|Br. Dayamrita Chaitanya Q&A||GreenFriends Newsletter|
|Work Party||Social Projects|
Br. Dayamrita Chaitanya has graciously agreed to address our spiritual questions through the PNW regional newsletter. On the occasion of the
Navaratri festival which falls on October 1 - 10 in 2016, we had asked Swamiji about the significance of this festival devoted to the worship of the Divine Mother. Swamiji says:
In the Indian tradition, out of 365 days in a year, there are more than 465 days of festival! So practically every half day is a festival day. The word festival is a rough translation of the Sanskrit word “Utsav.” “Ut” means removal and “sav” is grief or worldly sorrows. The main reason for celebration is to remove worldly sorrows by remembering our true nature. Festivity does not mean indulgence in worldly pleasures. Sensual indulgence is contrary to the real intention.
During Navaratri (meaning nine nights) the devotees observe fasting by drinking only liquids or refraining from food and chant their mantras, especially for Devi - the Divine Mother, an embodiment of Shakti or the power of creation. This is a time to observe fasts, perform spiritual practices, and assess our spiritual progress.
Navaratri celebrations have a deep spiritual intention and a very subtle meaning. The nine nights are divided into three three-day periods for each aspect of the Divine Mother - Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Durga Devi rides on a lion which indicates our vasanas or negative tendencies. We conquer the lion of our negative tendencies by fasting and performing spiritual practices. After conquering our vasanas, we come to Goddess Lakshmi, who is the bestower of wealth, both external and internal. A seeker needs only internal wealth as she or he knows that external wealth is ephemeral and of no value. So the seeker asks for internal wealth, which is bestowed by Goddess Saraswati in the form of knowledge on the last three days.
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The GreenFriends Tree Planting and Habitat Restoration Project is happy to announce our return with a new work party in October! We will join with the Heron Habitat Helpers to work on helping to restore the native habitat in Kiwanis Memorial Preserve Park in Ballard. Feel free to come for part or all of the work party. We would love to see you there!
When? - Saturday, October 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where? - Kiwanis Memorial Preserve Park in Ballard (it is adjacent to the Commodore park where we will be parking and meeting at 9 am). Commodore Park, 3330 W Commodore Way, Seattle, WA 98107. The Heron Habitat Helpers will also be meeting there. For map and other information to go to http://seattle.cedar.greencitypartnerships.org/event/8627
What to bring? - Water and appropriate clothing (long sleeves, closed toed shoes and sun or rain gear if needed) and your wonderful self!
For more information contact: Kalavathi at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ananya at email@example.com
Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead
|Get the latest details about satsangs in the region and social projects like Mother's Kitchen and Green Friends here.|