind me (us) of how to use our energies. Why spend your energy on something that ultimately has no meaning? But I also understood that everything is welcome. That I don't have to judge anything, because it's part of the whole. The image of the Chandraghanta gives courage and strength to overcome fears, to overcome our thoughts, which are sometimes at war like enemies within us. Wow and the longer I look at her portrait, the more I see something in her. Isn't she sitting there relaxed and relaxed? How unnecessary our head carousel is.
Somehow the color “gray” now fits in with it, not black, not white, a color of balance. When I wear gray, I often feel that this color grounds me. It's so inconspicuous, neither in one direction nor in the other. Gray - a color to find one's own source? Why not?!
I did not meet Chandraghanta with total devotion. But I accepted it. I formed my hands in the Durga mudra and felt its power. I took my thumbs and placed them between the middle and index fingers of each hand. The index fingers were over the thumb. I accepted my own feelings and emotions. Transformation occurs through acceptance.
The third day of Navratri gave me a new perspective. I'm very grateful. In this gratitude I ate my meal with Durga and sang not only the Chandraghanta mantra, but also our beloved Om Dum Durgayai Namaha, also on the beach, because the Sandhya time for the Gayatri was already over.
When I got to the sea, the moon and a few stars were already in the sky. It was such a wonderful atmosphere again, a magical atmosphere. I couldn't take my eyes off the waxing crescent moon. Even as a child I felt a strong connection to the moon. And today he was once again in a completely different light, in the light of Chandraghanta. There was such a transforming silence, encouraging on the path to my own being.
And Chandra was reflected on the infinite sea ...
Om Dum Durgayai Namaha
With acceptance, Maa Prarthana Nisarga
Navratri Day 4, October 10, 2021, Sunday
Sun-lightful Navratri Navdurga, beloved Sangha!
Day4 of my “Durga experience”
Sunday was the fourth day of the Navratri festival. It was dedicated to Kushmanda, the fourth manifestation of Durga. The color of the day was orange and so I devotedly decorated the altar with this bright color - singing and reciting with our beloved mantra: Om Dum Durgayei Namaha. I prepared everything for my morning puja (ceremony). When I finished, I sat in front of it and read about Ma Kushmanda. It is said that she is the creator of the universe. She made it with her smile, wow! Kushmanda is also said to be the source of eternal power. She rides a lion and in her eight arms she holds a mala and various weapons. Oh, another warrior goddess?
Somehow I still couldn't make friends with that. But I tried to understand it like the day before. I learned that Parvati had become more and more like the light. She has such energy that her body glowed and rays began to shine from her. She really shone like the sun and the universe, which had just been full of darkness, lived from now on in light. I also learned that Kushmanda lives in the core of the sun and gives the sun god Surya the orientation where he should shine. My concerns about the weapons have passed. Kushmanda is a lovely and happy goddess. And I read more. Kushmanda also created the first three beings. With her left eye she created a terrifying shape and named it Mahakali. From her central eye (on her forehead) she created another wild form and named it Mahalakshmi. From her right eye came an extremely benevolent and smiling form that she called Mahasaraswati. Each of these beings had two "poles", a male side and a female. So came from Mahakali, Shiva and Shakti; from Mahalakshmi Vishnu and Lakshmi; and from Mahasaraswati Brahma and Saraswati.
It was very late. I bowed to my Parvati figure on the altar and went to bed with a smile on my face. I was looking forward to Sunday, yes, I will see the sun in a new light! And I have! I went to the beach especially at sunrise and recited not only the Gayatri, but also the mantra of Kushmanda.
Om Devi Kushmandayai Namaha
Orange, the altar was orange, I wore orange clothes, my food was orange. It was one full of positive energy. To strengthen my relationship with Kushmala, I practiced the Surya (Sun) Mudra (left side of the photo) and the Durga Mudra (right side of the photo). I looked at the sun all day, perceived it through flowers. I imagined Kushmanda standing at the core of this light, I felt her rays on my body, in my soul. In the evening I said goodbye to her. She disappeared with the sun on the horizon to shroud my dear sisters and brothers on the other side of the planet in light. I was so grateful. In this gratitude I stood on the beach. The crescent moon shone on the waves and I said a prayer at the end of this wonderful day full of light:
Surasampurna Kalasham Rudhiraplutameva Cha
Dadhana Hastapadmabhyam Kushmanda Shubhadastu Me
"Ma Kushmanda the Creator of the Universe purely,
Whose hands are ever holding two pots symbolically,
Filled with sura (elixir) and blood characteristically,
Who is famed — bestow your favour on me kindly"
I fell in love ... with Parvati, Kushmanda ...
Om Dum Durgayai Namaha
with a smile and a lot of light,
Ma Prarthana Nisarga
Navratri Day 5, October 11, 2021, Monday
Caring Navratri Navdurga, beloved Sangha!
Day5 of my “Durga experience”
Monday was the fifth day of the Navratri Festival. It was dedicated to the fifth manifestation of the great goddess Durga, Skandamata. During the night my Parvati Murthi got a new altar again, this time in white. White color is synonymous with purity and innocence. I chose my holy Shiva scarf as the background. I thought to myself, the great goddess in the foreground and her husband in the background. That was such a spontaneous idea. When the decorating was done, I sat down in front of the altar, recited the Durga mantra
"Om Dum Durgayai Namaha"
a few times and began to read…
Skandamata means "the mother of Skanda". It is the manifestation when Parvati first became pregnant. Oh, I thought to myself, Shiva wasn't so badly chosen in the background, because he's the father! Skanda is also known as Kartikeya or Murugan. I read that devotees who worship this form of the goddess Parvati have the advantage of worshiping Lord Murugan as well. Only the Skandamata form of the goddess Parvati possesses this quality. Okay so who is Murugan? For me an "old friend", because I already experienced his birthday, the Thaipusam festival, and have also been to a famous temple that is dedicated to him: Batu Caves in Malaysia. Skanda is generally described as a warrior god. Here I have the war again! No, I prefer to refer to the name Murugan, as it is called by the Tamil Hindus. Murugan often takes the form of a mountain dweller or hunter. He carries a lance. Murugan is a protector who fights against malevolent (internal) forces and drives away fear. But he can also cause obsession. In principle, however, he is a protective deity.
On Monday I experienced Durga as a caring mother. She carries her child Murugan with love and devotion while she rides the fearless lion. Not only does Murugan get her affection, her face turns to all of her followers as well. A great radiance of benevolence and maternal love emanates from Skandamata. It is said that she purifies hearts and blesses her followers with wisdom. It all matched the color white, inner peace, blessings and security.
I recited the Skandamata mantra
“Om Devi Skandamatayai Namaha”
... and later went into my now familiar
"Om Dum Durgayai Namaha".
With this mantra I fell asleep in bed.
On Monday morning I did my little puja (ritual) for Skandamata and was then receptive to how the goddess would show herself to me on that day.
I felt the calm and serenity that emanates from her, the peace and became very still myself. It was a meditative day. Silent meditation, mantra meditation, meditative work.
In the evening I was on the beach with Mowgli, as always. It was already dark, only the peaceful light of the moon shone in the sky. No distraction, just the is, the now. A walk without looking back. A star here, a star there, the whole universe appeared in the sky. There is no fight, just a twinkle, little lights, light in the mind and soul. At that moment I realized again how divine life is. I realized the heavenly truth of life for a moment and I am part of that truth. Everything mundane suddenly became so meaningless.
"Om Dum Durgayai Namaha"
with a meditative mind, Maa Prarthana Nisarga
Days 6-9 of my Durga experience are missing. I will write them down in a few days!
Navratri Day 10, October 15, 2021, Friday
Om Dum Durgayai Namaha, beloved Sangha!
Day10 of my “Durga experience”
Farewell Maa Durga, Navratri ended today with one last puja. Once again I had enchanted the altar in a different color. It was like dissolving in the vast ocean of being. Ten days full of new experiences, for me it was getting to know the great goddess Durga. I had never dealt with her so extensively before. Now I have got to know all of their phenomena and take this with me into my further religious life, which does not take place somewhere up in the Himalayas in solitude, but in the middle of noisy everyday life. Tonight I will bring into the sea the leaves that have been lying on the altar the whole time and that have certainly absorbed a bit of Durga's energy. As is customary, I had not invited a statue at home that I could now bring into the water. But I don't see that as a flaw now. I bring the leaves into the flowing water with devotion. As I know it from Ganesha Charturthi, Durga is now going back to her home, the Kailash. Goodbye, see you next year! I'm looking forward to it and I will meet you in a completely different way! I said goodbye with the sound of a singing bowl. I felt that words couldn't express what my heart and this sound could do.
With devotion and gratitude, Nisarga
Last night I brought to the sea the leaves that were on the altar during the festival of Navratri. It was a symbolic act, actually it should have been a Durga-Murthi, but I'm really sure that Durga's soul was in these leaves. I handed it over to the vast ocean. Once again I recited the mantra "Om Dum Durgayai Namaha". Farewell to a wonderful experience that inspired me a lot. Durga will now return to her home. I took some sand and two stones from the spot on the beach with me, one white and one black, both poles, just as Durga can be lovely but also warlike. I will now keep it until next year ... when I welcome Durga back for 10 days. The sky turned a warm red-orange and shimmered on the sea. Waves are coming in, waves are coming in. There is really so much magnificence near the ocean and the moon and stars shone over the sea. Later I took another picture of the moon from home with my good camera. I felt so connected and felt the power that comes from nature. Durga is not just a Hindu goddess. Durga is Shakti, the feminine energy in nature that makes everything possible.
OM the pranic energy
AIM for the sound
HREEM the solar energy
SHREEM the lunar energy
KREEM the electric energy
KLEEM the magnetic energy
HUM the fire energy
HLEEM the power to stop
STREEM the power to stabilize
TREEM thepower to transcend
In gratitude, Nisarga