SHARANYA Newsletter: July/August 2008
 
 
In This Issue:
Jai Kamakhya Maa!
Community Puja - This Sunday (7/27)
Holy Days
Namaskara Mantra: Honoring the Great Goddess
Join our community!
Contact Info


Jai Kamakhya Maa!

We are just back from our annual pilgrimage to the sacred goddess sites of Tantrick India. While many friends and loved ones think us crazy for visting during the hottest time of year, we can't resist India in the summertime! The reason for our voyage during Summer Solstice is the great Ambubachi Mela, or festival of the Divine Mother's Sacred Water. The festival is held at Kamakhya, a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus located just outside of Guwahati, the captial of Assam, in the northeast region of India. Primarily important to Saktas, the site functions as the most important Shakta pitha, or sacred “seat” of the goddess for devotees (although you will find many other Hindu traditions represented at the festival).

Across India, fifty-one sacred pilgrimage sites are scattered across the land; however, the most sacred for Shaktas is Kamakhya. Can you guess why? The mandir, or sacred temple, to which pilgrims and devotees come to worship is situated on a beautiful hill overlooking the Brahmaputra river and the green lushness of Assam’s tea plantations and jungles. It is here, the puranas (sacred texts) tell us, that the yoni (vulva or womb) of Devi (Goddess) fell to Earth.

At Kamakhya Mandir during a dark moon phase occurring once during the equivalent of our solar calendar year, devi’s yoni is believed to release menstrual blood. The celebration and honoring during this time is known as Ambubachi. Annually drawing over 40,000 devotees primarily from eastern India, Ambubachi is at once a spiritual gathering and a celebration of connection to the fundamental life mysteries. Now you know why we bother...and perhaps sometime, you'll join us!

 

Learn more about SHARANYA's India pilgrimages! >>

 

Community Puja - This Sunday (7/27)

Join us SUNDAY, 5/25 for Kali Puja in San Francisco!

Come join us! Together we will worship Kali Maa through our devotional and (r)evolutionary worship that brings together traditions of East and West. Our ceremonies are fun, participatory, transformative and full of love for Maa.


We gather this Sunday at 5:30pm
and look forward to honoring the
Divine Mother with you.

Jai Maa Kali ki Jai!

Requested sliding scale donation is $11-21. No one is turned away for lack of funds - give what you can, even if it's just your love and devotion! We encourage you to wear red (Kali's sacred color), and to refrain from wearing black. You may bring flowers for the altar, and/or vegetarian sweets to share. We will have community time following the ceremony.

Please RSVP to info@sharanya.org if you would like to attend.

Time:
5:30 - 8p.m. Please arrive on time.

*PLEASE NOTE: Doors close @ 5:45p.m. to respect the sacred space we are creating. For this reason no one may be admitted after this time. Thank you for your understanding.

Location:
 
T
he Cultural Integration Fellowship (CIF)
2650 Fulton Street at 3rd Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

View Map >>

 

Holy Days

*Guru Purnima (7/18) Honor your teachers on this full moon night by lighting a candle and dedicating your spiritual practice in thanksgiving for the gifts with which they have bestowed you. Remember not only your human teachers, but also your animal and spirit guides.

*Community Kali Puja (7/27) Join us for an evening of transformative and heartfelt devotion in San Francisco! See above for details. If you can't join us physically, join us in spirit by lighting a candle and practicing this month's mantra (5:30pm - 8:00pm).

*Raksha Bandhan (8/16)
This is a festival celebrated throughout India (though sometimes by different names) that honors the sacred bond between brothers and sisters. The celebration involves sisters tying a thread, usually decorated, around their brother's wrist. The thread is a symbol of her love. The brother in turn promises to protect his sister and gives her a small gift. This is a time to celebrate those who are not only brothers and sisters by birth, but also those who share our most treasured values and heart's desires.

*Independence Day (8/15) While this isn't a Holy Day per se, it is a very important date in Indian history. Join in remembrance of those lost during the fight for freedom, honor the memory of those who made it possible, including Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi), and celebrate all that you love about Indian culture.  Jai Bharat Mata!

*Krishna Janmashthami (8/24) Today we honor Lord Krishna's birthday. Celebrate Shyama (Black) Krishna in resonance with the Black Goddess Kali by chanting, "He Krishna Karuna!" to the Compassionate Krishna.
 

See our full calender of events >>

 

Namaskara Mantra: Honoring the Great Goddess

Source of All Blessings, Auspicious One, She Who Is Refuge, She Who Has Three Eyes, Golden One, Bestower of All Wishes, Blessed of All Blessed Ones, I honor you!

Creative shakti (energy) abiding in all things, giving rise to all qualities of existence, upon which these qualities depend, you take away unhappiness and remove doubt, Blessed of All Blessed Ones, I celebrate you!

In you devotees find sanctuary, you save them from all unhappiness and remove doubt always, Blessed of All Blessed Ones, I worship you!

Listen to the mantra >>

 

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SHARANYA: The Maa Batakali Cultural Mission, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit Devi Mandir (Goddess Temple). All donations are tax-deductible. For more information about upcoming events, please visit www.sharanya.org/calendar/ or email info@sharanya.org. All are welcome!

Jai Maa!

 

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