Festivals

At the ashram we celebrate various auspicious festivals over the year, feel free to check our calendar page to read more.

During these festivals it is an opportunity for you to visit the ashram and practice personal sadhana under the guidance of Guruji.

Please inform us if you are planning to visit us.

 

 

Navaratri – Ma festival

Our most popular festival is that of Navaratri, here is some information to explain how we celebrate these sacred periods of the Divine Mother.

Navratri is classically celebrated for a duration of 9 days, as it is custom all over India, although in our tradition the period is often extended a little longer dure to the sadhana and energetic purposes. The other significant difference compared to orthodox indian practice is, that Guruji is creating a life yantra.

The two main Navratris, which translates to nine nights, are

Ashwiwi Navratri,

Chetra Navratri,

 

The purpose of each Navratri is to enhance the force of Shakti (devine feminine) and make it complete within the practitioner, aiding him/her to become one with elevated and refined aspects of the universe. The practitioners devotion towards creation becomes strongly enhanced, ones heart opens and is filled with joy and gratitude towards all manifestation. In the deeper or superior stages of the meditative practice and ultimately the blessing of Maa (the divine Mother) whose shakti manifests stronger with every day and night of the festival, one may even experience bliss, feeling of universal love and the recognition that everything actually is a manifestation of divine light.

This is the importance of the Navratri festival.

The live yantra itself is made from from sacred leaves which serve as the foundation of the yantra. The yantra represents a spiritual diagram representing the specific universal force or shakti. As opposed to other traditions where the yantra is drawn, here the yantra is created like an animate being, becoming the actual body of the Goddess. Sacred herbs and blessed leaves are placed on the floor, usually inside a temple but it could be done as well in ones home. The yantra has four doors to ground it in the four elements. Inside the centre there is the geometric representation of the Goddess, usually symbolised by specific numbers of petals, differently shaped and sized triangles and circles.The outlines of the yantra are filled with soaked wheat which will grow over the next 9 days of the duration of the festival. Then pots filled with blessed water are placed in specific locations on the yantra. Panleaves are placed inside the pots and coconuts placed atop. These pots will serve as dwelling abodes for the different deities and supporting spirits which are a representation of certain energies that act in the universe as well as in the human psyche. Then an oil lamp with 10 flames is placed in the centre of the yantra, representing, or rather dedicated to the 10 cosmic powers and one pot for the specific Shakti/Goddess dedicated to that Maa festival. Finally some colourful jewellery piecesĀ  are placed on the various pots to beautify the whole structure and further attract the energy of Ma, since in the tantric tradition shakti is of feminine nature. The next day the oil lamps are lit, which will be kept alive during the whole duration of the festival. The yantra is then empowered through various mantras and becomes ‘alive’ and therefore sacred and is not only a mere representation, but the Goddess herself and consequently by all practitioners revered as such.