Please enjoy the following update from Jagatambe Naryani, one of Sri Shakti Durga’s senior disciples, who has been serving in the Ashram of Sri Sakthi Amma (Shakti Durga’s Guru) in India.
Om Namo Narayani
Greetings and blessings from Sri Narayani Peedam in Tamil Nadu, South India.
It has now been 4.5 months since embarking on this journey of a lifetime to live and serve at Amma’s ashram here in India.
As many of you will know, Sri Sakthi Amma is Shakti Durga’s Guru. Amma is a living embodiment of the Divine Mother, an Avatar. In Amma’s case, Amma embodies the Goddess Narayani, who is comprised of the Divine energies of Durga (strength) Lakshmi (abundance) and Saraswathi (wisdom). Sri Sakthi Amma’s purpose is to guide humanity to come back into the path of Dharma (righteousness), to elevate them to higher realms of spirituality and also to develop and implement successful seva (selfless service) programmes for those in need.
To this end, Amma has established many seva or humanitarian programmes and a temple complex here in Thiramalaikodi, a small village in Southern India, called Sri Narayani Peedam. The temple started as a humble thatched roof hut and in the last 22 years has become a phenomenal spiritual and cultural haven and storehouse of Divine energy! Being here is like heaven on earth!
During my time here at Sri Narayani Peedam (Peedam literally means the Seat – of Goddess Narayani), I have had the opportunity to meet many of Amma’s devotees. More soul family, YAY!! It has been very heartening to connect with so many people from around the world who are practicing their spirituality and contributing to the wellbeing and peace of humanity.
It has been a great joy to be able to share Shakti Durga’s teachings and wisdom through running satsangs, meditations, teaching some of the Path of Ease and Grace seminars and offering many healings as seva (selfless service). There is a lot of interest in the energy healing tools here among locals and international devotees. It is a wonderful experience to open and connect with the Divine here where the energy is so powerfully available. Energy blockages can move very easily and the grace is abundant!
Another major part of my stay so far has been to serve on the Shanti Mission retreats that were held in August, October and now most recently the ‘Endless Blessings of Lakshmi Narayani’ Retreat. Many of you would have read Shakti Durga’s blog from earlier in the retreat. (LTI Lakshmi Nararyani’s Endless Blessings) It is such a sacred and joyful opportunity to serve people in their journey of opening more deeply to Amma’s grace. I am constantly reminded how blessed we are to be a part of this beautiful community, with Guru to guide us all home to the Divine Mother.
A highlight of our recent retreat was the day where Amma arranged in the short space of 24 hours, for a super yagam (fire ceremony) to be conducted where we were the pujaris (priests) of the fire. We all arrived at the large hall in the morning where everything had been lovingly prepared for us. 64 small fire pits complete with utensils and Sri Yantra copper plates were ready to go. The Sri Yantra is a symbol of the Divine Feminine and the purpose of the yantra is to store and multiply the energies cultivated through the fire ceremony. Sri Sakthi Amma, Amma’s priests, long time devotee Raji and the sevites (people who serve) and staff of Peedam were all there supporting the day. It was a monumental effort for such a short time frame, but in the discourse afterwards, Amma shared with us that because it was the Divine Mother’s Will to bless us all in this way, it just happened!
The fire ceremony was preceded by a pada puja (worship offered to the Guru’s feet) to Amma, which I was given the opportunity to perform. This ceremony is very special because the energy of the Divine flows very powerfully through the feet of all holy people, and so the Guru’s feet are a portal of Divine grace and a place of refuge for all devotees. It was the answering to a deeply held yearning of this heart! My conscious prayer during the puja was that the blessings be shared with all the devotees and all of creation, which I felt rippling out to you all!
Performing the pada puja to Beloved Amma
Then we all performed the yagam in front of Amma, who was empowering the process and the mantras that we were being lead through. The yagam was for world peace and to call forth Narayani’s blessings for us all. For those interested in performing the yagam, we will be able to share the procedure and practice together back in Australia. The energy was massive and it was a very humbling experience to be served by Amma’s priests who where attending to us with the same devotion with which they serve Amma. This in itself was a scripture for us to experience, reminding us that we can all serve each other in this way, honouring the Divine in everyone.
Another special time was the packing seva we participated in, helping to prepare much needed supplies for those affected by the recent floods. You may have seen the previous email about the flooding in Chennai and surrounding areas. Amma has been quick to provide support for those in need in the form of financial assistance for rebuilding and the provision useful supplies. (If you would like to donate please click here – Donate – please include ‘blanket – one time donation’ in the commentary)
For those in Australia, you can also deposit directly into the Beloved Narayani foundation bank account:
You do this by making a direct deposit, labeled BLANKET into the following account:
Beloved Narayani Foundation
Account Number: 238785
The overseas devotees all gathered at Peedam and together with different staff members from the organisation including Green Sakthi, peedam temple staff, priests and administrative staff, we worked together joyfully, sometimes laughing, sometimes chanting. There was a seemingly endless pile of relief supplies and boxes needing to be filled. It was amazing to see how everything flowed in an organic, non-linear, yet highly effective, Divinely guided way. It was as though we were all just plugged into Amma’s consciousness that would seamlessly guide us to the next job without fuss. Amma’s Will (sankalpa) was that this seva would be done and so it was – in an almost miraculous fashion!
On December 13, shortly after the retreat concluded we had the great joy of celebrating Shakti Durga’s Birthday. Many retreat participants were still here to enjoy the day. We started the day with the Sri Suktum Homam (a fire ceremony dedicated to Lakshmi) and offered an abundance of prayers for Shakti Durga and Sakthi Amma, Shanti Mission and all of Amma’s projects and all of our soul family. Later we enjoyed Amma’s puja (prayers) and afterwards we gathered in the Shanti Mandapam Hall and were graced with Amma’s presence. We presented Shakti Durga with a large birthday cake with the image of Amma’s feet. Shortly after Beloved Sakthi Amma gifted Shakti Durga a set of Amma’s silver padukas (sandals). With Amma’s permission, the retreat group had sponsored the making of these silver padukas on behalf of the Shanti Mission community as a gift for Shakti Durga’s birthday. We were able to witness Beloved Amma empower the padukas to hold the energy of Amma’s lotus feet by standing on them and blessing, before Amma presented them to Shakti Durga. Now we will be able to perform puja to the padukas as the feet of Beloved Sakthi Amma Narayani. It was a very special day and we were all filled with so much joy with this blessing from Amma!
I have also had the opportunity to perform seva at Peedam in a few of the temples there, particularly in ‘Swayambu’ temple. ‘Swayambu’ means self-arising, and the Swayambu is a self-arisen or self manifested spiritual idol from the earth. In 1992, Amma declared that the ‘Swayambu’ would arise from the earth, so thousands gathered to witness the miracle of this manifestation. Shortly after a ‘putthu’ (sacred ant hill) began to grow next to the manifested Swayambu idol. This is seen as Nature’s way of conferring the Divinity that resides there. The temple was later built to house the Swayambu and this temple is a profound portal of shakti and liberating grace. It has been a joy to serve as pujari (priestess), performing arthi (offering the flame), serving theertham (holy water) and offering kum kum (blessed red powder made from lime juice and turmeric) to the pilgrims and devotees.
I am looking forward to continuing sharing the adventures of Sri Narayani Peedam. I can feel Amma’s grace flowing to each of you every day that I am here.
Holding you all in my heart and prayers
Love and blessings
OM NAMO NARAYANI