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Thought for the Day:


Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati


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Navaratri Celebrations
in Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas,
from 29th September till 8th October 2019

On the occasion of the Sharadiya Navaratri Celebrations 2019, the Priests of
Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas had established a wonderful Altar, in the Yajnashala of the Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir. Prayers and Pujas for the Divine Mother started
in the morning hours of the 29th September 2019 and completed around Noontime.
These special morning rituals were continued daily, till Vijaya Dashami, on the 8th October 2019. Additionally to Prayers and Pujas, the Priests were singing Bhajans to glorify the Divine Mother.
Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda Saraswati, President Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas,
also took actively part in the morning Pujas.

Shri Mukesh Panditji and Swamiji perform the Devi-Arati.

Finally Swami Vishveshwarananda offers Pushpanjali
(offering of flowers along with prayers) to the Divinities.

The sweet Omkarananda-Shanta-Durga Devi is residing
in the middle of the special Navaratri Altar.

She is not ferocious, but a compassionate, peaceful, blessing and loving Divinity.
She is that form of the Divine Mother Durga, who has already conquered all evil
and therefore sits peacefully on Her lion and is showing with Her right hand,
the "Abhaya Hasta", the blessing and fear-removing gesture.

In Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas strictly Ahimsa, i.e. Non-Violence, is followed.
Therefore only the peaceful and loving forms of the Divine Mother are worshipped here. Omkarananda-Shanta-Durga is the same as Vijaya Lakshmi or Shri Lalita Maha-Tripurasundari. Gurudev, Shri Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati, had taught all his disciples,
that the Divine Mother does not like at all, that innocent animals are sacrificed for Her.
The Divine Mother is pleased by only one sacrifice - Gurudev Swami Omkarananda
had emphasized again and again - that is the sacrifice of our ego,
the sacrifice of the dark, evil, selfish tendencies in the human mind.

Divine Mother Shri Omkarananda-Shanta-Durga is watching and
blessing the evening celebrations during the holy Navaratri time.

Additional powerful Hawanas were performed every evening by the
Omkarananda Ashram Priests. The Chief-Priest, Shri Suresh Panditji conducted the Yajnas,
while he was very capably assisted by another important Priest, Shri Sanjay Panditji.
Both Priests had been initiated into the rare and complicated worship of Shri Vidya by
the late Chief-Priest of Kanchi Kamakshi Temple, in Kanchipuram, Shri Kamakoti Shastriji.

Inspite of being extremely busy with so many Management works for the Ashram,
Shri Swami Vishveshwaranandaji always spared time to take part in
these wonderful and powerful Yajnas.

Swamiji offers the Purnahuti.

Holy Cow's Ghee is poured through a Dhara into the Agni-Devata by
Shri Swami Vishveshwaranandaji and Chief- Priest Suresh Panditji.

Evening Hawana by Priests of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas,
on Durga Ashtami, 6th October 2019.
From left to right: Shri Sanjay Panditji, Shri Suresh Panditji and Shri Mukesh Panditji.

Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda offers the Purnahuti.

Special Devi-Arati by Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda.

Kumari Somashekhari performed the Omkarananda-Arati for
Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati.

Ashramites, Devotees and Guests have assembled in the Mandapa
(Temple-Hall) of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir to attend the Arati
for Shri Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi.

Ms. Gayatri announces the special dance-performances by Kumari Somashekhari.

Guru-Bhakti-Ratna Kumari Somashekhari performed a few Temple-Dances,
in which the Divine Mother was glorified and worshipped. 

Kumari Somashekhari, in one of her Temple-Dances, is depicting with
her hand-gestures the beauty of the moon.

Shri Ramesh Uniyal, accompanied by live-musicians, offered his tribute to
the Divine Mother, to Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati and
Omkarananda Ashram, with several songs, written and composed by him,
in the local Himalayan language, Garhwali.

Kumari Somashekhari completed her special Temple-Dance Performance
on the occasion of Navaratri, with a beautiful Devi-Arati Dance, choreographed by her.
Towards the end of her dance Kumari Somashekhari was waving the Kumbha-Deepa Arati
in front of Divine Mother Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi. It was an unforgettable moment
for the audience, because the Kumbha-Deepa Arati is extremely important and
highly auspicious, but it is hardly known in North India and rarely seen.

After Kumari Somashekhari’s worship of the Divine Mother in form of Temple-Dance,
Mahant Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda Saraswati addressed all Devotees and Guests,
present during this occasion. Swamiji offered his heartfelt Adorations to all,
who had assembled in the Temple-Hall, and told them, that they are very lucky and
definitely very blessed, because they could witness this rare type of Arati,
the Kumbha-Deepa Arati. Swami Vishveshwarananda thanked Kumari Somashekhari
for glorifying the Divine Mother through her devotional dances, and he remarked,
that the Divine Mother was extremely happy to see her. Swamiji said, that one can
experience the Divine through different methods, like through Prayers and Meditation,
through Karma Yoga etc., but also through devotional Music and Dance.
Swamiji also expressed his heartfelt thanks to the Folk-Singer, Shri Ramesh Uniyal, and -
last not least - to all the Omkarananda Ashram Priests, for their wonderful contribution.
Swami Vishveshwaranandaji further highlighted the importance of the holy
Navaratri Celebrations. He made the listeners aware, that many people live a good
and pious life during these special days, but after that they fall again into the trap of
an ordinary worldly life, which is very unfortunate. Our whole life should be
continuously filled with good and pious thoughts and actions, not only during
specific limited time-periods. Swamiji emphatically told: "Spirituality is the Essence of Life !
It is the seed of Perfection ! Unless and until we are not concentrating our life on
spiritual progress, we are losing valuable time ! If we search for true happiness
and release of pain, worldly matters can never help ! They can never help us to relieve us completely from all kinds of pain. Only the spiritual Gurudev can give us Liberation,
Moksha, provided we are honest, sincere and are following His path." Swamiji's divine words
had definitely a deep impact on the hearts of the true Seekers of the Divine.

Swami Vishveshwarananda and Kumari Somashekhari
are thanking Ms. Gayatri for introducing Soma's dances.

Swamji requested the Principal of Omkarananda Saraswati Nilayam Inter-College,
Mr. Debasis Das, to honour Shri Ramesh Uniyal for his devotional songs.

The two different Aratis, with which Kumari Somashekhari had worshipped the
Divine Mother, are shining at the entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum of the merciful,
all-loving, all-powerful Shri Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi.

In the morning of Vijaya Dashami, on 8th October 2019, a grand Yajna was conducted
by the Priests of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, Shri Suresh Panditji,
Shri Sanjay Panditji, Shri Mukesh Panditji and other Pandits, in the Yajna Shala
of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir.

Purnahuti was offered by Kumari Somashekhari in the Presence of
Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda and Shri Swami Satchidananda.

From a big wooden Dhara pure Cow's Ghee is poured into Agni-Devata.

Kumari Somashekhari lovingly honours nine small Kanyas and performs Puja with them.

Each Kanya receives a Kumkum Tilak from Somashekhari.

Kumari Somashekhari offers beautiful gifts to a Suvasini, a small boy
(as representative of Lord Shiva) and to all the nine Kanyas.

Finally Arati is performed for all of them.

The nine Kanyas, the Suvasini and the small boy are all
very happy about the beautiful gifts, they received.

The Kanyas, the small boy and the Suvasini can enjoy a very pure and
tasty vegetarian food in the Headquarters of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas,
served to them by the Ashram Pandits.

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