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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kaalratri protects her disciples from evil powers and spirits. Day seven is dedicated to her. She is offered sweets made from jaggery.
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.
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.
Our spiritual life starts once we experience atmabhava, the experience of oneself in all. It means that we have the same attitude towards others’ interests as we do towards our own. We cannot progress if we do not have a shred of atmabhava. Continue reading →
Purification is a very powerful word. It has ethical, and moral connotations. When we use the word pure what do we see. Cleanliness, transparency, shininess and I can keep adding adjectives. Purification of consciousness is freeing our mind of sensory impressions. Continue reading →
Recap of the last session. Freedom as the number one priority
in life. Nondual bhakti is exclusive love of the self. To progress
spiritually you have to commit yourself to the vedic tradition:
work through all stages. Skipping of the purification by karma
yoga is not useful. Understand the progression. Take care of
all instruments. Dual love is there to qualify for nondual love.
Nondual relationship. Samsara is a zero-sum-reality. You can’t
win and you can’t loose. Karma yoga is suitable to get out of
samsara: prepares you for jnana yoga, jnana yoga gives you
knowledge and knowledge sets you free. You need a noble
idea for your life. All beings are a set of rules by Isvara that
form their nature. Svabhava and svadharma of a human
being. Nature of animals. Karma yoga dharma. Example of
Arjuna. Karma yogis honor samanya dharma or universal
values. Vishesha dharma or situational ethics have no simple
formula. Dharma yoga. React appropriately in relation to
dharma in every situation to avoid bad karma. Krishna: I am
the desire that is not opposed to dharma. Adharma: Going
against your nature or to go against universal values.
Adharmic action creates mental and emotional agitation.
Pollute the environment and living in it is adharmic.
Svadharma of someone commited to Vedanta: be a karma
yogi, develop discipline. Karma yoga is build into the indian
society, that is a dharmic society. Svadharma and profession.
Karma yoga makes less stressful. You start thinking: who is
this Isvara? 4. Upasana. Listening, reasoning (reflecting and
getting rid of opinions that are not in harmony with the
teaching), actualize the knowledge “I am the self”. Getting rid
of obstacles to perfect satisfaction: by continuing the sadhana.
Total sense of confidence.