About the Divine Mother Festival
(Next Divine Mother Festival, Fall Navratri - October 15 - 23, 2012)
With the world full of so many conflicting energies right now, it feels particularly important to propitiate the Feminine Aspect of the Divine at this time to invoke Her compassionate love for all of Her children. During these nine days that we set aside at the Ashram (and people do all around the world) many of Mother's different aspects are honored. Each day we actually bathe, dress, adorn, offer food, money, light, and chants to a murti (or statue) of one of them. This is called puja.
The first of the three days we will offer our prayers and puja to Mother Durga asking Her to destroy those propensities in our lives (which are then manifested around us and throughout the world, since we are all connected) that keep us from our vision of peace, abundance, and union with the Divine. These first days are a very powerful part of the nine day sequence. The next three days we honor Mother Lakshmi asking Her to fill those areas we have rooted out of our lives with abundance, both spiritual and material. Maha Lakshmi is the form of satvic or uplifting pure energy. The final three days we honor Mother Saraswati asking Her to fill us with Divine wisdom. She is the patroness of the arts, knowledge and wisdom and holds the Vedas in Her hands.
Even if you are not able to go to an Ashram or temple for these ceremonies, you can certainly consider setting up a small altar to the Mother and each day bring Her some flowers, light some incense, offer Her a fruit, and spend some time talking to Her, praying to Her, singing to Her, meditating on Her, or reading about Her. It is such a glorious time to join with millions around the world in the Divine Mother's honor. With so many prayers joined together, I know we can make a significant shift in energy toward more compassion and love. If you have questions or would like more information you can always call or email the Ashram at 719-256-4108 or info@Babajiashram.org.
Above all the Gods who come and go in the consciousness of man through the rise and fall of civilizations, in the abode of infinite space, in absolute peace where time is no more, there resides the Great Mother of all creation, one with Her Lord, the Supreme Spirit.
The Great Goddess, matrix and creatrix of all that is, takes as many forms or aspects of manifestation as the human mind can conceive. Within and without, it is always She who weaves the patterns of all life as the Divine Force behind everything perceived by the senses. She is Universal and has many names: we call Her Haidakhandeshwari, Vishveshwari, and Maha Lakshmi.
Shri Babaji said, "The Great Power that is the cosmic Maya, the Supreme Divine Energy, the Mother Goddess of Haidakhan embodies the totality of all that is to be known. She is the combined divine Grace-Energy of the Goddess Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswati. To worship the Universal Goddess while we are in this mortal frame gives human life its highest realization."
The design and inspiration of the Temple (also known as the Lakshmi Temple) at the Ashram comes from India, but the concept of the Divine Mother is universal. Goddesses are respected and worshipped in many traditions, such as that of the Native American Indians, who see Mother as the Earth and treat Her with great respect.
Haidakhandeshwari, the murti or statue in the temple, is the Shakti, or female aspect, of Haidakhan Babaji. He said that She is the love that I carry for you in My heart. Before He left His body, He said, I leave you the Divine Mother. She is the energy that resides in His heart. Her physical form is based on a vision She gave to a devotee in India.
She is shown with four arms. In Her upper left hand, She holds a conch. This a symbol of the sound of creation, and therefore, of Her creative powers. In Her upper right hand is a chakra, a weapon with jagged edges that cuts like a sword. It is She, the loving Mother, who protects Her children from enemies, both outer and inner. She holds a mace in her lower left hand, a symbol of authority. Her lower right hand is always extended in a gesture of blessing to all those who come to Her.
To worship the Divine Mother is a very high practice. She bestows all blessings and prosperity on Her devotees.