Navratri – the nine celestial nights of the supreme goddess is going to be very different this year of 2020. The self is manifested with a mixed bag of feelings – with families scattered, the mask that prevents us from breathing nature, and the fun and frolic the festivities usually bring. The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are important junctions of climatic and solar influences.
God’s ways are magical. While we are paranoid about COVID 19 and mourn the loss of several lives, nature has been the best teacher! Autumn has never looked better than before. Animals and birds rejoicing and the air purest of pure. Amidst this stands and shines the Eternal Mother Parashakthi Temple in Pontiac, illuminated with a beautiful blend of earth, water and sky standing testimony to the many avatars the nights would ensue.
Get ready to witness the sparkle and the stories of inner renewal that are sown, sprouting, watched & worshiped by devotees as we bring to you Mother Shakthi’s various adornments categorized into her three majestic forms of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi culminating to the tenth day of “Vijayadashami” or “Dussehra” – the triumph of good over evil.
Location: Devi Parashakthi (Eternal Mother) Temple, 551 W. Kennett Road, Pontiac, Michigan 48340 Date: Fri Oct 16th, 2020 - Sun Oct 25th, 2020
The Bearer of the “Greens” - ‘Shaaka’ means vegetables, vegan food; ‘ambari’ means the one who bears; ‘bhri’ means to nourish. She is also hailed as Shataakshi because she has 100 eyes and has the power to see all things. She is manifested in the plants, especially in the forests, hence people pray to her for safe passage at night through forests.
According to the stories a great Demon named Durgamasura (or Durgam) had performed rigorous tapasya (austerities) and had acquired all four Vedas (all Knowledge). In addition, Durgam was granted a boon from Lord Brahma that all offerings made to the Gods reached him instead, so that any efforts to seek divine mercy by the people only gave more power to him. A 100-year drought struck the earth as no rituals were performed as the sages became weak and were unable to perform their duties. The sages took refuge and went into deep meditation. Famine destroyed all creatures. Owing to the sage’s call, the Divine Mother appeared bearing nourishment and vegetation with tears in her 100 eyes which formed a river and ended the drought. To retrieve the Vedas, she slayed Durgamasura with her trident. Goddess Shakambhari is manifested today with her form carrying a variety of fruits and vegetables.
In contemporary times, one can equate Durgamasura to insurmountable ego, selfishness and conceit. This leads to Drought, meaning lack of spiritual consciousness. What you see during the pandemic is “that” agitated mind and consciousness. When times are dark and gloomy, human consciousness is devoid of spiritual qualities like mercy, compassion, love and this causes famine, drought, endless suffering and violence in the world. The mind struggles against nature. Goddess Shakambhari manifestation shows that serving mankind is serving oneself because all things are interconnected in god.
For your spiritual travel diaries: There are many Shakthi Peethas (abode) in India. A few for Goddess Sakhambari are worth a visit - Shakambari Mata, Sakarai and Shakambari Mata temple, Sambhar Peeth are in Rajasthan and Shakti Peeth Shakumbhri is in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. A great place to receive blessings and enjoy.
Kamakshi is an aspect of Durga, where “Ka” means Devi Saraswati, “Ma” means Devi Lakshmi, and “Akshi” means eyes, So, in a nutshell, Kamakshi means - the one who has Devi Saraswati and Devi Lakshmi in her eyes. Goddess Kamakshi is the epitome of the limitless glory of creation, one of the oldest manifestations of eight significant “tattvas” (principle/reality – fire, earth, water, sky, air, sun, moon and the being).
Bhandasura Rakshasa (originated from the dead deva “Kama” who borne the anger of Lord Shiva) was in a severe penance to appease Lord Brahma and when the latter was very pleased, he offered a lot of boons to the asura so he could rule the world. Bhandasura with all that power became a threatening force for the Devatas and drove them away. The demon was ruling earth and the devas after the advice from Lord Shiva took refuge as parrots in the Champaka Tree in Kanchipuram. At the time Sri Bala Tripura Sundari has already manifested in the form of Kamakshi who was ready to take on the demon Bhandasura. She not only defeated the demon, but ferociously dragged him from Kailash to Kanchipuram and on his death erected a victory stone (Jayatsmabha). Thereafter, returns to her peaceful self, seated in a majestic Padmasana posture signifying peace, tranquility and prosperity.
The Saint Adisankara visited Kanchipuram and he felt the goddess is in a ferocious mode that the entire sanctorum was very hot. So, to personify her and help bring her to normal state the saint sung songs in the praise of goddess named “Soundarya Lahari”, then he established a Sri Chakra in front of her idol to keep her cool and personified.
In contemporary times, as Adi Sankara says, “Such is the energy of this powerful deity that Her grace empowers the humankind to breach all the material obscurities and transcend into a blissful way of living”. Sugarcane symbolizes the mind that contains both “Sankalpa” (how one thinks) and “Vikalpa” (how one perceives). Goddess Kamakshi helps us think and perceive the truth which in fact is as sweet as the sugarcane. The truth is the “autonomy of nature”. The Pasa (noose) and the Ankusa (goad) represents her way of controlling her devotees - The Ankusa indicates that she is controlling the devotees from going astray, so you could follow the right path and the Pasa indicates that she corrects them from time to time. At this time of the pandemic, this lesson becomes very important.
For your spiritual travel diaries: The main abode of Goddess Kamakshi is the Kamakshi Amman temple at Kanchipuram. Other great places to visit include Ramnathi-Shanteri in Goa, the Kalikambal Temple in Chennai and the Kamakshi Rayeshwar Devasthan at Shiroda in Goa. May her grace bestow upon us!
Today marks the celebration of Devi Meenakshi, certainly one of the more fascinating goddesses in the Hindu pantheon. “Meena” means Fish and “Akshi” means Eyes - Fish Eyed Goddess Meenakshi is the tutelary deity of the magnificent city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, the one who never stops watching over her devotees.
One of the Pandiyan kings, the legendary Malayadwaja Pandya and his wife, Kanchanamala, were not able to have children. The king prayed to various gods to grant him a child, and eventually his prayers were answered by Lord Shiva, after several Vedic sacrifices. Finally, in the middle of one such ritual, a three-year-old girl with three breasts emerged from the flames and sat on Kanchanamala’s lap. The divine voice asked the king to name her “Tadadakai”. The voice ensured Malayadwaja that the girl’s third breast would be absorbed back into her body when she first cast her eyes on the man who would become her husband—i.e. Lord Shiva. The fish-eyed baby also never blinked her eyes, which was later thought of as “always keeping a careful eye on Madurai”. For this reason, Madurai is also called “Thoonganagaram” which means “The city that never sleeps”.
The girl was taught the art of war and soon became the successor as no suitor brought by the king could excel her. She was the beloved of the people with indomitable prowess and they called her Meenakshi. She had numerous victories on earth. Eventually, she arrives at Mount Kailash, where she meets her equal in battle, Sundareswara, who is Lord Shiva. Meenakshi’s third breast disappears, as prophesized. They get married after Lord Shiva returns as Sundareswarar. Meenakshi and Lord Shiva ruled over the city of Madurai for a long time appearing as humans before revealing their identities. 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. A blend of the masculine principle with the female consciousness.
In contemporary times, the story of this goddess shows that females need not be bound by gender norms. Instead, they, like the goddess, may aspire to take on roles associated with males, and even excel in such roles. The green parrot plays a great role as a symbol of love, peace and transfer of knowledge. Apart from enhancing speech, the parrot also tends to repeat all it hears, symbolizes the inexorable law of karma, the belief that one cannot escape the consequences of one's acts. Green is associated with cosmic knowledge and the planet Mercury. Goddess Meenakshi also has a small dagger on her waist band, reminding everyone who is the overlord.
For your spiritual travel diaries: The main abode of Devi Meenakshi is on the banks of the Vaigai river in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The Madurai Meenakshi Temple is one of the primary Shakthi Peethams (abode). May the goddess bless us and shower us with.
The next three days will be the celebration of three magnificent and powerful aspects of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from its elemental form lakS, meaning "to perceive or observe". This is synonymous with lak?ya, meaning "aim" or "objective". Lakshmi is the power of Lord Vishnu. Ashtalakshmi (Ashta means eight) are a group of eight manifestations of Devi Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. She presides over eight sources of wealth: "Wealth" in the context of prosperity, fertility, good fortune or good luck, good health, knowledge, strength, progeny and power. Arogya means “health” and Lakshmi means “wealth”. In most legends, Lakshmi emerged from the churning of the primordial ocean (Samudra Manthan), choosing Vishnu as her eternal consort.
This specific form is one of the several manifestations Goddess Lakshmi assumed when she came on Earth. This Avatar of the Goddess is said to be the epitome of bravery, strength and valor. She is also known as Dhairya or Veera Lakshmi, or one who provides courage to face challenges and overcome difficulties, both material and spiritual. Shri Lakshmi is depicted with red clothing and draped in gold ornaments and flowers. She is seated on a lotus and wields several weapons in her hands including a mace, that symbolizes elemental force, from which all physical (authority) and mental powers (knowledge) are derived. The divinity empowers her devotee with unshaken confidence and will. Praying to Shri Lakshmi will help shatter the problems encountered in life without losing confidence. The Goddess is easily appeased, and offerings of flowers are said to please her immensely, especially those that signify strength and character like the Gladiolus flower. The conch symbolizes the five elements, interconnectedness and cyclic process of existence. The chakra symbolizes mindfulness when cosmic equilibrium is endangered.
Today amid the pandemic, her form becomes extremely significant! Meditating on her divine spirit clears the mind of confusion and chaos, while at the same time instilling wisdom and clarity of thought. The Goddess blesses those who are in tune with the inner recesses of their spiritual being and able to control the demons of self-doubt and foreboding. May the goddess bestow on all of us the courage and strength to overcome all difficulties.
For your spiritual travel diaries: Some beautiful Ashtalakshmi temples to visit are Tulja Bhavani Temple, Osmanabad district of Maharashtra, Mahalakshmi (Ambabai) Temple in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, Saptashrungi is located in Nanduri near Nashik, Kaila Devi Temple, Karauli in Rajasthan and the Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi Temple which is an extremely popular in Tumkur District, Karnataka.
Navarathri Day 5 - Devi Annapoorneshwari Alankaram | Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
Today, we are filled with gratitude as we celebrate the nourishment of our body and soul with the ever-permeating caregiver Devi Annapoorneshwari. She is the divine Shakthi (energy) of food and nourishment. “Anna” means food and “poorna” means filled completely.
While playing a game of dice, Goddess Parvathi was told by her consort Lord Shiva that everything materialistic was an illusion, everything we possessed was an illusion and that the food we ate was also a part of this illusion (Maya). This made Goddess Parvathi very angry. She did not agree that food was an illusion. Calling food an illusion was equivalent to calling the goddess as an illusion. In order to show Lord Shiva and the world her importance, the goddess disappeared saying that she wanted to see how the world would survive. This brought the world and nature to a standstill. The gods, the humans and the demons starved for food, including Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati being the universal mother was sad seeing the plight of her devotees. With great compassion, the goddess manifested in Kashi (Varanasi) as Annapoorneshwari Devi by opening a kitchen to feed the hungry. “Ka” means the cause, “a” means the manifestation of consciousness, “sa” means peace and “I” is the causal body. Kashi is also the place which causes consciousness to manifest the highest peace of the causal body. And She is the Supreme Goddess of the City of Kashi.
Having missed her terribly, Lord Shiva realized that the main source and creator of world’s nourishment is Goddess Parvathi. He visited Kashi and extended an empty bowl thereby acknowledging her significance. Devi Annapoorneshwari smilingly filled his bowl – symbolizing the theme of providence.
Goddess Annapoorna is depicted with a golden ladle in one hand and a jeweled bowl full of rice in another. The bowl full of grain depicts the bountiful of food she always offers to all her children. Nobody goes hungry in her presence. The ladle represents service and charity of making sure people are happy and filled with nourishment (of the body and the soul).
In contemporary times, the pandemic has shattered many homes. Several went without food and at the same time several generous folks donated food for the homeless. Food is a significant contribution to the overall growth of the individual. Food constitutes wealth, knowledge, wisdom and liberation. This has often been taken for granted. On this fifth day, let us hope and pray that nobody in this world goes hungry and let us all wish that the eternal mother keeps us all nourished and healthy with knowledge and wisdom, beyond maya (illusion).
For your spiritual travel diaries: Some beautiful Devi Annapoorneshwari temples to visit are Annapurna Devi Mandir, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh in India, The Annapoorneshwari Temple at Horanadu in the thick forests and valleys of the Western Ghats of Karnataka and the Annapurneshwari Temple in Kannur, Kerala.
Navarathri Day 6 - Devi Bala Tripura Sundari Alankaram | Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
Today we celebrate the highest aspect of Devi Parashakthi - the child form Bala Tripura Sundari - who literally means "She who is beautiful in the three worlds" - Bala means child; Tri means three; Pura means citadel; Sundari means beautiful. She is endowed with a playful nature, enthusiasm to learn, seek new experience and charm everyone. Sri Bala Tripura Sundari is the moving spirit of Sri Chakra (Cyclic existence). Tripura Sundari is the primary goddess known as Sri Vidya. She is the sum total of Mahavidyas, the ten goddesses of wisdom and the ultimate primordial Shakti (energy). Mother is described as the garland of the alphabet and is said to have given birth to the three worlds. Hence, she is the beauty of three worlds. She is the light of manifestation. She is very important to Siddhas (spiritual gurus) – who would like to connect to the divine in the highest level.
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. Sri Lalita then caused a palanquin from the staff of her bow. As Kumarika, the Virgin Goddess Bala, drove to the warfront with a hundred swans pulling the palanquin. She killed all 30 sons of the demon Bhandasura which was extremely difficult to do.
Bala Tripura Sundari wears the moon as her ornament, effulgent as the rising Sun, holding a book and rosary, bestowing boons and banishing fears, she is curious and playful. In the case of Abhaya and Varada Mudra, both are allowing the person to whom they are presented to feel the positive, non-threatening quality of the masculine energy of Abhaya (Fearlessness) in the right hand and the feminine energy of Varada (Providing boons) in the left hand.
Sri Bala Tripura Sundari is the personification of learning and science - transitioning an ignorant and an elusive mind to a knowledgeable and wise one, in other words Bala Tripura Sundari shows how the subtle world operates in the physical world. Unless you love and respect yourself, you cannot love or respect the divine energy. That is why Sri Bala Tripura Sundari is called the Goddess of Power and Energy as she makes you aware of your infinite unlimited energy.
For your spiritual travel diaries: Do not miss visiting the divine abodes of Devi Bala Tripura Sundari - Bala Tripura Sundari Temple is located at the Tripurakot on the bank of Thuli Bheri river in Dolpa district of Nepal, Bala Tripurasundari temple is a small shrine situated close to famous Chamundeswari temple in Mysore in State of Karnataka in India. Tripura Sundari Temple known as Devi Tripureshwari temple is situated in the ancient city of Udaipur, near Tripura. This is one of the 51 Shakthi Peethas.
Draped in red/mustard saree, bedecked with gold ornaments, seated on a lotus, pot in hand, flanked by white elephants, the image of Goddess Lakshmi adorns most Hindu homes and business establishments. Goddess Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, fortune, power, luxury, beauty, fertility, and auspiciousness. She holds the promise of material fulfilment and contentment. She is described as restless, whimsical yet maternal, with her arms raised to bless and to grant.
Kubera is the God of the celestial beings called Yakshas. Plump and short in stature, he is depicted with a pot of money in one hand and a club in the other. He is adorned with many jewels. His mount is an elephant, and his consorts are Riddhi/Kauberi and Charvi. Kubera was an ardent and sincere devotee of Shiva. He performed severe penance and impressed Shiva with his Bhakti and efforts. He invoked Shiva's blessings. Kubera went to have a Darshan (divine view) of Shiva at Mount Kailash. There, he found him seated with Goddess Parvati. Seeing the Goddess' splendor, he felt sorry that he had missed worshipping her for so long. Without him being aware, one of his eyes shut automatically. Goddess Parvati thought Kubera was winking at her and looking at her with evil intent. She became angered, and the outcome was that his shut eye burst. He lost sight in that eye and was cursed to remain ugly. Kubera pleaded with Shiva for forgiveness and explained to Shiva that he never had any evil intent. Shiva left the decision to his consort Goddess Parvati. The Mother Goddess forgave him and restored his injured eye, but it remained smaller than the other eye.
He was then blessed by Shiva with the post of being the Ashtadig-Palaka (guardian) of one of the eight directions, namely North. Goddess Parvati made Kubera the King of wealth and material. Kubera not only owned wealth and food grains but was also the custodian. Kubera was given the responsibility to guard the wealth, as Goddess Lakshmi creates and uses Kubera to distribute it. Hence, Goddess Kubera Lakshmi is mostly depicted as showering gold coins and navaratnas (the nine gems).
The world may have changed, but the thirst for material comfort continues to form the core of most human aspirations. The Kubera Lakshmi pooja is linked to both Goddess Mahalakshmi and Kubera to have stable wealth, improved education, financial inflow and business growth. It is believed that the pooja can restore lost wealth too but needs to be conducted with discipline and sincerity. May both Sri Mahalakshmi and Kubera bestow prosperity and opulence on you and your loved ones.
For your spiritual travel diaries: The Sri Lakshmi Kuberar Temple at Rathnamangalam, Vandalur, Tamil Nadu, is one of the most popular ones in South India. Another divine abode is The Kuber Bhandari Temple that is situated in the village of Karnali, near Chanod in the Vadodara district of the state of Gujarat.
Goddess Durga is the supreme energy Adi-Parashakthi herself. Durga means ‘the invincible’. She is the embodiment of all shakthis, the great powers and remains the prime female deity of the Hindu pantheon. Kanaka Durga is an important form of Durga. 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’ in Sanskrit means gold and Kanaka Durga is the Goddess Durga who is shining like gold. She is eternal, with no beginning and end, and is regarded as Swayambhu (the one who has manifested on her own). Durga also obtained very powerful weapons, such as the chakra from Vishnu and a trident from Shiva.
A Yaksha (celestial being) named Keela had been performing severe penance upon goddess Durga. Goddess Durga was pleased by his penance and appeared before him. Keela wanted the goddess to protect the earth from the demon Mahishasura who was wreaking havoc in the world. She incarnated as Kanaka Durga and annihilated Mahishasura and his henchmen. The grateful Yaksha then pleaded with the Goddess to stay on earth and continue to bless the world and the people. Indrakeela took on the form of a hill and Goddess Durga made the hill her earthly abode. On this hill, Goddess Durga had been glowing with the lighting of crores of suns, with golden color.
To date, Kanaka Durga is residing and is enshrined principally in the Indrakeela mountain. Lord Brahma had a sacred intuition that Lord Siva also should prevail on this mountain. For this holy purpose, he had performed ‘Sata Aswamedha Yaga’ (A grand spiritual experiment to promote happiness, peace, and prosperity of the nation). With Ashwa as the symbol of mobility, valor and strength and the ‘medha’ as the symbol of supreme wisdom and intelligence, the natural meaning of Ashwamedha is – “combination of valor and strength and illumined power of intellect”. By this, Lord Siva was pleased with his devotion and rested in the form of ‘Jyothirlinga’ (Radiance) on this mountain.
In this divine representation, Goddess Kanaka Durga is draped in gold holding the Trishul/Trident that was gifted to her by Lord Shiva. Today, what does the Trishul mean to us? The three prongs of Trishul represents the trinity – Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara ; Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati ; three modes of nature - Creation, Maintenance and Destruction; the three tenses---past, present and future ; the three Gunas, sattva (goodness), rajas (passion), tamas (chaos), the three lokas – swarg (heaven), bhu (earth) and patal (underworld); the three powers - will, action and wisdom and the three types of miseries – physical, mental and spiritual. As the trident pierces anything to death, Mother Kanaka Durga shall confer the wisdom necessary to conquer all these elements. The goddess symbolizes the strength and beauty together.
For your spiritual travel diaries: One of the prominent Shakthi Peethas (abode), Kanaka Durga Ammavari Temple is a famous temple of Goddess Durga located in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. The temple is located on the Indrakeeladri hill, on the banks of Krishna River. A must visit for a divine blessing of the self-manifested Shakthi.
As you cross all the elements of time, senses and consciousness, you reach the final aspect of the trinity – the complete fulfillment of the mind, body and soul realized with the supreme goddess of wisdom – Devi Saraswati. Known as goddess of the world, Saraswati means "the one who gives the essence (Sara) of our own Self (Swa)”. Some other analogies refer to Saras as “water, fluidity, speech” and Vati as “one who possesses”.
Lord Brahma's wife is Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and science, the mother of the Vedas, and the inventor of the Devanagari letters. In the beginning there was chaos. Everything existed in a formless, fluid state. "How do I bring order to this disorder?" wondered Brahma, the creator. "With Knowledge", said Devi Parvati. Heralded by a peacock, sacred books in one hand and a veena in the other dressed in white Devi emerged from Brahma's mouth riding a swan as the goddess Saraswati. In his joy he named Saraswati, Vagdevi, goddess of speech and sound.
The lotus is a symbol of the Supreme Reality. By sitting on a lotus, Saraswati signifies that She is Herself rooted in the Supreme Reality and symbolizes supreme knowledge. The white denotes that She is the 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 to samadhi, or 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 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. She helped Brahma see how to change chaos into creation, elevate the spirit and not indulge the senses.
For your spiritual travel diaries: Saraswathi Devi Sakthipeeth is situated near the Line of Control in Kashmir. The abandoned temple is known as Sharada Peeth and one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peetha in India. Gnana Saraswati Temple at Basar and Kaleswaram Maha Saraswati Temple are in Telangana. Shringeri Sharadamba Temple in the holy town of Sringeri is dedicated to goddess Saraswati, on the banks of the Tunga river. The Sharadamba Temple was adopted by the Shringeri matha, established by Adi Shankara. Saraswathi Temple at Koothanur is the only temple dedicated to goddess Saraswathi in Tamilnadu, located near to Kumbakonam.
Over the past nine days, you saw how our scriptures narrated many legends and episodes of 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. This day is also symbolic of the end of Mahishasura, the king of demons who was killed by Goddess Durga on Vijayadasami day.
Believed as the root cause of creation, sustenance and annihilation, Durga is the principal form of the Mother Goddess in Hinduism. The name ‘Durga’ in Sanskrit means ‘invincible’. The syllable ‘du’ is synonymous with the 4 devils namely poverty, sufferings, famine and evil habits. The ‘r’ refers to diseases and the ‘ga’ is the destroyer of sins, injustice, irreligion, cruelty and laziness. 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 is 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 could be the only solution. In order to access that Power, the Gods must reverse the downward unfolding of Divine manifestation, i.e. the cosmic principles.
When the collective energies of the holy trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) come together, the source materializes into a peerless splendor born as a culmination of the three worlds as a woman. She also obtained very powerful weapons, such as the Chakra from Lord Vishnu and the Trishul (trident) from Lord Shiva. 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 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 the human form, Maha Durga Devi finally slays him, thus saving the Universe, restoring the Cosmic Order -- and earning the title, Mahishasura Mardini (The Slayer of the great demon Mahisha). Buffalo represents darkness, ignorance and inertia. Think of “Mahisha” as the individual human ego.
Mahishasura, who kept transforming from a buffalo, to a lion, to a man, to an elephant, and then back to a buffalo, represents the never-ending chain of desires in us. When one desire is fulfilled another one springs out and takes its place. There is a never-ending transformation and multiplication of multifarious desires. This is called Vikshepa Shakti and its rooted in Rajas Guna. This conquest of Mahishasura is symbolic to winning over the rajasic tendencies in us.
The word "VijayaDasami" is also derived from Sanskrit word Vijaya-Dasami meaning "the victory on Dasami" (Dasami is the 10th lunar day of Hindu calendar month).
According to contemporary times, Devi Parashakthi 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. May god bless your homes with happiness, peace, success and good health!
For your spiritual travel diaries: Shivaharkaray or Karavipur is a Shakti Peeth dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Durga, located near Karachi, Pakistan. Some other prominent temples in India include Mahishamardini Temple Complex is in Shergarh, Balasore district of Odisha, Sri Chamundeshwari Temple, Chamundi Hills, Mysuru. Nandikeshwari Temple located in Sainthia, Birbhum, West Bengal, Maa Narayani Suchindram located in Kanya Kumari, Tamil Nadu, Sarvanandakari Temple located in Patna, Bihar are some of the Shakthi Peethas.
Goddess Forms and Alankarams have beautifully been depicted by the divine priests of the Eternal Mother Parashakthi Temple, Kennett Road, Pontiac. Priests Krishnaswamy, Priest Varadharajan and Priest Kannan were chiefly instrumental in bringing alive the mystical forms this Navratri season.