Deyuvaaca - The Goddess Said...
 
 
In This Issue:
Celebrating Lord Shiva's Dance
Why Donate?
Kali Puja: Devotion to Devi (This Sunday!)
Shapoddhara Mantra: Removing Curses
Our Community Welcomes You
Upcoming Events & Offerings
Sacred Sound:
One Mantra at a Time...
Imbolc: The Coming of Spring
Poetry Offering...
Gratitudes to the Kaula & Community
Contact Info


Celebrating Lord Shiva's Dance

This year, Mahashivaratri (or Shivaratri), which celebrates the Great Night of Shiva, will be celebrated on February 23rd. In general, this Hindu festival is celebrated every year on the thirteenth night of Krishna Paksha (the waning moon) in the month of either Maaga or Phalguna in the Hindu calendar (generally, the night before and the day of the new moon).


Shivaratri marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava with Ma Parvati. The Tandava refers to the dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation, and dissolution. Shivaratri, in some traditions, also marks the night of Shiva’s marriage to Parvati.

 

To celebrate this sacred occasion, devotees typically fast and keep vigil all night, intoning Shiva’s 1,008 names, fasting, and offering fruits, flowers, and bel leaves to Shiva. Aside from cleaning one’s home thoroughly and bathing in cold water to purify oneself, devotees are also instructed to strive for both inner and outer harmony through meditation and service in the larger community. Pilgrimages to sacred places are also encouraged.


Shivaratri is often referred to as the “day and night of the yogi,” in which we appeal to the awake spirit that already dwells in total perfection within us. The gift of the festival is the promise of higher consciousness and universal self-realization. In a passage from the Vedas, Shiva is referred to as the ultimate liberator: “The Lord, God, all-pervading and omnipresent, dwells in the heart of all beings. Full of grace, He ultimately gives liberation to all creatures by turning their faces toward Himself.”

At SHARANYA's puja this Sunday (details below), we will be honoring Shiva with special invocations, prayers and offerings. Do join us!

Aum Namah Shivaya

Learn more about our worship ceremonies... >>



Why Donate?

You are a force of transformation.
Your love of creation gets you out of bed
in the morning.
You align your spirituality and devotion
with personal and planetary healing.
You see spirituality as a source of
social justice.

By transforming yourself, you help transform the world.


Your contributions make all the difference as we work to keep spirituality and a unique spiritual expression of service viable in the world. At SHARANYA, our Goddess Temple survives because of you, because of your support. For all of the ways in which you love the Divine and make Her manifest, we are deeply grateful.

There are many ways for you to be a part of our mission and vision. You can come join with us for worship. You can be with us in community. We also have many ongoing projects fostered and facilitated by the generosity of our growing community to which you can contribute or make a tax-deductible donation. Read about our work and consider volunteering a special talent, skill, or making a tax-deductible offering today. Even if you can't be with us in person, you can always join our puja in spirit through a contribution of flowers or Maa or Shiva...

If you are able to contribute $25 or more,
we'll gladly send you a red "Jai Maa!" wristband to proudly wear in celebration of your devotion.

Thank you for your commitment to making spirituality a vehicle for social justice and life-affirming change. Thank you for helping the spread of Maa's love in the world. Jai Maa! Looking forward to seeing you at a puja, class, or commuity event soon!

* Can I make a donation for Maa's worship if I live outside the Bay Area or can't attend this month?

Jai Maa! Absolutely. Should you wish to contribute to the worship, know that we will call your name into circle so that your intention will be with Maa and held by community in sacred space. We can also mail you a flower from the ceremony to put on your altar if you desire. Just let us know with your donation and be sure to provide a current mailing address. Please contribute what you wish.

* I would like to offer flowers for Maa and Shiva. Can I do that?

That would be wonderful! Whether or not you can attend, offering flowers is a lovely way to share your devotion. Please contribute what you wish.

Donate Now >>



Kali Puja: Devotion to Devi (This Sunday!)

At SHARANYA, we are dedicated in our worship to Goddess Kali in Her myriad forms, including those as She is expressed through the world's various traditions that honor the Dark Goddess, the one who holds the wisdom of the full spectrum of human beingness. Ceremony is held in the Sha'can tradition and lead by Rashani (ordained clergy) with help from community. Our puja infuses methods and practices from East and West in order to create a sacred space for worship, deepening, and opening on the path of the bhakta, or devotee of the Divine. Learn more about what our ceremonies are like with this brief introduction.

What to bring... Offerings for the main altar are welcome. It is customary to bring flowers, fruit, wine, vegetarian offerings, or sweets and to refrain from wearing black to our public rituals. If you wish to wear a special color for Kali, we invite you to don red, a color associated with Her power in the phenomenal world as shakti, the activating force and the energy of creation. You are also invited to bring an object you would like to have blessed.

A sliding scale donation of $15-21 is suggested to cover the cost of the space, puja supplies and prasad (blessed food); however, no one is ever turned away for lack of funds, and any donation is graciously accepted--we appreciate so much the offerings you make to support our work and the community.

Note: Pujas are preceded by our teaching circle, Daughters of Kali.

An R.S.V.P. is requested if you would like to participate. All Kali Puja ceremonies begin at 5:30 p.m. No one is admitted after 5:45pm. Worship usually ends at 8:00pm and is followed by community time and sharing of prasad. Children are welcome, but no childcare is provided. Cushions and chairs are available (arrangements can be made for wheelchair access - kindly let us know in advance).

New! Temple Etiquette and Good Things to Know for Puja!

If you have been to a puja and wish to tell others about
your experience, we would love to have you share!
Please offer a testimonial here!


Not in the San Francisco Bay Area?

If you are not in the Bay Area or cannot attend events for any reason, please join one of our online communities and participate in learning more about Maa through Kali Vidya: A Wisdom School for Her Mysteries. Kali Vidya is offering a series of classes that you can work through independently or with your current worship circle.

Learn more about this and other offerings at our mandir... >>



Shapoddhara Mantra: Removing Curses

This mantra is a powerful call to Goddess Chandi, Durga the Slayer of Demons, to remove curses that have been placed by anyone at any time from the realities we inhabit physically, dream in, and practice spiritual devotions within.

At SHARANYA, we use this mantra in our monthly pujas as part of the purification process prior to invoking Devi (Goddess). In addition to calling on the power of Chandi to remove curses, we actively pray with this mantra that curses on all aspects of Goddess and the Feminine in self and world are removed as well. We specifically engage the power of our lineage to help perform this work.

Use this mantra in your daily practice to liberate spaces in your inner and outer landscapes of awareness from any of the tyrannies or injustices that keep you from your true nature, or that keep the world in which you engage from its greatest potential.

Listen to the mantra >>



Our Community Welcomes You

Come sing and worship with us!

Interested in lending your love of Maa, your creativity, your inspiration to Kali Puja?
Feel free to bring us your ideas and energy. We have many ways for you to become immediately and directly involved in a vibrant and growing spiritual community, and look forward to your unique expression of joy in Her name. We welcome your suggestions too; your experience, expertise, and desire can inform many of the ways we do Her work in the world!

Click here to learn more about joining in the celebration of Her through SHARANYA...and be with us in cyberspace if you're not able to join us in person. Get timely updates, notifications of events, and your mantra of the day by being part of our online world:
 

Facebook Facebook Causes MySpace

And of course, stay in touch with us in all the old-fashioned ways too! Were you forwarded this newsletter by a friend?


Click here to receive your own newsletter! >>



Upcoming Events & Offerings

February

SHARANYA's Kali Puja (2/22) Open to everyone. Come join us in worship of the Divine Mother, Goddess Kali Maa, by all Her names!

Amavasya (2/24) 7-9pm New Moon - Evening of dhyana (meditation), spiritual teachings, and/or ceremony at SHARANYA's Devi Mandir - our home sanctuary. (Community celebration; extended spiritual family and guests welcome.)
RSVP requested

March

Purnima (3/10) 7-9pm Full Moon - Evening of dhyana (meditation), spiritual teachings, and/or ceremony at SHARANYA's Devi Mandir - our home sanctuary. (Community celebration; extended spiritual family and guests welcome.)
RSVP requested

Amavasya (3/26) 7-9pm New Moon - Evening of dhyana (meditation), spiritual teachings, and/or ceremony at SHARANYA's Devi Mandir - our home sanctuary. (Community celebration; extended spiritual family and guests welcome.)
RSVP requested

SHARANYA's Kali Puja (3/29) Open to everyone. Come join us in worship of the Divine Mother, Goddess Kali Maa, by all Her names!



And join us in the creation of ritual, art, poetry, and other forms of Magick and inspiration! We look forward to being with you in person, on-line and in spirit throughout the year. 


May the blessings of Goddess be forever in your heart!

 

 

 


Learn more about the tradition that inspires our worship... >>



Sacred Sound:

An Introduction to Sanskrit

Want to learn more about sacred sound and the mantras we use in our Kali Puja? Interested in getting more Sanskrit
under your belt to help deepen your spiritual practice?

SHARANYA is now offering introductory Sanskrit classes for those who wish to learn the devotional language of Devi Kali Maa. The focus is on learning pronunciation, vocabulary, transliteration, and basic grammar in order to facilitate your worship and deeper understandings of the mantras you use and yoga poses you hold. Those wishing to go still deeper over time can explore readings of the scriptures in devanagari, the language of the gods.

Classes meet once a month at 11:00am - always on the day of puja and prior to Daughters of Kali. Sessions are 75 minutes each, at the end of which you will be able to:
  • Pronounce the alphabet correctly
  • Pronounce your favorite mantras correctly
  • Read simple mantras and slokas
  • Write simple mantras and slokas properly
  • Transliterate basic text
  • Understand basic meanings of offered devotional prayers
Cost is $45. Join us in San Francisco if you can (RSVP to info@sharanya.org) and stay tuned for additional offerings through Kali Vidya, our on-line mystery school!

Learn more about classes and RSVP... >>



One Mantra at a Time...


"One Mantra at a Time" is your commitment to engaged spirituality. Do the work of social justice in the world by making a commitment to honor your spiritual growth and development so that you may both be and do the work of life-affirming transformation from a place that's more deeply connected to your essence, authenticity, passion, compassion and inspiration. Join SHARANYA in making spirituality, your own unique connection to the Divine, the impetus for getting out there and doing something in the world that makes a difference...not because someone tells us to, but because we are compelled and motivated to from a place of connection to our inner yearning, to our inner knowing of what's possible when we act and create from our hearts, that place of balance, justice, and truth that lies within each one of us.

Our goal is to gather a world-wide network of change agents committed to engaged spirituality (no matter what that life-affirming spirituality may be called) and the work of social justice. By committing to "One Mantra at a Time," you are agreeing to do your spiritual homework...doing the stuff of spirituality so that you can be a better catalyst for change, more capable of alleviating the various crises of our world.

To help support your efforts and what's most meaningful to you, SHARANYA is offering a daily mantra (sacred sound or saying, prayer or intention). The mantra will, if nothing else, be a gentle reminder to breathe from your heart when engaging the day. In this way we seek to support your efforts to be the beautiful being you are, with the powerful ideas you have, in a time and place that's increasingly ready to receive the good you have to share.

Visit us for the mantra of the day and other updates at SHARANYA Mandir via Twitter. You may also wish to join us for social action through engaged spirituality online here.

Want to know more about our work in the world? Answers to some of your most FAQs... >>



Imbolc: The Coming of Spring

This February, the Irish festival known as Imbolc (pronounced “Im’olk”) ushered in the first signs of spring. Thankfully, our early spring has largely augured rain and other fertility-making weather cycles—the kind that were typically shepherded with a plethora of rituals and pomp in ancient Gaelic culture. Imbolc was mainly celebrated in February, usually around February 2, and marks the halfway point between winter solstice (Yule) and spring equinox (Ostara). In later years, the Catholic church replaced the festival with Candlemas Day on February 2, as a dedication to Virgin Mary, but Pagan rituals celebrating Brigid persist in the revised observance.

 

Originally dedicated to the goddess Brigid (and later, St. Brigid, in the Christian conversion period), Imbolc was celebrated on the basis of weather prognostications, such as serpents or badgers emerging from their winter dens. Among agrarian people, the festival was typically associated with the onset of ewes lactating. (“Imbolc” means “in the belly,” but it also translates to “ewe’s milk” with a slight variation on the pronunciation). While Imbolc is never mentioned in non-Gaelic Celtic traditions, the Carmina Gaelica of the early Celts describes the celebration of an early version of Groundhog Day on Imbolc, but with a serpent:

Thig an nathair as an toll
(The serpent will come from the hole)
la donn Bride
(on the brown day of Bride (Brighid)
Ged robh tri traighean dh’an
(though there may be three feet of snow)
Air leachd an lair
(On the surface of the ground.)

 

Fire and purification were important aspects of Imbolc ritual, as the Gaelic goddess Brigid was the deity of the home and hearth, and is associated with sacred flames (candles are crucial to the festivities). Brigid is also the goddess associated with sacred flames, poetry, healing, and the power of the sun. She is one of the Celtic triune goddesses (one and three simultaneously) and is viewed as the maiden aspect of the maiden/mother/crone cycle.

 

In ancient times, Imbolc celebrated the lengthening of the days with the preparation of special foods, divination and watching vigilantly for omens, and honoring the goddess Brigid in all women. In folk traditions, girls and young unmarried women would make a corn dolly that represented the goddess, and adorn it with ribbons, baubles, and other trinkets. They would then make a bed for the corn dolly and gather together on St. Brigid’s Eve to stay up all night with her. Later that night, they would be visited by young men in the community, who would pay respect to both the women and the corn dolly. The following day, the girls and young women would carry the corn dolly from house to house, and adult women would stay home to welcome the procession. Brigid was said to walk the earth on Imbolc Eve, so before going to bed, members of each household would leave out a piece of clothing for the goddess to bless.

 

The time of year marked by Imbolc is recognized as a potent one in cultures throughout the world, but it was particularly revered among the ancients. In Rome, it was known as Lupercalia, a time for purification in which goats were sacrificed and thong-clad men ran through the city and hit people with bits of hide (if you were one of the people who was hit, it was considered highly auspicious). The celebration didn’t focus on one deity, however, and was instead dedicated to the founding of the city of Rome. Among the ancient Egyptians, February 2 celebrated the Feast of Nut. Nut was the goddess of the sky and mother of the sun god Ra, and like Brigid, also represented the birth of new life and light.

 

Imbolc was particularly important to the ancient inhabitants of Ireland; the significance of the festival can be seen in a variety of Megalithic and Neolithic sites, in which the inner chambers of passage tombs aligned with the rising suns of both Imbolc and Samhain. Astrologically, Imbolc represents an important time. Wiccans also celebrate a variation of Imbolc, as one of four fire festivals that comprise half of the eight sabbats, or wheel of the year. Imbolc represents the precise astrological midpoint in the northern hemisphere when the sun reaches 15 degrees of Aquarius. Imbolc typically lasts for about a week and is a crucial window for healing and purification. This year, the healing process was helped along by the conjunction of the sun with Chiron and Neptune, and the full moon on February 9, offering an optimal moment for physical and spiritual cleansing. (Some astrologers indicate that on a global level, we’ll also see inefficient parts of the economy drop off, as well as a gradual return to simplicity.)

Read other articles and inspirations here >>



Poetry Offering...

Look Into the Darkness

By: Maya

I look at the darkness
But I see light
Glowing light of beauty and love
She is supposed to be feared
With the killing and the blood
But I see the blood of a woman if nature

 She looks to be feared
With her tongue out, and holds a severed head
So why am I not afraid, she should be feared
So why am I not afraid

 For in the darkness I see my Mother
My true Mother, as I am born from her
I see the beauty of my Mother's love
I feel her sweet touch, as I kiss her feet

 I feel her arms holding me
Even when I think I can stand no longer
She holds me up with her love as one of her children
She is beauty, she is grace, she is life through death

 She makes me complete in the cycle of life
Creation, Preservation, Destruction
And I never die, I am never afraid
For I am always in my Mother's arms


Lessons & Love

By: Thorn

I was born into the world of the living
My spirit still clinging to the darkness
One hand, one foot on the blessed earth
My heart, my eyes in the ether
I wished to walk among the dead
I wished to observe the living
Comfort found walking the burial grounds

She found me there
Searching for answers
Grasping for more
Opening the gate to the underworld
Not afraid to wander in

Want to add to our devotional poetry? >>



Gratitudes to the Kaula & Community


OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI



 
 

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!

 

SHARANYA: The Maa Batakali Cultural Mission, Inc. • 2063 42nd Avenue • San Francisco • CA • 94116

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