Submitted by Ajoy
(Part 1 | Part 3)
Chanting ‘Navarna’ Mantra
During the course of the Utsav a continuous japa (recitation) of ‘Om Aim Hreem Klim Chamundaya Vicha’* is chanted. People who volunteer have to be available at the shrine at the prescribed time. At any time, two people are chanting in front of the deity. Each batch would chant for an hour and then the next team would smoothly take over. This would be undertaken from dawn to 10 PM in the night.
This ‘Navarna’ Mantra is taken from the Durga Saptashathi written by SageMarkandaya. A Sanskrit Mantra (sacred chant) possesses when correctly pronounced, a spiritually beneficial vibratory potency.
The mantra means:
My obeisance to the Chamunda Devi (Durga Devi/ Divine Mother) who is endowed with the attributes of:
Ø AUM= The Aum vibration that reverberates throughout the universe, has three manifestations, those of creation, preservation and destruction. Each time a man utters a word he puts into operation one of the three qualities of Aum. This is the lawful reason behind the injunction of all scriptures that man should speak the truth.
Ø AIM= Fundamental sound of MAHA SARASWATI.
Ø HREEM= Fundamental sound of MAHA LAKSHMI.
Ø KLIM= Fundamental sound of MAHA KALI.
This chant is very useful for ones spiritual progress and allows one to develop a lot of focus. The benefits which one augurs are peace, protection, success and good health. Other than this mantra, devotees also recite the following:
Ø Shasra Kumkum Archan.
Ø Durga Sapat Shathi Path.
Ø Devi Kavach Path.
Ø Argala Stotra.
Ø Kilaka Stotra.
Ø Shree Supta.
That night we slept in the tents. Although the days were hot, the nights were a bit cold because we were located at an altitude of more than 600 Meters above sea level. The mountain air was nice and refreshing. The next day we woke up early finished our bath and got ready.
The day arrived with more people coming from nearby towns like Pune. The place looked really festive now, with people and the place dressed up for the occasion. The day began with the Sodhopchar pooja and Devi’s Abhishek. A long queue formed to give Vinzai Devi her auhty (offerings to God which goes into the haavan kund, fire pit), which consisted of a small piece of cloth (many people offer a sari and a blouse piece), green bangles, coconut or fruits, some uncooked rice, fresh flowers or garland, kumkum and turmeric powder and some sweets. These items presented to Devi on a tray or large plate are given as a token of thanks for the blessings bestowed by Devi on the family and for making thier wishes come true. Generally a senior married lady of the household does this accompanied by her husband. Since there were a lot of people, they were given tokens so that people could go in when thier turn came up. At the same time a few people who could sing well had started singing Devi’s bhajans accompanied with musical instruments. The mood overall was festive. By early afternoon the lunch was offered as prasad (consecrated food or sweets) to the Devi, followed by Maha Arti. This was followed by the Savashni Pooja (honoring married ladies) and Kumarika Pooja (honoring girls under the age of 11). This is done as a mark of respect to the divinity inherent in ladies and the girl child. Everybody relished the nice lunch preparations that afternoon.
The evening started with a melava (gathering) honoring senior citizens. After the evening arti and dinner everybody came together for the Jogwa, a dance by a Devi Bhakta (one who sings and dances in praise of the Devi). Earlier in the day he would be tasked with carrying the peoples wishes to the Devi if the temple was located far away from the village. See Devi's Jogwa:
On the second day once again there is abhishek in the morning followed by prasad, bhajans and the afternoon arti. The evening is the occasion for Devi’s Palkhi where the Devi’s idol is carried in a procession through the Tamhini village. Everybody tags along the procession as it winds through the village. It is a very joyous occasion. It is the grand finale of the Utsav.
The following day everybody is ready for going back home.
Thank you for reading. Part 3 follows with a bhajan lyrics and translations sung at the festivities.
Related Sites/Posts: For more photos narrating this post, click here. | Vinzai Devi (Previous Post by Ajoy)