Post No.8


 Sai Ram once again!!!

This posting follows on from the previous post No.7
 A continuation of the morning proceedings (12th March 2013) with Sai Prasad.

After the 4th and final Ganesha puja was completed, we followed him on his motorcycle once again in our rikshaw
 back to the
 Durga Mata Mandir, situated on the banks of the now dry Chithravathi River.
Well, it was dry when we were there.

He performed a puja to Goddess Durga.

  I was thinking, as I am typing this, how often in our lives do we get a chance to witness a puja such as this?
In the land where the 'Lord of the Universe' had made it His embodied home.
 Who is... Mother Durga!
 One in a million... lifetimes?
Unless, of coarse you go there often or make it always your dwelling place. 
A good fortune, no doubt from a past life... maybe? 

 I pray that you wIl also get some of Her Divine blessings from seeing this video posted below.
Even if it is just the excerpts of it. It went for about 40 minutes in duration.
Oh! And enjoy some of the scenery on the way.

Sai Prasad on the road again leaving from the 4th Ganesha.

8 kilometers to Puttaparthi
2 kilometers to Sai Hospital

Swami is always with us!

Durga Mata Mandir


Offerings of Sandalwood, Kumkum, Flowers, Coconuts, Incense, Fruit, etc etc...


SAI PRASAD - Part Five

Sarva Mangala Maangalye,
Shive Sarvaartha Saadhike.
Sharanye Tryamba Ke Gauri,
Naaraayani Namostute.

Adorations to Goddess,
who is the auspiciousness of all that is auspicious,
who is the consort of Lord Shiva,
who is the bestower of every desire of one's heart.
Adorations to You!
O Devi, I have taken refuge in you.

  Durge Durge Durge Jai Jai Maa
 Karuna Saagari Maa
 Kaali Kapaalini Maa
 Jagadoddharini Maa
 Jagadambey Jai Jai Maa

Victory to Mother Durga (Kali)! Oh Mother, the Ocean of compassion,
 Oh Mother Kali, Who is adorned with the garland of human skulls (a symbol of Her annihilation of our egoism),
 Oh Mother, You uplift the world 
 Victory to the Divine Mother who is the Mother of the Universe.

Goddess Durga 
  Is the mother of the universe and believed to be the power behind the work of creation, preservation, and destruction of the world. Since time immemorial she has been worshipped as the supreme power of the Supreme Being and has been mentioned in many scriptures - Yajur Veda, Vajasaneyi Samhita and Taittareya Brahman.


The Meaning of "Durga"

 The word "Durga" in Sanskrit means a fort, or a place which is difficult to overrun. Another meaning of "Durga" is "Durgatinashini," which literally translates into "the one who eliminates sufferings." Thus, Hindus believe that goddess Durga protects her devotees from the evils of the world and at the same time removes their miseries.


The Many Forms of Durga

 There are many incarnations of Durga: Kali, Bhagvati, Bhavani, Ambika, Lalita, Gauri, Kandalini, Java, Rajeswari, et al. Durga incarnated as the united power of all divine beings, who offered her the required physical attributes and weapons to kill the demon "Mahishasur". Her nine appellations are Skondamata, Kusumanda, Shailaputri, Kaalratri, Brahmacharini, Maha Gauri, Katyayani, Chandraghanta and Siddhidatri.


Durga's Many Arms

 Durga is depicted as having eight or ten hands. These represent eight quadrants or ten directions.
 This suggests that she protects the devotees from all directions.


Durga's Three Eyes

 Like Shiva, Mother Durga is also referred to as "Triyambake" meaning the three eyed Goddess. The left eye represents desire (the moon), the right eye represents action (the sun), and the central eye knowledge (fire).


Durga's Vehicle - the Lion

 The lion represents power, will and determination. Mother Durga riding the lion symbolises her mastery over all these qualities. This suggests to the devotee that one has to possess all these qualities to get over the demon of ego.


Durga's Many Weapons

  • The conch shell in Durga's hand symbolizes the 'Pranava' or the mystic word 'Om', which indicates her holding on to God in the form of sound.
  • The bow and arrows represent energy. By holding both the bow and arrows in one hand "Mother Durga" is indicating her control over both aspects of energy - potential and kinetic.
  • The thunderbolt signifies firmness. The devotee of Durga must be firm like thunderbolt in one's convictions. Like the thunderbolt that can break anything against which it strikes, without being affected itself, the devotee needs to attack a challenge without losing his confidence.
  • The lotus in Durga's hand is not in fully bloomed, It symbolizing certainty of success but not finality. The lotus in Sanskrit is called "pankaja" which means born of mud. Thus, lotus stands for the continuous evolution of the spiritual quality of devotees amidst the worldly mud of lust and greed.
  • The "Sudarshan-Chakra" or beautiful discus, which spins around the index finger of the Goddess, while not touching it, signifies that the entire world is subservient to the will of Durga and is at her command. She uses this unfailing weapon to destroy evil and produce an environment conducive to the growth of righteousness.
  • The sword that Durga holds in one of her hands symbolizes knowledge, which has the sharpness of a sword. Knowledge which is free from all doubts, is symbolized by the shine of the sword.
  • Durga's trident or "trishul" is a symbol of three qualities - Satwa (inactivity), Rajas (activity) and Tamas (non-activity) - and she is remover of all the three types of miseries - physical, mental and spiritual.

Devi Durga stands on a lion in a fearless pose of "Abhay Mudra", signifying assurance of freedom from fear. The universal mother seems to be saying to all her devotees: "Surrender all actions and duties onto me and I shall release thee from all fears".

After the puja was finished, we were invited soon after to have some prasad and satsang at Sai Prasad's residence
He talked about some of his wonderful moments with Swami.
He also showed us a very old coin, he says is over 500 years old!
One side of the coin shows Sri Ram and the other side shows 'Sreem'. Also it looks like a OM symbol there?

Om Sreem Ram Ramaya Namaha


Decided to walk back to the hotel for a short while, before heading back to Prasanthi for lunch and evening darshan.