The Vitality of the Universe Entire – On MahaGauri, SiddhiDhatri, and Demeter

The Eighth Night of #NavRatri is dedicated to MahaGauri - The Great Beauty, The 'Great White One' ; The Ninth Night of NavRatri, to Siddhidhatri - the Bestower of Boons, The Giver of Empowerment. Both because I am rather late in my finishing of this piece - but also due to a certain underlying thematic unity ...  … Continue reading The Vitality of the Universe Entire – On MahaGauri, SiddhiDhatri, and Demeter

Katyayani for Chaitra Navratri – MahishasuraMardini (The Destroyer of the Demon) Herself

The Sixth Night of #NavRatri is dedicated to Ma as Katyayani - in many ways, perhaps the most iconic understanding for Devi amidst the modern Hindusphere.  When we think of Durga - this tends to be Whom we are praising. For She is MahishasuraMardini - The Destroyer of the Buffalo-Demon - Herself ! However, as … Continue reading Katyayani for Chaitra Navratri – MahishasuraMardini (The Destroyer of the Demon) Herself

Brahmacharini for Chaitra Navratri – Seeker of the Absolute

The Second Night of #NavRatri is dedicated to Ma as Brahmacharini - the Seeker of the Absolute. Now as we will recall - 'Brahman' is from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerǵʰ-. This term in PIE refers to something that is 'high', 'exalted' - and also produces, unsurprisingly, terms for 'mountain' (like the Germanic 'Berg'). It would perhaps be improper … Continue reading Brahmacharini for Chaitra Navratri – Seeker of the Absolute

Shailaputri for Chaitra Navratri – Daughter of the Mountain

The First Night of #NavRatri is dedicated to Ma as Shailaputri - the Daughter of the Mountain. In English, 'Daughter of the Mountain' would be quite a frequent hailing for Devi - 'Girija' [i.e. Giri - Mountain, plus Ja - 'born from'], and even 'Parvati' may be translated in such a manner ['Parvata' - Mountain; … Continue reading Shailaputri for Chaitra Navratri – Daughter of the Mountain

Somavati Amavasya – Worship of Shiva and the Ancestors on the Monday of the Dark Moon

Today is Monday - Lord Shiva's Day; however it is also Amavasya - a day with special significance and potential for observances for the Dead (as we have covered in some of our previous pieces looking at the Libations to the Ancestors). What Amavasya means is the 'Dark' point of the Moon's 28-day cycle - … Continue reading Somavati Amavasya – Worship of Shiva and the Ancestors on the Monday of the Dark Moon

Masik ShivRatri – First of 2022

Tonight is Masik Shivratri ['Monthly Night of Shiva'] On MahaShivRatri ['Great Night of Shiva'], we celebrate the glorious and blessed Reunification of Lord Shiva and His Wife, Devi Parvati. And while much attention deservedly goes toward MahaShivRatri, there are also 11 other ShivRatris throughout the year - one for each lunar month, observed on the … Continue reading Masik ShivRatri – First of 2022

Pradosha Vrat – The Fortnightly Evening Observance For Lord Shiva

Pradosha Vrat tonight … so here's a pretty aesthetic shot of the Shiva Temple at Kedarnath Pradosh Vrat [literally 'Evening Observance' - 'Vrata', from the same root as our English 'Word', communicates the sense of a 'Vow', giving somebody your Word] is hailed as an ideal time to approach the Lord in supplication. This is, … Continue reading Pradosha Vrat – The Fortnightly Evening Observance For Lord Shiva