Sri Narayani Dheeksha Program
On Monday May 8th, 2017 marks the 25th Anniversary of Sri Sakthi Amma ‘s Proclamation Day and the establishment of the Sri Narayani Peedam. To commemorate this auspicious occasion everyone is invited to participate in a special Dheeksha Puja (Initiation on the Spiritual Journey) and receive the blessings of our Beloved Amma.
OM NAMO NARAYANI
SRI NARAYANI DHEEKSHA PROGRAM FOR DEVOTEES
The excitement in the air has begun in anticipation of the 24th anniversary of SRI SAKTHI AMMA'S PROCLAMATION DAY and the establishment of SRI NARAYANI PEEDAM. This year we are celebrating 24 years of Goddess Sri Narayani incarnating on earth as Beloved Sri Sakthi Amma, the personification of Divine Wisdom and Unconditional Love.
Sri Sakthi Amma, as our Divine Mother has been Nurturing, Transforming and Leading us all on this spiritual journey to become enlightened beings. In conjunction with these 24 glorious years, Beloved Amma has blessed each and every devotee to take part in this occasion and participate in a very special Narayani Dheeksha initiation and program together.
It is an initiation into Amma's becoming our spiritual teacher and initiation into the Mantra. For those already connected with Amma, this Dheeksha will deepen and strengthen this connection. All are welcome to take part in this special Dheeksha. It is open to all men, women and children.
For those who want to be at Peedam to take part in the japa/chanting should arrive by 26th April and for the initiation by 29th and should remain at Peedam until the night of May 8th. Devotees committing to the Deeksha Sadhana (spiritual discipline) will be required to wear a special Japa Mala, perform certain spiritual practices of mantra and puja, and follow strict guidelines for the duration of the program until completion on the 8th of May.
This process needs to be done in a whole and complete manner. If you are making this commitment to do this Dheeksha, you need do it as it has been instructed by Amma. If you can't make the commitment at this time, that is also fine — just be honest with yourself about whether you are able and willing to make this commitment exactly as it has been outlined by Amma.
All devotees have Amma’s Divine Blessings but this Mantra Sadhana is for those devotees wishing to immerse themselves into a deeper spiritual practise and personal connection with the Divine.
NARAYANI DHEEKSHA MANTRAS
GNANA ROOPAYA VIDHMAHI
SHAKTI AMSAAYA DHEEHMAHI
THANNO SHAKTI AMMA PRACHODAYAATH
— Let us meditate on the Divine Mother, who is the embodiment of wisdom and the repository of Divine Energy. O’ Sri Sakthi Amma, give me higher intellect and illuminate my mind.
SRI NARAYANI MOOLA MANTRA
SARVA MANGALA MAANGALYE
SHIVE SARVAARTHA SAADHIKE
SHARANYE TRIYAMBIKE GOWRI
— Salutations O’ Devi Narayani, who is auspiciousness Herself, who fulfils all objectives of devotees, the giver of refuge and who has a shining face and is the three eyed Gowri.
NARAYANI DHEEKSHA MANTRA
OM NAMO NARAYANI THAAYAE SHARANAM
— O Mother Narayani I surrender to Thee.
SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR WEARING THE NARAYANI MALA:
- Only the blessed mala given to you from Narayani Peedam or your local Narayani centre/group can be used to wear for this practice.
- Once you put the blessed mala on, you must not remove it for the entire duration of the practice — which will be completed on May 8th. Do not remove the mala for any reason, such as bathing, sleeping, bathroom, or if ladies are on their monthly cycle. Amma has advised ladiesto continue chanting the mantras during their monthly time, however they should not perform the pujas until after the first three days are over.
- Do not use the mala you are wearing for counting the mantras, but you may use another mala you have for counting.
- On May 8th, devotees will remove their malas and place it on Amma's photo. Do not wear it again after this. Amma has asked all devotees to leave the mala on the photo on your home altar until further instruction from Amma.
GUIDELINES TO BE STRICTLY FOLLOWED BY ALL DEVOTEES COMPLETING THE DHEEKSHA:
- You must take a bath or shower twice a day everyday— once in the morning and evening. Please wash your hair once a day in the morning. This is COMPULSORY.
- Do not consume any non-vegetarian food (this includes eggs), alcohol, and tobacco products — No smoking is allowed.
- Couples need to remain as brahmacharis/ brahmacharinis for the entire period.
- NO ENTERTAINMENT IS ALLOWED — this means no movies, parties, computer or phone use outside of business or work, no television or listening to music apart from devotional or spiritual programs.
- Avoid negative emotions — this includes negative emotions within yourself and also the environment around you.
- Greet and recognize all those who are wearing the Dheeksha mala as Divine and greet each other with folded hands while saying, ‘Om Namo Narayani’. There are two separate groups of people for whom this email has been written.
Group 1 — For people who are coming to Peedam or who are already there.
Group 2 — For people not at Peedam but participating with a Narayani centre or individually. If you are near a centre this Dheeksha should be done with your centre. If you are by yourself you will be able to coordinate receiving the mala from your nearest centre or contact person and then perform the pujas in your own home.
Where possible, families should complete the pujas each day together to share this experience. Devotees who will be arriving to peedam after April 30 should begin the process and receive the mala with their Centre and then continue the daily practice at peedam.
GROUP ONE: PROCEDURE FOR DEVOTEES AT PEEDAM:
Devotees at Peedam will be having their group initiation and receive their malas on the 26th April (or April 29) and will start their mantra/puja practice from that date (their Sadhana will therefore be for few days longer than those starting on the 30th of April) but will also be completed on May 8. Then on May 8th they will do morning chanting at home/in their rooms before attending the Proclamation day function.
When the time comes to perform their tumeric water abhishekam at the Swayambhu Temple, devotees will first remove their mala and place it on the Swayambhu. After performing abhishekam, they can wear the mala again until returning to their homes/rooms and finally placing their mala on Amma's photo to finish the Dheeksha program.
GROUP TWO: DEVOTEES PARTICIPATING WITH A NARAYANI GROUP OR CENTRE, OR INDIVIDUALLY:
The process entails three parts: April 30 AT A CENTRE: Dheeksha puja for initiation and distribution of the special malas. Your participation requires you to have a mala that has been specially charged and blessed by Amma. Those interested in receiving the special malas for the programme will need to contact your local Narayani centre.
May 1 through to May 8th morning AT HOME OR IN YOUR ROOM: The twice daily puja and repetition of the mantras at home or in your room— see attachment 2 for the mantras.
May 8th:AT A CENTRE (PREFERABLY) OR AT HOME: Abhishekam and removal of the Dheeksha mala on afternoon or evening. Strict adherence to the guidelines is required throughout this time frame.
GROUP ONE AND GROUP TWO: DAILY MANTRA AND PUJA PRACTICE FOR ALL DEVOTEES.
GUIDELINES FOR INDIVIDUALS IN THEIR HOMES AFTER TAKING THE DHEEKSHA:
MAY 1 to MAY 8 . HOME ALTAR SETUP: A photo of Amma and Narayani together decorated with either flowers or a flower mala/garland, One lamp to light on the altar, Incense sticks, Camphor and ladle or Aarathi lamp for aarathi Loose flowers, Fresh fruit and milk for each puja. Use a different fruit for morning and evening. If fruit is cut, it must be kept covered along with the milk, until time for offering to Amma. Place these on a tray on the altar.
- Take your bath and wear a fresh set of clothes each time (Do not wear the previous day’s clothes without first washing them)
- Light the altar lamp and incense.
- Begin chanting the mantras: Guru Gayatri Mantra — 3 times Sri Narayani Moola Mantra — 3 times Narayani Dheeksha Mantra — 108 times
- Perform Aarathi with the camphor to Amma's photo.
- Offer Neivedyam to Amma: uncover the fruit and milk, and symbolically offer to Amma with your love.
- Perform Aarathi to Amma's photo.
- After Aarathi, offer flowers to Amma to complete the puja.
- Once puja is complete, consume the prasadam (blessed fruit and milk). You may also share this with others.
- After returning home in the evening, have another bath and repeat the puja and chanting. For individuals, this simple puja and chanting is enough. No need for elaborate puja like the group puja.
ANNADHANAM (feeding people) Everyday after chanting, do Annadhanam once a day for three people. You can either cook at home and offer it to three needy people or make a donation to a food bank or charity. This chanting is for your spiritual path and the Annadhanam is selfless-service —both of which are part of Amma’s mission.
GROUP TWO: ON MAY 8TH — COMPLETING THE DHEEKSHA:
On the 8th of May devotees will be celebrating Proclamation day, and may be performing Abhishekam to Amma’s Padhukas (representation of the Divine Lotus Feet). Those groups and centres holding a celebration puja for Amma on this day can allow the devotees participating in the Dheeksha to remove their malas, place on Amma’s padhukas and then perform their individual Abhishekam to the padhukas with turmeric water.
After devotees return home they are to place their malas on Amma’s photo as instructed and to not wear them again. If Individual devotees are not able to participate in padhuka abhishekam at a centre, and do not have padhukas at home, they can complete their normal pujas on May 8th at home with their final puja being in the evening. Remove the mala and place on Amma’s photo as instructed.
DHEEKSHA PUJA GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURE FOR INITIATION
ITEMS NEEDED FOR THE PUJA:
- Two tables — one should be placed lower in height than the first,
- Altar cloth for both tables,
- Large photo of Sakthi Amma and Narayani,
- Flower garlands and/or fresh flowers for decorating altar,
- Kalasam: Metal pot filled with water, mango leaves (if available),
- One coconut completely smeared with turmeric paste and kumkum applied,
- A blouse piece, or new piece of cotton or silk (approx. 80cm in length), folded and placed on top of the Kalasam,
- A tray of fruit,
- A coconut cut into two halves, and betel leaves (where available),
- One tray of 108 fresh flowers for offering to the Kalasam Rose and Jasmine flowers are ideal, but any fragrant flower may be used if these are unavailable),
- One tray of 108 neem leaves for offering to Amma. If this is not available, Akshadha can be offered instead (dry rice grains mixed with a little turmeric powder).
- Incense sticks, Aarathi lamp and Camphor for Aarathi,
- One small bowl each of kumkum and sandalwood paste,
- Chakara Pongal (rice cooked in milk with brown sugar.
- Cardamom powder is added after cooking) for Neivedyam. This should be kept in a bowl and covered.
- A tray with all the Dheeksha malas to be blessed.
- All other puja items needed such as ghee/lamp oil, wicks, matchbox, bell, etc.
- SETTING UP THE ALTAR:
- On a small table covered with cloth,place the photo of Sakthi Amma and Narayani, and decorate it with tumeric, kumkum and flowers.
- In front of the photo, cover the other table and place it a little lower than the previous table. Place the Kalasam on this table. Place the folded blouse on top of the Kalasam and then place the flower garland (or fresh flowers if garland is unavailable) on top of the blouse piece.
- Place two lamps either side of Amma’s photo.
- Below the Kalasam, place the tray of fruit, the two coconut pieces, and betel leaves.
- On another tray, place the covered cup of Chakara Pongal for neivedyam.
- Place the tray with the malas on the table ready for blessing.
- Keep incense sticks, camphor for the Aarathi, and the bowls of kumkum and sandalwood paste. 8. Place the tray of flowers, neem leaves (or bowl of Akshadha) on the table.
PROCEDURE FOR GROUP INITIATION ON APRIL 30TH 2016:
- Devotees are to gather for Dheeksha puja by 6pm. Arrive freshly bathed and wearing clean and appropriate clothes for puja.
- Two Sumangalis (married women) are to be seated on either side of the Kalasam. They will perform the Archana (offerings of flowers/leaves/ turmeric rice) during the chanting. One lady will have the flower tray and the other will have the Neem leave or Akshadha tray. (The two sumangalis chosen need to be senior devotees who regularly attend the pujas at the centre)
- The chief or centre head will light the altar lamps and incense sticks. Then they can perform aarathi to Amma’s Photo and then the Kalasam.
- All devotees then chant the mantras together: GURU GAYATRI — 3 times, SRI NARAYANI MOOLA MANTRA — 3 times, NARAYANI DHEEKSHA MANTRA — 108 times. During the entire chanting, the two seated Sumangalis will perform Archana to the Kalasam. After each repetition of a mantra, offer a flower, Neem leaf or small amount of akshadha with love to Amma.
- After chanting all the mantras, Aarathi will be performed again to the Kalasam. Then the screen or curtain should be closed and Neivedyam (Chakara Pongal) offered to the Kalasam privately.
- Open the curtain and perform Aarathi again.
- After this, Abhishekam for the Dheeksha males should be performed with the theertham from the Kalasam.
- Aarathi is then performed again to Amma’s photo.
- The senior head should then bow down before Amma’s photo, apply the sandalwood paste and kumkum to their forehead, and then wear the mala.
- Next, each devotee should come in turn and bow down before Amma’s photo. The senior who has already worn the first mala should then apply sandalwood paste and kumkum to the devotee’s forehead and place the malas around each devotee’s neck.
- All those gathered should then be served prasadam (dinner). After this initiation puja is complete, devotees continue their individual pujas daily until returning to the centre on May 8th.
FAQs FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
THINGS USED TO BE MUCH MORE RELAXED AT PEEDAM, THIS SEEMS SO STRICT? Devotees from the earlier days will tell you there were many more obligations then than now. Amma is offering us a huge gift -- it comes with responsibilities. This process will teach, amongst other things, the discipline required.
WHY MUST I WEAR THE MALA 24/7? The mala will absorb all your energy from all your activities and thoughts throughout the time period. On May 8 you will offer yourself then to Amma for Abishekam and blessings. Good thoughts and vibrations are especially important.
WHY SHOULD I ATTEND THE GROUP PUJA ON APRIL 30 IF I CAN PERFORM IT MYSELF? As always, the community of devotees is very important to Amma. Amma will be aware of each gathering and in that collective energy will enter the puja at each Centre to bless it.
IT'S MY MOTHER'S BIRTHDAY. CAN I ATTEND HER PARTY? You may attend her party but you must maintain your spiritual composure. Therefore be loving and polite, but maintain all of the rules set forth.
MY COUSIN IS GETTING MARRIED CAN I ATTEND THE WEDDING? Again, you may attend the wedding but you must maintain your spiritual composure. If you cannot attend a wedding (or any event) without dancing and drinking for example, you should consider either not attending or not participating in this Dheeksha, The Dheeksha requires full commitment and compliance with the rules. Even one night of breaking the rules is not acceptable. Remember your mala will be absorbing the energy and you cannot remove your mala.
SHOULD I TAKE OFF FROM WORK FOR THE WEEK SO I CAN DO THIS PRACTICE? There is no need for that. Amma wants devotees to continue their daily lives but with a spiritual composure.
WHAT TIME SHOULD I DO MY MANTRAS AND PUJAS? You can choose your own timing according to your own schedule. At peedam it is recommended to shower, dress and perform mantras/puja upon waking and before breakfast and then again around 5pm in order to be ready if Amma begins puja around 6pm.
I SHOWERED LAST NIGHT BEFORE BED, MUST I SHOWER AGAIN IN THE MORNING? Yes you must take a bath or shower and wash your hair in the morning.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR TO DO MY MANTRAS/PUJAS? Even though you are in the privacy of your own home you are performing puja in front of Amma's photo. In addition to wearing a clean set of clothing each time, devotees should wear modest, spiritually appropriate clothing. Devotees should avoid shorts or revealing clothing.
WHAT IF I AM ON A PLANE TRAVELING? Continue your mantra recitation as you would twice daily and resume performing the puja in front of your altar as soon as possible.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THE FRUIT AND MILK OFFERINGS? After each puja a human should consume the fruit and milk. It can be you or anyone else you choose. Fresh offerings should be provided at each puja. Fruit once offered cannot be offered during puja again.
I DON'T DRINK MILK. CAN I OFFER THE MILK TO THE TREES? No, the milk cannot be offered to the environment it must be consumed by another human. If you are allergic to milk or cannot consume it, candies may be substituted.