Navratri this year started on 27th Mar and ended yday with Ram Navmi. These were Vasant or Spring Navratra which means 9 nights dedicated to Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. I did the fast and they are over. I am right now trying to put down something about me and my God. God to me is a belief, a faith and I quite believe in destiny. Do your bit of hard work but not plan or worry about the results all the time coz there are times when things work out your way and there are times when they don't. Thats how life has been for me so far and I dont complain. Its always been for good in the long run or in the larger scheme of it.
(a collection of flowers blooming around our house here)
While I believe in God, I do not follow the rule book of how to do & when to do the puja n temple visits etc. I love the idea of fasting for some days in the year (Shivratri, Navratri, Janmashtmi) but dont expect me to follow the traditional fasting rules. To me its about good deeds and intentions. Not only on the days you fast but always. Thats how God (if at all there is one and watching us from somewhere) will be pleased(If thats what one wants to do). I try to follow my way of being god fearing and have my O GOD! moments but in my general prayers I by standard only ask "Hey God, pls do good to all". Dunno if that works but thats how I like it. Dont they say happiness starts from within? One thing I love about places of worship is the peace you find there (in some of them these days). The Lotus temple of Delhi is one such and I also find it in Haridwar and the church of lansdowne. We associate such feelings with old age usually but in this chaotic world I do think that we all must engage in something that gives us mental strength and peace. Be it anything. For me, its also the small mandir in my house that gives a feeling of peace and divinity.
When we packed everything Delhi we sent here our temple stuff as well. I went to Mumbai for 2 months on work and at mom's place she does the puja so hardly bothered to think abt lighting diya there and I enjoyed the prasad she made on every friday (suji halwa) though. Ever since I moved from there and entered our house here, I had this task of setting our 'mandir' pending, even though we have a big enough Ganesha's brass statue placed in the room. Call me lazy or whatever but I just couldnt make a proper corner for placing the temple stuff untill the beginning of this navratra when I told myself come what way I have to do something about it. Since putting a shelf on walls wasnt feasible, kitchen didn't have any space, I decided Amit's clothes can lie wherever and emptied one of his almira shelfs and spread out the deities we have.
(The corner I am talking abt, on the first day of navratra)
(Will put one more pic with prasad n flower offerings done on the final day- its still not trfed to lappie)
So all these 9 days I have, like a typical devotee, spent some time listening to various mantras and aarti's on you tube and meditating in order to connect to my inner self. I hope I do this regularly, coz it feels quite soothing to say the least.
PS: I am almost an expert at making the navratra prasad now. The suji halwa, kaley choley, puri etc..
PPS: The fruit diet during fast is a good detox method and one of the reasons i pick it twice every year.