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Michigan Parashakthi Temple Navaratri Specials

Day 1
Devi Shakambari Alankaram

Day 2
Devi Kamakshi Alankaram

Day 3
Devi Meenakshi Alankaram

Day 4
Devi Vaishnavi

Alankaram

Day 5
Devi Bala Tiripura Sundari Alankaram

Day 6
Devi Gajalakshmi Alankaram

Day 7
Devi Annapurneshwari Alankaram

Day 8
Devi Kanaka Durga Alankaram

Day 9
Devi Saraswati Alankaram

Day 10 - Vijayadasami Devi Mahishasuramardini Alankaram

The dance of the cosmic universe – Nine Nights/Ten Days of Navratri
– An exclusive report from The Eternal Mother Parashakthi Temple, Pontiac, MI
Miindia.com © 2017



It is that time of the year! Delightful faces, vibrant chants, the aura of divinity is witnessed as devotees throng The Eternal Mother Parashakthi Temple to celebrate the nine nights/ten days of the cosmic victory of three forms of the eternal supreme power – Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The Parashakthi temple in Pontiac is known for its positive fervor as devotees visit the abode of the only Shakthi Peetha of the west in Pontiac from all across the globe. The very moment you enter the grand temple doors, the empowering Rajagopuram, the detailed archtecture of each cosmic angel, the divine forces of the Shakthi embraces you into a peaceful submission of your self.

Welcome to the season of festivities. Nine nights and Ten days (Wed Sep 20 2017 - Fri Sep 29 2017) of the temple and the various manifested forms of Mother Parashakthi.

Photo Credit: Vinod Venugopal and Anand Desai

Click here for Navaratri 2017 event & sponsorship details»


Navarathri Day 1 - Devi Shakambari Alankaram  |  Wednesday, Sep. 20, 2017

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An aspect of Goddess Durga, Shakambari nourishes your soul by bringing vegetation or herbs (a natural healing) to your mind. The goddess of the forest guards you in your safe journey. She sits on a lotus and carries grains, flowers, sprouts, roots, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Meditating and thinking of Devi Shakambari averts all darkness, difficulties and provides you nourishment and complete fulfillment.

Demon Durgamasura performed rigorous rituals to attain all 4 vedas and all the wisdom that it emanates. Additionally, the demon received a boon from Brahma that all offerings made to the gods would reach him instead. With insurmountable ego, selfishness, conceit, agitation, confusion and worldliness leads to darkness (in other words “Drought”). Drought and famine affects the world when spiritual qualities cease to exist. Owing to demon Durgamasura’s meditation, darkness grasped human consciousness and the Earth was struck with 100 years of drought.

The sages took reguge in caves and prayed incessantly to the Divine Mother. Moved by the plight of humanity, tears of compassion fell from her eyes which formed the river and nourished life on Earth. Devi took the form of Dasha Mahaavidyas (Ten Wisdom Goddesses) and several other goddess forms and defeated the demon in a huge battle slaying him with the trident. This symbol of Noursishment is called Shakambari - She who nourishes by bringing (ambhari) vegetation or herbs (shaaka).

May Devi Shakambari nourish all living creation and offer you and your loved ones complete spritual fulfillment.


Navarathri Day 2 - Devi Kamakshi Alankaram  |  Thursday, Sep. 21, 2017

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An aspect of Goddess Durga, Kamakshi embodies the autonomy of nature. The goddess appears with beauty and tranquility. Her symbols are associated with the god of love. She carries a noose goad, parrot on the top left and top right hands. She is also seen with a lotus and sugarcane. These elements are symbolic of things that bind one to the world. This gives a very important message to the world – that of keeping emotions under control gives way to enlightenment. The Goddess 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 who lives with Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi as her both eyes.

According to legends, the lord of the Ganas, Citrakarma creates the image of a man out of the burnt ashes of Love (the Love god Manmatha who tried to distract Shiva from meditation and got burnt by the power of Agni (fire) from the third eye of Shiva). Shiva names the new image, Bhanda, teaches him a powerful mantra and gives him the boon of being one and a half times as strong as his enemy, and empowering him as ruler for sixty thousand years. Unfortunately, because he was generated from the ashes of Shiva's wrath he is transformed into a fierce demon. Intoxicated with his new found power he proceeded to rampage the kingdom of the gods.

The gods could do nothing as Siva is protecting Bhanda, but once this time has gone by, the gods try to find a way to destroy him and protect all the Celestials from the atrocities of a demon. The Devas (after repeated prayers) summon the Divine Mother in the form of Kamakshi. Legend has it that Kamakshi appeared in her ethereal form in a pit or cave (Bilakasa Swarupa) to save the Devas from Asuras. Bhanda does not regard an army of women as a serious threat, and laughs that Kamakshi is as soft and delicate as the flower. To Bhanda's dismay and the gods' delight, Kamakshi's army is very powerful. After a long battle, she kills him using the Kamesvara missile, which has an incredibly bright splendor. All the gods praise Kamakshi for her courage and success. She agrees to bring back the god of Love, Manmatha and reunites him with his grateful wife Rathi Devi.

This myth shows how Kamakshi is the two forms of human nature simultaneously. She is able to be devoted to her Consort Siva, but to maintain the independence she needs to lead her army to war. She is fierce in her battles, but her most powerful weapons and warriors are created from her laugh and jubilance. Kamakshi shows people the way to deal with problems in their everyday lives. 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.

May goddess Kamakshi bless your homes with vibrant love and success!


Navarathri Day 3 - Devi Meenakshi Alankaram  |  Friday, Sep. 22, 2017

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The Mother of the Cosmos, “Adi Shakti” (the source of energy), the divine consort of Lord Shiva, “Sundareshwara” appeared in her third incarnation as “Meenakshi, meaning fish eyed” from the words “mina, meaning fish” and “ak?i 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. Just by her one look, one glance our miseries disappear. The ultimate union of the male and the female consciousness is expressed in one body - Meenakshi.

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. The green complexion symbolizes Knowledge. Her knowledge is about all 64 fine arts.

A legend says - A Pandya King, after performing a great yagna to secure an heir, is astonished to find himself bestowed with a three-year old, three-breasted girl child instead of the infant son he had hoped for. A voice from the heavens proclaims that this is his heir and that he should raise her like his son. And so he does. Meenakshi grows up to be a powerful warrior and ascends the throne, leading a great army of women, bearing bows, spears and swords to conquer all the worlds. This is not an army of coy, demure women.

Meenakshi, after defeating Indra and many others, finally comes to Mount Kailash, where she meets her equal in battle — Siva as Sundareswar, the beautiful Lord (who uses 64 different games in 64 different acts) . This is a battle that ends not in blood and war, but far more wonderfully - in love and marriage. The story of Meenakshi can help us consider the possibility that there are aspects of myth and tradition that offer a very necessary counterview; stories and ideas that can help inspire young women to be the best, most powerful version of themselves.

May your homes be protected by Goddess Meenakshi and may truth and goodness always triumph!


Navarathri Day 4 - Devi Vaishnavi Alankaram  |  Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017

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Devi Vaishnavi is the very manifestation of the Goddess Adi-Shakthi - the eternal supreme mother who is also the exposer of consciousness.

According to legend, at the time when the Mother Goddess was engaged in waging terrible wars against the Asuras or demons causing chaos in the world, her three main manifestations, namely, Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati united into one single collective spiritual power and strength. This unification created a bright Tejas or aura and a beautiful young girl emerged from this. The Devis told her that her mission was to manifest on Earth and spend her time there, upholding Dharma or righteousness. They asked the divine girl to take human birth in the materialistic home of Ratnakar and then go on to lead a life of piousness and penance, so as to raise her own consciousness to the level of Godhead. They also told her that once she had attained that level of consciousness, she would then automatically merge into and become one with Lord Vishnu. Vaishnavi had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and displayed keen leanings towards spirituality and a quest for the knowledge of the inner self. She would go into deep meditation and stay in that state for hours together. She then decided to renounce all worldly comforts and travel deep into the forest to perform severe austerities and penance. This is when she met Lord Rama and attained his blessings.

Goddess Vaishnavi also known as Narayani is one of the seven mother goddesses or Sapta Matrikas. Goddess Vaishnavi takes Her name from Lord Vishnu (Shakthi was Lord Vishnu's sister). She is armed with the same weapons like Lord Vishnu and wears the same ornaments and rides the same Vahana or vehicle and also carries the same banner. There is also a legend which suggests Vaishnavi came out from Goddess Kaumari’s hand, seated on Garuda (protector of Mount Meru) and holding a conch, discus, club, sword, bow and arrow. In philosophical terms, the Gada represents the power of knowledge and the power of time which is the destroyer of all opponents. Some call it the “individual existence”. While the Lotus and Shankha in her hands are water symbols representing life and love, the Gada and the Chakra are fire symbols denoting pain and destruction (commanding adherence to nature and rules).

In some puranas, Devi Vaishnavi is also mounted on the lion, symbol of uncontrolled animal tendencies (bringing her Shakthi aspect). Her sitting on it reminds us to control these qualities, so that we are not controlled by them. Interestingly, the reference to Eternal Mother and the Lion is represented in other ancient cultures like In Mesopotamia, Ishtar the goddess of war, has always been associated with the lion. The car of the Phyrgian goddess Cybele, whose cult spread all over the Roman empire is dragged by lions. Goddess Cybele is popularly known as Mother of the mountain in ancient Rome and so is Devi Vaishnavi.


Navarathri Day 5 - Devi Bala Tripura Sundari Alankaram  |  Sunday, Sep. 24, 2017

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Bala Tripura Sundari Devi or Kumarika (the virgin goddess), also known simply as Bala is the youthful aspect of the Hindu Goddess, Tripura Sundari, the consort of Lord Shiva. Tripura Sundari is represented as a young girl when the delightful aspects of her existence is most pronounced. She is endowed with a playful nature, enthusiasm to learn, seek new experience and charm everyone. Tripura Sundari is an embodiment of youthfulness and is revered as the deity that guides young girls to lead fruitful lives. She is the embodiment of maya – devoid of any blemish. Sri Bala Tripura Sundari, the moving spirit of Sri Chakra. Her face resembles the beautiful face of the full moon. Her eyes look like the lotus petals. Her lotus feet are worshipped by Indra and other Gods.

Sri Yantra represents the goddess in her form of Devi Lalita or Tripura Sundari, "the beauty of the three worlds": Bhu Loka (Physical Plane, Consciousness of the Physical Plane), Bhuvar Loka (Intermediate Space, Consciousness of the Prana (living force) and Swar Loka (Heaven, Consciousness of the Divine Mind). The bright red/golden color in which the Great Cosmic Power Tripura Sundari is represented, signifies her state of ecstatic happiness, her illuminating and complete knowledge, as well as her boundless compassion for all the beings of the Creation. Some definitions also indicate that she is identical with the triangle (trikona) that symbolizes the yoni (origin and form of life) and that forms her chakra. She is called Tripura also because her mantra has three clusters of syllables. Here Tripura is identified with the alphabet, from which all sounds and words proceed and which is often understood to occupy a primordial place in tantric cosmology (Om). She is seen in a meditative form holding the garland of alphabets and rudraksha (shiva's eye).

Bala Tripura Sundari joins the battle against the forces of the arch-demon Bhanda. Although prevented thus by her mom Sri Lalita Devi, the girl was overcome by curiosity. She requested once again for permission to fight. On observing her steadfast decision, the mother, granted her permission after closely clasping her in her arms. She took off one of her armors and gave it to her. From her weapons, she gave her the requisite weapons and sent her off. She killed all 30 sons of the demon Bhandasura which was extremely difficult to do.

May you be blessed with divine support and lead a hassle-free and successful life by connecting with the divine feminine.


Navarathri Day 6 - Devi Gajalakshmi Alankaram  |  Monday, Sep. 25, 2017

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Gaja-Lakshmi or the Goddess of the elephants symbolizes royal powers. Devi Gajalakshmi is the destroyer of adversity and eradicates all afflictions. GajaLakshmi is one of the manifestations of Goddess Lakshmi out of the eight Lakshmi(s), depicted as ‘Asta Lakshmi’ in Hindu mythology. The eight Lakshmi(s) are – Adi Lakshmi, Dhana Lakshmi, Dhairya Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Santana Lakshmi, Vijay Lakshmi, Vidya Lakshmi and Dhaanya (grain) Lakshmi.

The legend of Goddess Lakshmi is the legend of Samudra manthan. Rishi Durbasha cursed Indra to lose all his wealth and when Indra apologized he said that Lord Vishnu would undo the damage. With Lakshmi power, wealth, enthusiasm and radiance left the demi gods. In time the gods lost their immortality and valour. As demonic power occupied the heavens sage Brihaspati with Lord Brahma appealed to Lord Vishnu. He suggested churning the sea of milk. The gods immortality returned after the extremely beautiful and radiant Goddess Lakshmi emerged and restored Indra to his position. She is Gaja Lakshmi.

The Goddess is depicted with two white elephants on her either side showering her with water from their trunks. These elephants represent two of the eight elephants who are believed to hold up the sky from the eight corners of the cosmos. They are called 'dig-gajas' and are usually one male and another female. Mythology believes that these two elephant represent proper balancing of the cosmic sky.

Gaja Lakshmi is a four armed goddess who carries no weapons. She holds two lotuses in two hands and the other two hands are in Abhaya Mudra (dispels the fear of her devotees) and Varada Mudra (provides boons to her devotees). She sits on a lotus in a Padmasana (The Lotus pose) posture. Padmasana destroys all disease and awakens kundalini energy, allowing it to travel up the spine. The lotus also represents the highest level of consciousness when in search for enlightenment and purity. Elephants symbolize immense strength. It walks with its own grandeur and beauty suggesting that bad influences should be eliminated from life and on should keep moving ahead in life with grace and dignity.

May Devi Gajalakshmi protect you from all evils as well as offer you abundant grace and blessings!

Navarathri Day 7 - Devi Annapurneshwari Alankaram  |  Tuesday, Sep. 26, 2017

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Goddess Annapoorna, or Annapurna Devi, is the Goddess of food (Anna means “food”, Poorna means “full”). In this incarnation she nourishes all living beings and therefore ‘Annam’ (food) becomes holy. It is said that She does not eat a morsel unless all Her devotees have been fed in Her temple. Hence this form is seen holding a golden ladle adorned with jewels and a vessel full of delicious porridge.

There is an interesting incident involving Lord Shiva and Goddess Annapoorna, 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 game and lost his trident as they started betting. Finally, when the game ended, Shiva lost all that he had including his begging bowl. 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. Shiva played again and won all that he had lost.Goddess Parvati grew suspicious about Shiva’s sudden turn of fortunes and called him a cheat. 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.

Symbolically, life is like a game of dice - unpredictable and beyond control. Verbal duel soon turned to philosophical discussion and Lord Shiva said that possessions are temporary…everything is Maya (illusion)…even the food we eat is Maya. Goddess Parvati argued that if food is illusion I am also an illusion. She wanted to know how the world would survive without food and disappeared. Her disappearance meant Nature came to a standstill. There were no seasonal changes. Everything remained barren. Soon there was severe drought and shortage of food. Shiva soon realized that he is incomplete without Shakthi.

Gods, humans and demons all kept praying for food. 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.

May Goddess Annapoorneshwari bless your homes with nourishment, wisdom, and enlightenment.


Navarathri Day 8 - Devi Kanaka Durga Alankaram  |  Wednesday, Sep. 27, 2017

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Kanaka Durga is a form of the supreme goddess Durga- an unified symbol of all divine forces. The word “Kanaka” in Sanskrit translates to “gold” and, hence, the goddess has a golden hue around her. Kanaka Durga is regarded as Swayambhu – the self-manifested; as such is regarded as one of the most powerful goddesses of the Hindus. 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 which need to 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.

A very famous legend states that once upon a time many powerful demons performed penance in order to please the gods. Consequently, the gods were pleased and the demons asked for immense power and strength as boon. The gods had no choice but to grant them the boon they desired and, therefore, after some time the demons became very powerful. They began to spread chaos and havoc all around the world. They even defeated many gods and demigods let alone human beings.

While they were troubling everyone including many sages, one of the sages named Indrakila, prayed to Durga with great devotion and sincerity and asked for her help to free them from the tyranny of the demons. Durga was pleased by his prayers and assumed the form of Kanaka Durga and came down on earth. One of the very powerful demons was Mahishasura, who was creating a lot of destruction on earth. Soon, Kanaka Durga encountered him and killed him. Indrakila then prayed to her to stay on earth and bless everyone. Kanaka Durga then agreed to his prayers and made Indrakila her abode. Indrakila is supposed to have assumed the form of a hill. Hence, one of the most famous temples of Kanaka Durga is on the Indrakiladri Hill in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. Kanaka Durga’s consort Shiva took abode on an adjacent hill as Jyotirlinga.

May the goddess illuminate your home with goodness, divine vibrations and benevolence.


Navarathri Day 9 - Devi Saraswati Alankaram  |  Thursday, Sep. 28, 2017

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The story of Saraswati is an extremely important one in Indian mythology, because without her it’s said that life wouldn’t exist in the organized way it’s present today. Devi Saraswati is 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)”.

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. The goddess began to give him direction on how to create order in the cosmos; the sun, moon, and stars all came into being. She later became the bride of Brahma, as their matching created the order we see today.

Typically, Saraswati is depicted in a white outfit sitting in lotus posture. This symbolizes that she is grounded in absolute truth and has pure knowledge. Her four arms represent mind, intellect, intelligence, and ego that should be controlled and in balance. They also represent the 4 Vedas, the most sacred books of Hindus that signifies knowledge acquired should be used with love and kindness to promote prosperity of mankind.

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). Knowledge that is dominated by ego can destroy the world.

May the goddess of speech and wisdom enlighten your homes with goodness and purity.


Navarathri Day 10 - Grand Finale: Vijayadasami - Devi Mahishasuramardini Alankaram  |  Friday, Sep. 29, 2017

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Parashakthi coming in different incarnations for different purposes. 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. According to contemporary times, Devi Parahsakthi is one who conquers all the fears inside any soul, who kills anger, grudge , rage and ego. The nine nights symbolizes the war against all the negativity that resides in mind, body and soul.

Devi Mahishasura Mardhini - Her most celebrated role ?as ?the Slayer of Mahishasura, the Buffalo Demon.

According to mythology - Mahisha, a ferocious demon has undertaken extraordinary austerities, and thereby accrued such vast power that even the Gods can no longer defeat him. In successive battles, they lose the three worlds to Mahisha's superior might -- and the Cosmic Order in thrown into disarray. Who can defeat an enemy that is mightier than the Gods? The Power (Shakti) that created both the Gods and the enemy in the first place. In order to access that Power, the Gods must reverse the downward unfolding of Divine manifestation, i.e. the cosmic principles. To help understand, think of Mahisha as the individual human ego.

When gods offer their own individual powers, the source materializes into a peerless splendor born as a culmination of the three worlds as a woman. She is Maha Devi, the Great Goddess, the Mother of all beings, divine and mortal. Taking the warrior form of Her avatar, Goddess Durga, She departs on Her lion mount to meet the demon. A battle of nine days and nine nights ensues, during which Devi decimates Mahisha's armies using lesser Goddesses produced from Her own body. At last, She and Mahisha alone remain standing on the corpse-strewn battlefield. Of course, Mahisha cannot win, but he takes the forms of many powerful beasts as he tries. While he is in mid-transformation from Buffalo back to Human form, Devi finally slays him, thus saving the Universe, restoring the Cosmic Order -- and earning the title, Mahishasura Mardini.

The word "VijayaDasami" is a Sanskrit word meaning "the victory on Dasami" (Dasami is the 10th lunar day of Hindu calendar month).

Miindia.com wishes all of you a beautiful year filled with lots of positive energy, vibrations and harmony. May your homes and families be filled with joy, peace and goodness.


 
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