488 – How to offer flowers to the Deity

There is a ritual to be followed when one offers flowers to the Deity. There are many flowers which can be offered. Some of the favorites I have listed below.

Hibiscus—Botanical name Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. The goddess loves the Hibiscus flower. It is her favorite flower. The hibiscus belongs to Kali. She represents empowerment, and with that comes destruction of evil. Therefore, she is considered a fierce Goddess. The red hibiscus is symbolic of Kali’s tongue. She portrays a form of energy and this blood symbolism becomes life affirming and it ties her to the life forces that pulsate in all of us. Continue reading

481 – Goddess Parvati

Parvati is the power of Shakti of Lord Shiva, the beloved wife of Shiva and the mother of Ganesha and Kartike. She is the Yogamaya of Lord Vishnu, she tied a rakhi (sacred thread) on Vishnu’s wrist, thus making him her brother. She wears a Mangal sutra (a string of gold and black beads), which is a sign of marriage for Hindu women round her neck. Continue reading

479 – 10 Divine forms of the Goddess

Das Mahavidyas are the divine forms of the Goddess. They are very powerful forms of the Goddess and can be worshipped in their individual manifestations. Their origin is when Sati manifested herself into the ten forms of Adi Shakti because Shiva would not allow her to attend her father’s Yagna uninvited. Both Sati and Shiva had not received an invite. When Shiva found that he was surrounded by these Goddesses in every direction, he agreed to attend the function. Continue reading

457 – Gender neutral prayers

Our prayers are gender neutral and yet we have so much conflict between couples. I have listed four prayers and they are recited as invocations and supplication. There is no discrimination in them.

Our prayer to the Cosmic Mother, Durga is a prayer which can be said by all. Durga is known as Devi or Shakti. Devi means woman, and Shakti means power. Durga in Sanskrit means a fort. Ma Durga protects us all. Continue reading

435 – Umbrellas

When we think of umbrellas, we think of a protecting force or influence. Umbrellas are never thought of as negative objects. It prevents us from being exposed to rain, snow, and sunshine. The umbrella also signifies the canopy of the heavens, and our shelter. It is a symbol of the sun, and a symbol of the shade. It also represents power and dignity. Umbrella also means something that brings unity, and one agency can be an umbrella for many smaller and related agencies to flourish. Continue reading

399 – The platinum bunch

A platinum key! What kind of lock would this key fit? The platinum key is our anchor and our savior. A symbol is what we must seek. We are blessed if our Guru gives us one or we find one. The usual place for a symbol is behind our eyebrow centre. It can be a yantra, mandala, deity, sun, moon, star, or flower. Once we feel comfortable with it, we stay with it. How do we use it? It becomes a part of us.it never leaves us and when we use the other four keys, it is present. It rescues us and protects us. Continue reading

386 – Five habits

  1. Personal purity. Cleanliness of one’s body, promotes health and well-being. Observe your mind. Practice self-observation. What are you taking in, how are you influenced by what you are perceiving. Go to satsang which means be with genuine people and also listen to chants. Be non-judgmental and do not be influenced by uncharitable and hostile thoughts. Do not focus on their faults because then you will have a negative view. Look holistically at people.
  2. Be content. Do not hanker for baubles, which disrupt your inner calm. Greed and cravings can lead you on a profligate path.
  3. Be simple in your deeds and actions. We tend to make our lives unnecessarily complicated, and the bunch of hankering thoughts lead us to a waste of our time. We gain clarity when we are uninfluenced by our motley thoughts.
  4. Engage in self-study. Observing your interactions with yourself and the world.
  5. Practice devotion, which is to hear, reflect and meditate.

Continue reading

385 – Pratyahara

This sadhana to bring you closer to the Supreme Goddess.

What is pratyahara? It is described as withdrawal of one’s senses. The maximum dissipation happens when one is involved with everything that is happening around one. One’s eyes are gazing at some object or happening, the ears are listening, there may be a smell, a sense of lingering taste and lastly the sense of touch. Continue reading

383 – Visualization from the Devi Sukta

Why is the Devi Sukta important?

It brings spiritual and material wellbeing to the believer, listener, and the reader. If one is neither and is only a believer in the power of The Goddess, then the visualization will help. The Devi Sukta destroys all illusions in one’s mind. The Devi Suktam cleanses one’s mind of all apprehensions and suspicions.

It removes all the misfortunes and imperfections of the devotees. A suktam is a hymn in praise of the deity intended a collection of very beautifully composed incantations is called a sukta. Continue reading

379 – Nine forms of the Goddess worshipped during Navratri

  1. Shailputri is the daughter of the Himalayas. She is also worshipped as Parvati. Day one is dedicated to her. The offering is pure ghee offered on her foot. The prasad blesses the devotee with a life free of disease.
  2. Brahmacharini is a lover of simple food. Day two is dedicated to her. Devotees offers her a bhog (pudding) of sugar and fruits. She increases the longevity of the family members.
  3. Chandraghanta rides a lion and is believed to destroy all evil and wickedity. Day three is dedicated to her. She wears the half-moon on her head. She is pleased with an offering of milk (e.g., plant based), sweets and kheer.
  4. Kushmanda produced the cosmic egg with her smile, when the universe was plunged in darkness. Day four is dedicated to her. She is offered sweet fried bread (malpua) in syrup, and one fasts before the evening prayer.
  5. Skandamata is seated on a lotus, and she also has a lion as her ride. Day five is dedicated to her. She is offered bananas and she keeps her devotees in good health.
  6. Katyani is the daughter of the sage Katyana. Day six is dedicated to her. She is offered honey. Her blessings make the devotees free of bitterness.
  7. Kaalratri protects her disciples from evil powers and spirits. Day seven is dedicated to her. She is offered sweets made from jaggery.
  8. Mahagauri is offered coconut as prasad. Day eight is dedicated to her. It is also believed that if one offers coconuts to the Brahmins, then one will be blessed with a child.
  9. Siddhayatri protects the devotee’s family from any mishaps. Day nine is dedicated to her. She is offered sesame seeds and one fasts before the prayers.

The purification process

When we worship the goddess in her different avatars for nine days, we ourselves are going through a purification process. Also observe that none of the offerings are extravagant, they are simple foods, which most people can offer. The Goddess takes care of us as long we remain sincere in our devotion.

Aim Hrim Klim

Credits: hinduismnow.org