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Michigan Parashakthi Temple Navaratri Specials 2015

Day 1
Devi Shakambari Alankaram

Day 2
Devi Meenakshi Alankaram

Day 3
Devi Kamakshi Alankaram

Day 4
Vaishno Devi


Day 5
Devi Annapoorneshwari Alankaram

Day 6
Devi Kamalambhika Alankaram

Day 7
Devi Kubera Lakshmi Alankaram

Day 8
Devi Kanaka Durga Alankaram

Day 9
Devi Saraswati Alankaram

Day 10 - Vijayadasami Devi Mahishasuramardini Alankaram

Grand Navratri 2016 Celebrations @ Parashakthi Temple – Miindia Special Coverage
Sat Oct 01 2016 - Mon Oct 10 2016

The feeling of “wow” engulfed the hearts of the devotees entering the grand Eternal Mother Parashakthi Temple in Pontiac on Navaratri day. The mighty Rajagopuram will stand witness to the beautiful forms that unveil day after day. Anklets, bangles, fresh flowers, silks and the cherubic smiles of the kids mark the first day of Navaratri (festival devoted to nine nights in worship of goddess Durga). Devotees – young and old were positive in their spirit as they waited calmly for the form to unveil.

Happy Navaratri and wish you all happiness, peace, harmony and prosperity.

Welcome to Divine Journey of Navaratri 2016 @ The Parashakthi Temple, Pontiac. Michigan


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Navarathri Day 1 - Devi Shakambari Alankaram  |  Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016


In Hinduism, Shakambhari is an incarnation of Ishwari, consort to Shiva. She is the divine mother, 'The Bearer of the Greens'. It is said that in times of famine, Goddess Durga comes down and gives vegan food, (Shaka comes from Sanskrit. means vegetables and vegan food. Ambari means one who wears or bears), to the hungry. That is why she is called "Shaka" + "Ambari" = 'Shakambhari'. Alternatively, Shakambhari comes from "Shakam" joined with the root Bhri (Shaka - vegetables or food and root Bhri - to nourish). She is manifested in the plants and especially in the forest. Shakambhari Devi protects people in all places, averting all sorts of danger, and so people pray to her for safe passage especially at night and through forests. She grants eternal nourishment and fulfillment to her devotees and grants immortality (soul).

The Demon Durgamasura had acquired all four Vedas from Lord Brahma through penance. He also received a boon from Lord Brahma that caused all the pujas, yagnas that were offered to the devas to reach him instead, making him invincible. Durgama became very arrogant and started tormenting the whole world. As a consequence, it did not rain for 100 years and the whole world was hit by a very severe drought. The Rishis and the saints took refuge in the caves of the Himalayas, and meditated upon the Supreme Devi. The Goddess appeared in front of them bearing a wonderful form. She had countless eyes that gave her the name Shatakshi, and was carrying grain, cereals, vegetables, greens, fruits and other herbs and because of this was called Shakambhari.

As the stories indicate, the demon represents the insurmountable ego, and the story describes the way that worldliness, selfishness, conceit, agitation, and confusion affect the world in times of darkness leading to drought. Drought can be understood figuratively, to mean a lack of spiritual consciousness, but also literally as people’s agitated consciousness. Nourishment of the soul becomes essential.

Om Naranyai Vidhmahe Shakambhari
Devyai Dhimahee Tanno Devi Prajodayaat

Navarathri Day 2 - Devi Meenakshi Alankaram  |  Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016


The Mother of the Cosmos, “Adi Shakti” (the original source of energy), the divine consort of Lord Shiva, appeared in her incarnation as “Meenakshi, meaning fish eyed” from the words “meena, meaning fish” and “akshi meaning eyes”. Meenakshi also means “the one who has eyes like that of a fish”. Fish are said to look after and protect their younger ones with their eyes, similarly goddess looks after her devotees.
Lord Shiva is the embodiment of the super consciousness expressed in the human body. The ultimate union of the male and the female consciousness is expressed in one body - Meenakshi.

Meenakshi was a great devotee of Lord Sundareswara (Shiva) and the Lord comes in disguise followed by 64 thrilling episodes known as thiruvilayadal (sixty four divine games), before marrying the goddess Meenakshi. The goddess is the presiding deity of Madurai (birthplace of Tamil literature) and not Sundareswarar - this is unlike most Shiva temples in South India where Shiva is the principal deity. The green parrot resting on her shoulder is the celestial partner imparting knowledge of all the 64 arts (maha vidyas) to Devi. The green parrot plays a great role as a symbol of love, peace and transfer of knowledge. The parrot also symbolizes Meenakshi’s love for Shiva. Therefore it is not astonishing that the parrot is also the vehicle of Lord Kamadeva, the god of love and passion. While having darshan of the Goddess, it is essential to seek the blessings of the parrot for upliftment in the knowledge of fine arts.

The parrot, apart from enhancing speech, also has a tendency to repeat all it hears, symbolizes the inexorable law of karma, the belief that one cannot escape the consequences of one's acts. It also represents the world of nature. She is the Shiva-Shakthi personification, the powerful mighty princess with exemplary administrative powers, cosmic justice, and causeless compassion to all.

Aum Unni-thriyai Cha Vidmahe
Sunthapa Priyaayai Cha Dhimahee
Thanno Meenakshi Prachodayath

Navarathri Day 3 - Devi Kanchi Kamakshi Alankaram  |  Monday, Oct. 3, 2016


The Feminine Divinity has enshrined in many places on earth with thousands of different names. In India, she takes upon the name of Kamakshi in Kanchipuram, Meenakshi in Madurai, Vishalatchi in Kasi, KanyaKumari in Cape Comorin, Bagavathy in Kodungallur and so on.

The Goddess Kamakshi prevails in the form of Shakti. There are 51 Shakti Peetas across the country. The Goddess residing in Kanchi is called as “Sri Kamakshi. The word is derived from the heritage “Ka” means Goddess Saraswati (God of Education), “Ma” means Goddess Lakshmi (God of Wealth), “Akshi” means Eye. The name as a whole refers as the goddess living in Kanchi with Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi merged into her supremely divine eyes. The sitting posture is called the Padmasana (meditative) posture signifying peace and prosperity. The Goddess holds a sugarcane bow on her left upper arm representing the mind of a human being and Lotus, Parrot in her upper right arm- symbols of love. The Goddess also has divine chakras called Pasa (weapon that binds obstacles and ignorance) and Angusa (weapon that steers control and direction) in her arms. She will help us to keep the mind and the senses under control and purify our heart, so that we may attain perfection without being afflicted by Kama and Lobha (lust and desires) and realize the Ultimate Truth and achieve sublime peace and happiness.
In one legend, Lord Shiva opened his third eye to destroy Kama, the God of Love. What Shiva destroys and resists ends up becoming his better half. Another legend reveals that Goddess Kamakshi was praying under a mango tree with a Shiva lingam made of sand to marry the great Lord Shiva. After a long duration of dedicated and devoted meditation to Lord Shiva, Lord Shiva appeared before her and married the Goddess Kamakshi, a divine form of Parvati. In another legend, she fights like a warrior against the devil Bhanda and proves that a woman can be delicate and beautiful, yet destroy evil with the strength of her mind.

These legends goes to prove how Goddess Kamakshi is able to be devoted to her Consort Siva, but to maintain the independence she needs to fiercely lead her army to war. Kamakshi shows how to live in balance, for people with numerous responsibilities. She demonstrates that it is possible to honor the family and other responsibilities, without disappointing anyone. All creation, manifestation and dissolution is considered to be a play of Devi or the goddess.

Navarathri Day 4 - Devi Vaishno Devi Alankaram  |  Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016


Goddess Vaishno Devi is the manifestation of the collective spiritual strengths of Maha Saraswati, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Kali presented by the three natural 'pindis' (heads) which embody the creative, preservative, and destructive aspects of the Supreme Power. Vaishno Devi, also known as Mata Rani, Trikuta and Vaishnavi, is a manifestation of the Hindu Mother Goddess Mahalakshmi. Her right hand holds joy and pain and her left hand holds life and death.

In her form, we come across the right lower hand, which is held in Abhaya Mudra (the pose signifying assurance of freedom from fear). The Gita says fear is caused by unfulfilled desires. The ultimate gift of the Goddess is the blessing of deliverance from fears. The thunderbolt signifies firmness. The devotee of the goddess must be firm like thunderbolt in one's convictions. Like the thunderbolt that can break anything against which it strikes, without being affected itself, one needs to attack a challenge without losing one’s confidence.

According to the local legends a pious brahma?a named Pa??it Sridhar lived at the foot of Triku?a about 700 years back. Due to his intense devotion and earnest prayers, the Divine Mother had manifested herself as a little girl of extraordinary beauty and had fed a very large crowd of people invited by Sridhar. This place is now called Bhumika Mandir. She had also spent nine months in meditation in a cave, now known as the Garbh Joon.

When pursued by the demon Bhairon, she beheaded him, assuming the fierce form of Ca?dika. In his dying moments, Bhairav pleaded for forgiveness. The Goddess knew that Bhairav's main intention in attacking her was to achieve salvation. She not only granted Bhairav liberation from the cycle of reincarnation, but also granted him a boon, whereby every devotee, in order to ensure completion of the pilgrimage, had to visit Bhairav Nath's temple near the Holy cave after the darshan of the Goddess.

Meanwhile Vaishno Devi assumed the shape of a rock with three pindis (heads) and immersed herself into meditation forever. Devotees believe Goddess Vaishno Devi fulfills all the longings of human life dharma (righteousness), artha (goal), kama (lust) and moksha (salvation). The legend is that the goddess herself has an unfulfilled wish. When all humanity has taken her blessings, Lord Vishnu, for whom the goddess waits in her small cave shrine, would marry her in his Kalki avatar.

Om Chakradhaarinee Vidmahe
Vaishnaveedevi cha Dheemahi
Tannah Shaktih Prachodayat

Navarathri Day 5 - Devi Annapoorneshwari Alankaram  |  Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016


This aspect of Shakthi is derived from Sanskrit meaning the giver of food and nourishment. Anna means "food" or "grains" and pur?a means "full, complete and perfect". The lower left hand is depicted holding a vessel full of delicious porridge and the right with golden ladle adorned with various kinds of jewels. Here is a little legend which explains that even Moksha (salvation) is not possible on an empty stomach.

Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati used to play the game of dice. Shiva lost the bet with Parvati in one of the games. A humiliated Shiva left for the Deodar forest. Lord Vishnu approached Shiva and asked him to play again to win back all that he had lost. Taking advice from Vishnu, Shiva played again and won all that he had lost in the previous game. Goddess Parvati grew suspicious about Shiva’s sudden turn of fortunes. This led to a verbal duel between the couple. Finally, Lord Vishnu intervened and revealed that the dice moved as per his wish and they were under the illusion that they were playing.

Lord Shiva said everything is Maya (illusion)…including food. Goddess Parvati did not agree. She argued that if food is illusion she was also an illusion. She wanted to know how the world would survive without food and disappeared. Her disappearance meant Nature came to a standstill. In the absence of food from the earth, the earth became infertile and everyone had suffered from the deep hunger. Shiva soon realized that he is incomplete without Shakti. To attain perfection in wisdom and renunciation, Shiva seeks her nourishment. Goddess Parvati could not see her children perishing out hunger and appeared in Kashi (Varanasi) and started distributing food. Shiva appeared before her with a begging bowl and Goddess Parvati fed Shiva. Shiva said that food cannot be dismissed as mere illusion as it is required to nourish the body in which resides the Atma.

Mother Annapoorna inspires us to nourish others, to give our best, consistent in the wisdom that the greatest joy comes from renunciation. As we can free ourselves from attachment we experience more and more of the bliss of Sankara, which literally means the cause of peace.

**Devi Annapoorneshwari Gayatri Mantra**
Aum Bhagavathyai Vidmahe
Maheshwaryai Dhimahee
Thanno Annapoorna Prachodayath

Navarathri Day 6 - Devi Kamalambika Alankaram  |  Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016


Kamalambika is the presiding Goddess in the temple of Thiruvarur of Thanjavur district. The Goddess is the reference to the Divine Mother of the universe, or the Supreme Consciousness. The seed of devotion sown by Kamalambika in the hearts of her devotees help them to evolve beyond rituals and religious practices. It helps them to progress towards Moksha Sthithi – Eternal Bliss. She shall always remain the ever guiding light – Self lit and Self luminant; the lifetronic force behind our thoughts, actions and our very existence; thereby indicating that.

Goddess Kamalambal, enshrined in the third prakaram of the temple complex, is knowledge-personified adorning the Ganges and the Crescent on Her head, much like Lord Shiva. Seated in Kuttikaasanam on a Sri Chakram (It is a yantra, an instrument in the realization of the Goddess). Goddess Kamalambigai represents the integrated nature of the Trishaktis. On one hand, she holds a Neelotpalam flower (purple water lily) and is seen placing the other hand on her hip, a veritable sign of yoga. The nine enclosures of the Sri Chakra are made up of forty-three triangles surrounded by concentric circles. Lotus petals, 16 and eight, adorn two of the three circles. This beautiful pattern is housed in a square, girdled by three lines and has four gates. Together they make up the Nava Avarana (nine corridors of the Yantra).

The ancient legend has it the Goddess Kamalambika had a strong determination to marry Lord Thyagaraja, who was in perpetual penance, The Goddess' intense prayers, though remained unfulfilled, She kept praying to the lord. Local people say in Tamil, "kallu thaeer oodinaal, kaalai maadu paal kuduttha, Kamalalayam vadthi ponaal, Kamalambikaikku kalyanam" (if a stone chariot could run, if an ox could yield milk, if the Kamalalayam runs dry, only then will Kamalambika be married). This brings forth the uniqueness of ‘Kamalalayam’ , the temple tank, the largest in India. The uniqueness is that it never runs dry.

Not content with merely worshipping her through mantras and yantras, Dikshitar’s incredible musical virtuosity crafted nine majestic compositions to adorn Kamalamba, residing in the Sri Chakra. The songs in themselves have come to be worshipped as the Kamalamba Navaavaranam. Mystics aver that the enclosures of the Sri Chakras correspond with the yogic energy centres in the human body also termed Chakras. Goddess Kamalambika epitomizes the journey to the self.

Navarathri Day 7 - Devi Kubera Lakshmi Alankaram   |  Friday, Oct. 7, 2016


Kubera is one of the "Yatchas" (demi-gods) and he was very much devoted to Shiva. He performed severe penance invoking the blessing of Shiva. He impressed Shiva with his immense Bhakthi (devotion) and relentless efforts.

Shiva gave darshan to Kubera with Goddess Parvathi. Kubera was stunned to see the splendor and beauty of Goddess Parvathi. He felt sorry that he had not worshipped such a fine Goddess earlier and one of his eyes winked. Goddess Parvathi was angry that Kubera was seeing her with evil intention. She made his eye burst. Kubera lost one eye sight. Lord Kubera requested Siva to forgive him and pleaded that he had not seen the Goddess with any evil intention. Siva asked Goddess to decide. Goddess Parvathi forgave Kubera and let one of the eyes grow on smaller size. So one eye of Kubera is smaller than the other. Kubera was rewarded by Shiva with the post of one of the Guards of eight disas (directions). Kubera was given the post of guarding northern direction. Goddess made him the Lord of wealth and materials. Kubera is the God of wealth and material but not its originator. His responsibilities is to distribute the above two things properly. Creating wealth and distributing the same is the divine mother Goddess Lakshmi.

The Saraswati aspect of Kubera Lakshmi defines the space in the material world or the wisdom to evolve in the material world. (Dhaanam (Charity) vs. Dhanam (Wealth). Her four hands represent the four goals of human life (dharma (duty), Kama (lust), Artha (sense), and moksha (salvation)). She is very closely associated with the lotus. Goddess Kubera Lakshmi, the universal mother grants everything from material prosperity, spiritual prosperity to moksha/liberation from transmigration.

One also reveres Mother Saraswati for her blessings of knowledge and sound judgment to realize the difference between need and greed. The question arose: who did Brahma need more? Lakshmi or Saraswati? Wealth or knowledge? The goddesses argued, "Knowledge does not fill an empty stomach." Said Lakshmi. "Wealth keeps man alive but gives no meaning to life." Said Saraswati. "I need both knowledge and wealth to sustain the cosmos. Without knowledge I cannot plan. Without wealth I cannot implement a plan. Wealth sustains life; the arts give value to life. Thus both Lakshmi and Saraswati are needed to live a full life.

Navarathri Day 8 - Devi Kanaka Durga Alankaram   |  Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016


Kanaka Durga, goddess of power, riches and benevolence is considered the presiding deity of Vijayawada. The temple is set on the Indrakiladri hill. The deity in the Kanaka Durga temple is regarded as Swayambhu or self-manifested, hence is considered very powerful. Kanaka Durga is an incarnation of Devi or the Mother Goddess, a unified symbol of all divine forces. Durga also obtained very powerful weapons, such as the chakra from Vishnu and a trident from Shiva. The name "Durga" in Sanskrit means "invincible". The syllable "du" is synonymous with the 4 devils of poverty, sufferings, famine and evil habits. The "r" refers to diseases and the "ga" is the destroyer of sins, injustice, irreligion, cruelty and laziness. Kanaka Durga is seen with a trident that stands for the three primary evils that need to be destroyed in order to make progress towards the divine. They are the evil of anger, the evil of lust and the evil of pride. The trident also represents the three aspects of time, the past, the present and the future. The name Durga means –the power which cannot be attained or reached even with the greatest of difficulty. In other words, Durga is that supreme power which has no second.

Thousands of years ago, a Yaksha named Indrakeela, who was a great shakta (worshipper of the goddess), worshipped Amba and as a boon Amba granted her eternal presence to him. As a result, he assumed the form of a hill named Indrakeeladri and Devi began to reside on this hill. Indrakeeladri is unique in that it has been the chosen abode of Kanaka Durga and Her consort Malleswara as Swayambhu (the self-existent one). Here Durga is one the right side of Malleswara as against the tradition of Goddesses taking their position on the left of their consorts. This shows that Shakthi is predominant on the Indrakeeladri.

According to a legend, the now verdant Vijayawada was once a rocky region strewn with hills that obstructed the flow of the Krishna River. The land was, thus, rendered unfit for habitation or cultivation. Invocation to Lord Shiva for his intervention directed the hills to make way for the river. The river started flowing unimpeded with all its might, through the tunnels or bejjam bored into the hills by Lord Shiva. That is how the place got its name Bezawada. One of the many mythologies associated with this place is that Arjuna prayed to Lord Shiva on top of Indrakeela hill to win his blessings and the city derived its name "Vijayawada" after this victory. This is the place where Arjuna obtained the Pasupatha astra (weapon) after his great penance for Lord Shiva.

May god bless your homes with illumination and peace!

Navarathri Day 9 - Devi Saraswati Alankaram   |  Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016


This is the final day of the Navratri (nine nights) - the supreme energy, the supreme power of the universe was draped in nine different forms symbolizing victory of positivity over negativity. During these nine nights and ten days, the three forms of the goddess -Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi - are invoked. A joyful silence descends that is filled with awareness as we prepare for the grand finale!

The first three days are tamasic (imbalance, chaos, ignorance), the next three rajasic (self-centered, egoistic), and the last three sattvic (balance, order, purity). In life, all these three qualities co-exist and we have to skillfully get past them. It is the awakening of the Divinity. Supporting the positivity in us and skillfully removing the negative can be learnt by invoking and awakening the Divine in us.

One of the many faces reflected in the image of the Divine Mother. Called the Goddess of the Word, Saraswati means "the one who gives the essence (Sara) of our own Self (Swa)”.

She is also known as the Goddess of Learning and is the consort (wife) of the Hindu God Brahma (the Creator). Saraswati is closely identified with culture, language, speech, wisdom, intellect, creativity and inspiration. She contains all forms within her, pervades all creation, and is the power of intelligence and thought. As the embodiment of speech Saraswati teaches us the power of the spoken Word. She helps us to become aware of our speech and to understand the importance of choosing our words carefully. She teaches us about idle chatter and gossip which benefit no one and actually dissipate the light in our chakras (spirituals centers). After creating the universe, Brahma was looking over what was made and realized it was unformed and utterly lacking in concept. To help him with this monumental task of creating form, Brahma decided to create the embodiment of knowledge. So from his mouth emerged the Saraswati- the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Saraswati emerged from Brahma and began to give him direction on how to create order in the cosmos; the sun, moon, and stars all came into being.

The lotus is a symbol of the Supreme Reality. By sitting on a lotus, Saraswati signifies that “She” is rooted in the Supreme Reality, and symbolizes supreme knowledge. The white sari that the Goddess is wearing denotes embodiment of pure knowledge. The two front arms indicate her activity in the physical world and the two back arms signify her presence in the spiritual world. The four hands represent the four elements of the inner personality. The mind (manas) is represented by the front right hand, the intellect (buddhi) by the front left hand, the conditioned consciousness (chitta) by the rear left hand, and the ego (ahankara) by the rear right hand.

A book in the rear left hand signifies that knowledge acquired must be used with love and kindness to promote prosperity of mankind. The rosary signifies concentration, meditation, and contemplation, leading union with God. The Goddess is shown playing a veena (stringed instrument). This symbol conveys that the seeker must tune his mind and intellect in order to live in perfect harmony with the world. A swan is said to have a sensitive beak that enables it to distinguish pure milk from a mixture of milk and water. A swan, therefore, symbolizes the power of discrimination, or the ability to discriminate between right and wrong or good and bad. Saraswati uses the swan as her vahana (vehicle). This indicates that one must acquire and apply knowledge with discrimination for the good of mankind. Knowledge that is dominated by ego can destroy the world. Brahma thus became the creator of the world with Saraswati as his wisdom.

May the goddess of speech and wisdom enlighten our homes with goodness and purity!


Navarathri Day 10 - Devi Mahishasura Mardini Alankaram – The Grand Finale   |  Monday, Oct. 10, 2016


Each day of Navaratri (Nine nights) is dedicated to one such form of Parashakthi (Supreme Energy). It marks the end of the Maha Navratri or the nine days of Durga Puja. At Navaratri (“nine nights”), the Lord in the form of the Mother Goddess is worshipped in her various forms as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Though the Goddess is one, she is represented and worshipped in three different aspects. On the first three nights of the festival, Durga is worshipped. On the following three, Lakshmi and then Saraswati Devi on the last three nights. The following tenth day is called Vijayadasami. Vijaya means “victory”, the victory over our own minds that can come only when we have worshipped these three: Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.

This day is also symbolic of the end of Mahishasur, the king of demons who was killed by Goddess Durga on this day. According to mythology, Durga was created by the Gods by pooling in their spiritual powers as they wanted to create ‘shakti’ that was ultimate and could annihilate Mahishasur. So it is a celebration of righteousness over evil. This is why she is called Mahishasura Mardini, the destroyer of Mahisha asura (demon), mahisha meaning “buffalo.” Buffalo represents darkness, ignorance and inertia. This of “Mahisha” as the individual human ego. Knowledge is power. Victory over the mind, senses & body (sense organs) can be gained only through knowledge.

Vijayadasami also celebrates the victory of Lord Ram over Ravana as cited in the epic Ramayana. This is when Lord Ram rescues his wife Sita who was abducted by Ravana and imprisoned in Lanka. Effigies of Ravana are burnt to mark the victory of good over evil. The word "Dussehra" is derived from Sanskrit "Dasa-Hara" means "removal of ten heads" which is representing the triumph of Lord Sri Rama over the demon King Ravana, the victory of Good over Evil.

May your homes be filled with light and positive energy!


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