I spent one glorious Navaratri some years ago in Gurudev Siddha Peeth. The Brahmin priests performed pujas every morning and every evening.
On one such evening toward the end of the nine days, I stood in line to go up for Devi Durga’s darshan. The air around her was shimmering with energy just like the heat on the road on a very hot day. She felt so alive to me! As I got to the bottom step, I looked up, and her gaze was directly on me. I couldn’t move. Her gaze was so intense! And then somehow I made it to the next step and stepped out of her vision. I imagined the person behind me was now experiencing this intense ecstasy.
I felt so blessed that she had gazed upon me. Om dum durgayai namaha.
This collection of images evokes in me focus, joy, awe, and personal strength. My practices of meditation and svadhyaya, which I performed before engaging with this gallery, were the perfect preparation. After experiencing these images, I sang the Jaya Devi Arati. It rings in my ears as the images of the Devi keep returning to my mind’s eye.
North Carolina, United States
Seeing this image of Goddess Durga takes me back to New Year’s Day 1991, when I had just arrived in Gurudev Siddha Peeth for the first time. Standing before her statue, I was awestruck by the majesty before me and at the same time completely reassured that the immense personal challenges I was facing were supported by a power beyond my comprehension. I returned home grateful and strengthened by my darshan of the Devi.
West Busselton, Australia
Learning the symbolic meaning of the weapons that Devi Durga yields means everything to me. Now I see that a sharp intellect and my dharma are just two of my weapons against the inner enemies. And so the Mother defends me from within myself!
California, United States
Seeing this gallery recalls for me the nine nights that I danced with other Siddha Yoga students before the statue of Devi Durga in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, as we celebrated Navaratri back in 2019. It was, is, and will always be the experience of a lifetime within my heart and soul.
As we danced, the Self vibrated with a lovely energy all around us, with us, sustaining us, and as
us. The Ashram itself was breathing with all of us, with nature and Durga and the sky. I felt that we were all another star within the whole galaxy. The oneness I felt was the ultimate grace.
Mexico City, Mexico
I am so grateful to see this sublime photo gallery, which reminds me of the beautiful celebration of Navaratri that I participated in back in 1987 in Gurudev Siddha Peeth. I remember the pujas
and divine chants that were held every day at the feet of the breathtaking statue of Goddess Durga.
I remember particularly one evening at the culmination of the nine days of Navaratri when an enchanting dance with small decorated sticks took place to honor the Devi, with Indian girls dressed in colorful saris. The atmosphere was charged with shakti
, full of lights and fragrance and joy. When Gurumayi passed by, dressed in red, she was so potent and strong that I felt as if she were carrying the energy of the universe. It was a stunning vision that I’ll never forget.
Viewing the gallery of “Invoking the Devi: Goddess Durga” this morning while silently chanting the mantra Om dum durgayai namah
transported me back to our precious Gurudev Siddha Peeth in India and straight to Durga Chowk. My heart leapt with joy as I inwardly prostrated myself at the feet of Devi Durga, embracing the cool floor beneath as I connected with the same experience that I’d had when I was there for the Pilgrimage to the Heart®
Retreat. I could feel her shakti
enveloping me as I made my pradakshina
around her statue, still chanting the mantra.
I am so grateful to be invited to experience “Invoking the Devi: Goddess Durga” in such a beautiful way. The pujas
, the mantra, the nature photographs, and the illustrations immersed me in the feeling of bowing before a universal puja
invoking the blessings of Goddess Durga for everyone.
New York, United States