Navaratri or 9 nights of Divine Mother is the time of cleansing, purification and evolution throughout the whole of nature. During this window, the wholeness of life rises to purge the lower, fragmented, imperfect values of natural law. In Purana, it is depicted as the time when Shakthi (quintessential universal power), champion of the gods, is victorious over demons (lower, fragmented forces of nature). It is a time for light to triumph over darkness. The river floods and stagnant pools are washed away. It's an opportunity to purify, revitalize and realign our lives: to get back on track - to realize our goals and aspirations.
Navaratri is known as 'Durga Puja': 9 nights invoking or celebrating Durga: Divine Mother -the wholeness or collectedness of God's feminine aspects. Yagyas are traditionally performed during this time to harness the momentum of this highly auspicious window of opportunity. Navaratri or Durga puja yagyas serve to direct the lively flow of nature's intelligence and organizing power into our daily lives to safeguard and enhance our progress and evolution and to achieve specific goals.
In 2007 we tried a new approach to Navaratri yagyas. We transported Pandits from Delhi to Haridwar to perform the 9 day Navaratri yagya inside a celebrated Durga temple. Mansa Devi is famed throughout Northern India due to the extraordinary liveliness of Durga's divine presence. Mahishasura Mardini (Slayer of Asura/Demon Mahisha ), she is known as fulfiller of desires or granter of wishes. The reputation is built on the experiences of generations of pilgrims who find their sincere desires fulfilled and prayers answered after visiting the temple: like seeds planted in fertile soil.
As a result of the highly charged atmosphere, the Navaratri yagya performed here was extraordinary. The clients who took part in this yagya reported outstanding benefits. Experiences from the pilot program inspired us to grow. So in February 2008 along with 9 Pandits performing at Mansa Devi in Haridwar [see above], we also took 9 Pandits to Saraada Maihar - celebrated Saraswathi Temple in Madhya Pradesh. We ran this combined Laksmi/Saraswathi program over two 9 day Navaratri periods in 2008; first in February and again in July. Sponsors from more than 5 countries participated in the July program which grew to 13 Pandits performing in each temple [total 26 Pandits in 2 temples]. Once again the participants reported outstanding results. Many signed on for the next program. Since 2007, the number of temples has grown to 5 and we now have around 48 Pandits performing Navaratri Durga Puja program 4 times every year (see below).