The Four Navratri and Devi puja

A quick post today on the Devi.

At present, this is the Hindu Ashwin month and the bright fortnight, Shukla paksh. The first 9 days of this month from the first day, Pratipada to the ninth day, Navami are dedicated to the worship of the Devi Shakti. She is the active energy of the Tamo-gun the wife of Mahadev-Shiv.

On each day, one of her forms is worshipped and on the tenth day, Dasera/ Vijayadashmi the puja comes to a conclusion. This puja is called the Nav-ratri, the nine-nights and also called Durga-puja. The theme is that Devi fought against the armies of the demons, killing their army-generals on each day and killed their King, Mahishasur on the tenth day. This story is described in the book Durga Saptashati/ Devi Mahatmya.

These nine day/nights are full of joy and power as everyone worships the Devi in whatever form they feel drawn to. If you are drawn to the Saumya forms you will worship these, Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri forms of the Devi. Regular people should do pujas of only these forms of the Devi.

(The Ugra forms of the Devi are the 10 Mahavidya-s, Kali, Tara, Shodashi, Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Matangi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi (Valagamukhi) and Kamala. Normal people should not worship these as these are quite Ugra, very strict and terrifying. Make one mistake in their pujas and you will be in serious trouble. There are some astrologers who give mantras of these Devi’s as remedies to clients. Avoid. It can backfire quite spectacularly.)

In West India, people play Garbha, it is a dance to songs in praise of the Devi. This is performed at night for the Devi. In North India people do puja of Vishnu in his Ram form at night and celebrate by enacting his Ramayan story in public performances called Ram-Lila. Which to my mind makes no sense as this period should be utilized to the max for personal spiritual growth. But then Garbha and even the Ram-Lila is good for the general public.

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Now a secret, there are actually 4 Nav-ratri in a year. All four of them have a different energy character. The real aspirant of the Devi will know how to use each one of them differently. The first 9 nights, Nav-ratri of the bright half, Shukla-paksha of the four months named Chaitra, Ashadh, Ashwin and Magh are brimming with energy. One should use them actively, not waste even one single night.

The navratri in Chaitra month (March-April) is full of solar energies. The energies go outward, radiate. You can feel the lightness and the golden radiance during these days/nights. Most people worship Ram/ Vishnu and some worship the Devi during this period. The Indian new year also starts with Chaitra, the first day of this navratri. (This was the day Shri Ram was crowned the King of Ayodhya as per the original Sanskrit Ramayan). This Navratri ends with Ram-navmi, dedicated to worship of Ram/Vishnu. The Devi is in a mature and happy form here. So any pujas you perform with her in mind are very successful.

Then the Ashadh month is the monsoon (June-July). The Navratri which falls in this month is called the secret/ Gupt navratri, ordinary people do not even know about this. This period is highly conducive for all types of energy manipulations, tantra and secret pujas. The Devi is in her contemplative form here, rather serious and silent. Here her pujas are also secret and serious. If you worship a Ugra/terrifying form of the Devi this navratri would give you the best results. This is just for information, do not attempt these things without a proper Guru.

The Ashwin navrati is full of lunar energies so is the best for Devi puja. So if you really want to get that push, do not waste even one night of these nine nights. The Devi is in her benevolent form, ready to be pleased. So whatever simple pujas you perform with intention, she will accept as a doting mother does. This is going on at present and everyone is doing something special for Her.

Then is the Magh navratri (January-February). This is a highly auspicious period. On the fourth day/chaturthi of this navratri, Ganapati is worshipped. This is one of the best days in the year for any puja of Ganapati. (The other is the Bhadrapad Shukla chaturthi). Ganapati is the energy who allows the aspirant entry into the Brahmanadi. He is the pratham-pujya, the one who is worshipped first. Then on the fifth day-panchami of this Nav-ratri, the Devi in her Saraswati form is worshipped. This day is called Vasant-panchami and is exclusive for Gayatri mantra sadhana. The seventh day-Saptami of this navratri, is for worshipping the Sun, it is called Rath-saptami. These three days of this navratri are very powerful in themselves, all Hindus will do pujas on these days. But if you are performing some Devi puja in the background for the nine days, your power will be enhanced even more.

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So what Devi puja should you do? Most families/cultures have their own system for worshipping the Devi, so follow whatever your culture, home-tradition does. Some set up a kalash for the pujas, some will bring an idol of the Devi and then immerse it in the sea on the tenth day, some people fast etc. It is all very joyful and full of energy. Keep your intention clear and your faith pure.

But for the more serious aspirant, read the Devi Mahatmya /Durga Saptashati. Read it in Sanskrit, not some translated version. Even if you do not understand what you are reading the mantra-s will do their work. There are some rules on how to read it, in which order the chapters should be recited and the use of the Nav-avarna mantra etc. There are typical ways of reading it and also for doing other types of rituals using mantras from it, but these things are not for general people. So do not over-think and get confused. You should read the Devi Mahatmya just as you would read a book, from page one to the last page with full intention and faith. (Use the Gita press version of the book, pdf link here.) Or if you cannot read it (most of us have forgotten our real mother tongue Devbhasha Samskrutam), this is a very beautiful rendition by Premprakash Dubey, perfect pronunciation and voice, it is for 2hrs 20mins. Listen to it in its entirety, everyday of the Navratri if you can. Or if you cannot spare the time, listen to one chapter per day (something is always better than nothing).

Now again for the serious aspirant. The real Devi puja is always performed at night, from 9-pm to 3-am. This period is very useful for doing any sort of practice where you need to still your mind and focus. The dominating gun during this period is called the Vishuddha-Tama-gun. It is enveloping, still and very dense, so the mind cannot wander much. So when you give your mind a mantra and focus it will follow your Will more easily. Try it for yourself.

There was a question in the Contact form on using the mantras from the Devi Mahatmya book. Do understand that these are quite powerful and their detailed use cannot be described through a blog. But if you do even this much with intention, the Devi will give you what you desire and if you need to do more complicated pujas, She will arrange it for you.

Indian festivals are full of joy and happiness. There is energy radiating everywhere, whatever you do, do it with all your heart. Even if you offer Her one single flower with your full intention she will accept it. She is not outside of you, She is your own conscience. If you are satisfied with what you have done, so will She. So enjoy the Navratri and may the blessings of the Devi be on you.

(Edit: The names of the names of the 4 Nav-ratris are Kaal-ratri, Maha-ratri Moha-ratri and Darun-ratri. These are described in the Tantrokta Ratri sukta from the Devi Mahatmya. This is my favourite sukta, have listened to this rendition for hours on a loop and also performed its homa.)

 

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To activate the Navavarna mantra

This is part 2 of the earlier post on Siddhakunjika Mantra. If you are interested in doing Mantra puja using the mantras from Devi Mahatmya, you will need to first Siddh ‘activate’, the Navavarna mantra.

To activate the Navavarna mantra

There are several ways starting off with your anushthan. This is a very simple seeming abbreviated procedure but it will work depending on the power of your Intention. (If you live in India or have access to a good genuine pandit, you can do a full fledged anushthan). The time would be on a Tuesday or Friday of the bright half of the month, in the evening twilight or midnight. Get cleaned up, fast or eat only light foods, wear cotton clothes and sit on your asan. Do your basic pujas and worship as per your faith and call on all those energies which you believe in.

Now you will need a silver moorti of Devi or the Shriyantra or the Meru as your focus. Light the ghee lamp, incense, offer flowers, saffron/sandalwood, 5 fruits or panchamrit (ghee, milk, curd, honey, coarse sugar/khadisakkhar in a silver/glass bowl), etc.

  1. Now take the pot of water (copper kalash) in your left hand and pour a few drops in the palm of the right. Focus on the water and put in all your intention into that water. Just remember your mind should be clear and your intention should be intense. Intend that Devi Mahamaya grants you the knowledge of her Navavarna mantra. Now let the water drops fall to the ground at your right hand. (This is the most important step, water carries the intention and amplifies it.)
  2. Fold your palms and recite “OM”, three times and feel your body relax.
  3. Then recite the Ganapati Gayatri, “Om Ekadantaya Vidhmahe, Vakratundaya Dhimahi, Tanno Dantih Prachodayaat Om” for invoking the energies of Ganapati, he will remove all possible obstacles and also grant wisdom.
  4. Then this mantra is for invoking the Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and the Nine grahas, recite, “Om Brahma Murari Tripurantkari Bhanuh Shashih Bhumi Suto Budhah cha Guruh cha Shukrah Shani Rahu Ketavah Sarve Graha Shantikara bhavantu Om”.
  5. Then remember the Goddess Earth with love and gratitude, recite. “Om Samudra Vasane Devi, Parvatah Stana Mandale Vishnupatni Namastubhyam Paada Sparsham Kshamasva May Om”.
  6. Finally “Om Guruh Brahma Guruh Vishnu Guruh Devo Maheshwara Guruh Saakshat Para Brahma Tasmai Shree Gurave Namaha Om”.
  7. Now recite the Viniyog of the Mantra (this is not given in the Gita Press book).
    • Oṃ asya Shri Kunjika Stotra mantrasya. Sadashiv rishi. Anushtub chhandah. Shri Trigunatmika devata. Om aing beejam. Om Hring shaktih. Om kleeng keelakam. Mama sarva-abhishtha-siddharthyae jape viniyogah.
    • ॐ अस्य श्री कुञ्जिका स्तोत्र मन्त्रस्य सदाशिव ऋषिः । अनुष्टुप् छन्दः । श्रीत्रिगुणात्मिका देवता । ॐ ऐँ बीजं ।ॐ ह्रीँ शक्तिः । ॐ क्लीँ कीलकम् । मम सर्वाभीष्टसिद्ध्यर्थे जपे विनियोगः ॥
  8. Now with full faith start reciting the Siddhakunjika (page 230 here). This is recited just once.
  9. Now you start with your 9 lakh recitation of the Navavarna mantra, ‘Om Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundayae Vicche’. Do your sets as per the time frame you have decided.
    • As you start your anushthan of 9 lakh recitation of the Navavarna mantra you have to decide how many sets of 108 counts you will do everyday.
    • If you do 18 sets of 108 counts it will take about 45 minutes of your time per day and you will continue like this for 463 days.
    • You can do this for how many ever days you want to, some people take 10 years to complete it. In this busy modern life, see how much you can realistically do.
    • Set your time frame as per the number of sets you will do per day. Just reciting the mantra also gives immense benefits. Just do something regularly!
  10. Now you have to intend continuity. Tell Her that you will be able to recite it in breaks and you will complete within — years. Keep some extra time in your hands, you do not know what will happen, there may be some breaks. (Keep a count, keep a separate calendar.)
  11. After you finish for the day you should eat all the fruits/panchamrit as prasad. (Choose your fruits properly, if you keep huge fruits you wont be able to finish them)

This intention process/ anushthan needs to be done only on the first day. After that every day you will just sit on your asan, say ‘Om’ thrice and start your jap of ‘Om Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundayae Vicche’ directly. You can count 108 on your fingers (more preferable) or use a mala. To count the sets use some physical counters like beads or crystals or seeds (don’t use plastic beads). If on some days, holidays etc, if you have time you can do more than you had decided but keep the count correctly.

Finish your 9 lakh repetitions on a similar Tuesday/Friday. Do a small puja as per your regular rituals and offer Her the ghee lamp, incense, flowers, saffron/sandalwood, 5 fruits or panchamrit (ghee, milk, curd, honey, coarse sugar/khadisakkhar in a silver/glass bowl). This is an extraordinary day. On this day after you finish, your Devi will speak to you, lots of things will open up and you wont need to read blogs for information anymore.

To activate the Navavarna mantra

(Don’t get scared with the 9 lakh figure. Gayatri mantra needs 24 lakh repetitions, which everyone is required to do in Hinduism/Sanatan dharma. These days only the really serious brahmins or people who are serious about their spiritual progress do it. My brother does 27 malas of Gayatri every day in one sitting when he does his Gayatri laghu anushthan and my son started off at the age of 6yrs with 2 sets of 108 per day.)

A few rules. You are channelising tremendous satvik energies into yourself. So you have to discipline yourself. Satvik energies pull towards the Ultimate, rajasic energies pull towards the objects in the manifested Universe. Tamasic energies are dull, odd and out of sync, quite damaging. Most important is the food you eat, you cannot eat non-veg. If for some reason you are required to have protein in your diet you can eat fish, no prawns/crabs no other meats. No alcohol too, initially you can try drinking alcohol in unavoidable socia events, but your mind will soon stop you from it. Your own higher self will stop you from tamasic energies.

You cannot do this when there is naatak or sutak period is on in your house. Naatak is when a new baby is born and till he gets his name in the Naamkaran Sanskar of the 12th day. Sutak is when a person dies in the house and for 13days, till the final tarpan is performed.

Now for women. Women should not do this during the 5days of the monthly cycle, add 2 more days for rest. So 7 days off, here your body has gone through a period of physical destruction and needs to rest. Do not do this during pregnancy either. If you get pregnant while this is on, request Her and put everything on hold till your child is 6 months old at least, then resume your count.

This is a very important anushthan for Devi worship. When you are granted Siddhi over the navavarna mantra you can use mantras from the Devi Mahatmya in the real sense for your spiritual growth.

Just writing this post in continuation but I dont think anyone will do it really. Devi Mahatmya is not for everyone. But on the off-chance if anyone is inspired I have done my karma of writing about it.

 

To activate the Navavarna mantra

 

 

 

 

Siddhakunjika Mantra

I have written a bit about the Devi Mahatmya/Durga Saptashati earlier. This post is specifically about the Siddhakunjika Mantra which is used to bring the Navavarna mantra to its full powers. This 9 lettered mantra is the secret, the key. Only when the Navavarna mantra is active the mantras written in the Devi Mahatmya can be used in the real sense. There are no shortcuts sometimes. If you want to use the mantras from the Devi Mahatmya in the real sense, the Navavarana mantra has to be active for you. That means 9 lakh repetitions of this mantra first. But why would someone do 9 lakh repetitions of this mantra, ‘Om Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundayae Vicche’. Simply because it is a way out of the Maze that She has Created. It can be used for anything and everything.

Siddhakunjika Mantra

I love the Siddhakunjika because of its utter clean simplicity. There is no need to recite any additional mantras or anything, Nyas is not needed, nor any rituals. You can just sit and start. Good to go type of all-powerful mantra. Only one thing is essential, you must respect it. It is not a joke and not a plaything. If you make mistakes in its pronunciation or your intention is not pure you will suffer deeply. She never judges, your own conscience will do it. The Parabrahma has directed Her to hide this mantra from her Created beings. So if you are even reading about it, know you have some accumulated merit, thus She has allowed you this much. What you make of this opportunity is your decision.

Writing very briefly on the energies you invoke within you when you recite the Siddhakunjika. Sanskrit is Devbhasha, cannot be translated but can only be experienced. This is just for getting you interested. This is what the beej mantras briefly (less than 1%) mean, the rest you will have to experience for yourself.

Om = the pranav mantra, origin of the Universe, your real name, the Paramtattva

aing = ai + ang = Abundance/richness + Bindu

hreeng = ha + ra + ee + ang = Eternity/Endless/One + Removal/Dissolution + Balance/Perfection + Bindu

kling = ka + la + ee + ang = Control/Coordination + Beauty/Enchanting/Captivating + Balance/Perfection + Bindu

Chamundayi = destruction of ego + ever-lit light which directs to the correct path + control + removal of distress + power of illusion + power of wisdom + highest maternal love + wrath of a protective mother + bridge + power of the infinite + variety + bliss + perfection + activity + abundance

Vicche = infinite one who gives infinite boons + uninterrupted eternal love + destruction of ego + purity rising from the shadow/lower level + single-minded focus + solitude and strength

This much is the navavarna mantra which you are activating with the Siddhakunjika. It continues further, “Om”..

glaung = knowledge + removal of delusion + beauty + creation + eternal existence + highest maternal love + wrath of a protective mother + Bindu

 

hung = endless one + eternity + Bindu

kling = dark emptiness/time + joining of the 5 tattvas + Bindu

jung = victory + luck + prosperity + Bindu

sah = accomplishment + success + the One who changes but still never change.

then “jvaalaya jvaalaya jvala jvala prajvala prajvala” are mantras used to bring the illumination of these beej mantras into you. Extremely high intensity, then again “Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundayae Vicche, jvala, hung..”

sang = accomplishment + success + Bindu

lang = Beauty + Bindu

kshang = forgiveness + release + power of creation

phat = splitting + warmth + endurance + confidence + fruition

swaha = success + endless one + primal + the one who controls + the one who heals + bliss

iti mantrah = thus this is the mantra. (This is the Siddhakunjika mantra. Now further.)

Namah tey means – Ultimate power who is focussed infinity. The paradox of union of illusion and wisdom together. Depth of stillness and flowing movement together. The eternal unborn one in solitude. (So when we Indians greet each other with a ‘Namastey’ just think on the enormity of its meaning.) So the Mantra starts with Namaste to the Devi.

“Namaste to You. You are the shape of vibrations. You are a sweet composition of  perfectly arranged Sound. You are the aura of the will arranged in the perfect meter of melody. You are the counter-part of the Ultimate One.”

“Namaste to You. You are beyond purity, embellishments, adornments, brightness, harm, injury, beauty and self. You destroy the absence of Light with a forceful strike. Wake /watch /arise /attend /provide /intend /care /superintend, O Vast /great /lustrous / Light /Illumination and turn my Jap to reality /light /completion /effect /gain /divine /perfection /validity /etc.”

“You appear as the cause of Aing, in the form of liberality /production /creation /letting go /nature /building blocks /properties. You take the form of the cause of Hring. You are pratipalika, i.e. you control access to the edge /limits of creation. You appear as the cause of the beej Kling, the cause of longing and the form of purpose. You appear as the cause of seeds /intellect /truth /source /principle /support.”

“You are Chamunda. You destroy the passions/ impetuousness/ heat /cruelty / violence, with a forceful strike. You appear as the cause of Perfection of the Eternal Illumination in all its abundance. You readily grant the best/ boon/ union with the Other/Ultimate. You are Vicche. You grant eternal freedom from fear / disease / phobia / risk / danger/ etc. You appear as the cause of counsel / secrets / rhythm / thought / resolution / charm.”

“You are Purity, Bliss, Perfection, Balance, Bindu. You hold the actions which Remove Purity and Excellence. (Parabrahma is a paradox, can be and cannot be defined by attributes at the same time). You are the infinite giver of infinite union, perfection, balance and Bindu. You are the Ruler of Sound. You are dark, empty, Time, bliss, perfect, great and the joining of the forces of the tattvas. You are the Beauty of Endless Time and the Illumination of the dark/empty-ness. You are prosperity, auspicious, shining, blissful, perfect, great Transcendence. Manifest auspiciousness/ welfare / brightness /virtue for me.”

“You are the cause of the infinite primal One Eternity. You are the vibrations of victory, fortune, prosperity. You are dark, time, the force of life. You are the fearless, auspicious, happy, kind, lovely, friendly, great, excellent, gentle etc One. You are the one who Flows. You are the cause of all movement.”

(Now is the list of the beej mantras which will be used to illuminate the mantra and bring its meanings out completely.)

“Immortality, existence, creation, darkness, emptiness, Time, conjunction of forces of nature, destruction of ego, Illumination, direction, fruition, reaping, unity, flowing, depth of darkness, determination, independence, action, perfection, Transcendence, auspiciousness, Moksh, skill, self-restraint, fortune, endless, primal, abundance, balance”

….and more. All these intentions are linked to Bindu/OM and the seeds of these energies are used to burn and bring to light Illumination. The Ultimate Intelligence (Dhi) is repeatedly requested to Rise, to destroy, to burn, and thus to Illuminate. You are insisting for this to happen as this line ends with ‘Swaha’.

The Mantra continues further,

“You are the foundation of determination and the power of intention. You are complete/ full/ entire/ content/rich/abundant Illumination. You are the force which separates, you are the one who moves in Eternity. You control directions, you are also separate from space/time/directions. You are knowledge, success and accomplishment. You are the Light of the Saptashati. Make this Mantra Siddha for me.”

This was a very rudimentary meaning of the Siddhakunjika Mantra.

Siddhakunjika Mantra

This is the Mantra, the Essential Key which will unlock the Navavarna Mantra which will in turn open the secrets of the Devi Mahatmya for you.

There are 2 versions of this Mantra, this which I use is from the Rudrayamala/Gauri Tantra, the other one is from Damaratantra. The text of both is nearly similar but the beej mantras are different. You can use whichever resonates with you.

The first 9 days of the bright half of every lunar month are called Navratri, these start from the day after Amavasya, i.e from Shukla Pratipada and till the 9th day, Navmi. On these 9 days pujas of Devi are performed the final puja being performed in the morning of the 10th day, Dashmi. The Navratri falling in the month of Chaitra, Ashadh, Ashwin and Maagh are considered to be more auspicious for Devi puja.

This post continues as part 2, activating the Navavarna mantra next.

 

This post was in response to a comment I received in the Comment form “With the Navratri starting tomorrow, please shed light on the Siddhakunjika stotram.” I hope it has been of some help.

 

Siddhakunjika Mantra