Mother's Celebrations

Mother's Celebrations

Since special Hindu celebrations are in accordance with the lunar calendar, dates vary from year to year due to the changes of the moon. Festivals and celebrations engender a cooperative spirit, a sense of belonging, and harmony in the community sharing a common purpose. These are celebrations of the Divine Feminine, the Universal Mother.



Saturday, December 9, 2017. The Holy Mother, Sri Sarada Devi Puja
The Holy Mother, the divine consort of Sri Ramakrishna, was born on December 22, 1853 in the small rural village of Jayrambati of West Bengal, India. She entered Mahasamadhi and left her body in 1920. It is said that she depicted the Motherhood of God for the benefit of all. She demonstrated how to live a peaceful spiritual life in the midst of worldly circumstances and embodied compassion and simplicity. Holy Mother cannot ignore anyone who calls her 'Mother'. On her puja day, we can ask Holy Mother to continue to guide our Samiti and to help each of us to deepen our own spiritual lives.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017. Sri Saraswati Puja Day.
Mother Saraswati illumines our understanding and guides our creative expression through music, poetry, art and learning. On Mother Saraswati's Puja day, we can offer libations into fire to purify our intentions. Sri Ramakrishna described the Holy Mother, Sri Sarada Devi. "She is Sarada, Saraswati; she has come to impart knowledge. She has descended by covering up her beauty this time.... She is full of the rarest wisdom. Is she of the common run? She is my Shakti."

Wednesday, March 8, 2017. International Women's Day.
The first International Women's Day was held in 1911 to mark the economic, political, and social achievements of women. As Swami Vivekananda wrote in 1894, "Without Shakti (Feminine Power) there is no regeneration for the world."

April 8 to 16, 2017. Vasanta Navaratri.
These nine days in Spring are mentioned in the Puranas and Dharmashastras as being highly auspicious for the worship of Divine Mother Durga or Shakti. Navaratram means a period of nine nights, or a period of nine days. It is said that Mother Durga sees the beautiful golden yellow mustard seeds blooming in the plains below and decides to come down from Mount Kailash of the Himalayan mountain region during this season. The tenth day just after the spring festival of Mother Durga is called Vijayadashami.

Friday, April 22, 2017. Earth Day.
Many ancient cultures experience Mother Earth as a living organism. She has been called Gaia, after the Greek Earth Goddess. A key element to the Earth's survival and that of all living beings is that we honor Nature, the Goddess as the source of all life, and women. In the United States, Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day on April 22, 1970. It was preceded by a national conservation tour of President John F. Kennedy in September 1963 and began to gain momentum in support of the Earth. It has become an international grassroots movement to celebrate and heal Mother Earth. Also see: http://www.grandmothersspeak.com/messages

Sunday, May 14, 2017. Mother's Day.
Mother's Day is an international celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society

Thursday, May 25, 2017. Phalaharini Kali Puja.
Worship of the Divine Mother on this new moon day. It is said that Mother Kali, being pleased with worship offered on this day, will destroy the effects of karma causing future births. On this day, Sri Ramakrishna performed the Shodashi Puja, worship to Sri Sarada Devi invoking the Divine Mother in her as ever forgiving and gracious.



"Significance of Sri Ramakrishna's Sodashi Puja"
a lecture by Swami Prasannatmananda of the Vedanta Scoiety of Berkeley

Tuesday, September 19, 2017. New Moon Day and Mahalaya.
This occasion is celebrated with the singing of Agamani songs that Divine Mother Uma's mother sang when Uma left for ten days visit to her husband Lord Shiva. Mother leaves her abode in the Himalayas on this day to join her devotees as their daughter and be with them throughout the Durga puja celebrations.

Sri Durga Puja.(Tuesday, September 26 through Saturday, September 30, 2017.)
Nine days in autumn are mentioned in the Puranas and Dharmashastras as being highly auspicious for the worship of the Divine Mother Durga or Shakti. Mother Durga removes all danger and all negative tendencies that stand in the the way of spiritual evolution. It is customary to read the Sri Chandipatha, also known as Devi Mahatmya everyday of the festival. This poem of 700 verses is an episode of the Markandeya Purana and proclaims the greatness of the Goddess and her exploits to transmute evil forces. One practice is to cut a pumpkin as a symbolic act of sacrifice and transformation.

On the first day of the festival, barley seeds are sometimes planted and water can be placed in a brass or copper pot in dedication to the Mother. These are sanctified throughout the festival and sprinkled on Vijaya Dashami day. The sprouted barley seeds can be harvested on that day and offered in respect to young people and elders.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Sri Durga Puja Saptami. Celebrated at the Vedanta Society of Sacramento.
This is a part of the fall celebration of the Divine Mother Durga, the protectress of the universe, who removes all danger.

Saturday, September 30, 2017. Vijaya Dasami. Celebrated at the Vedanta Society of Sacramento.
This is the tenth day of the fall celebration of Mother Durga. It is on that day that Sri Rama killed the demon, Ravana and was victorious in battle. In Bengal, Mother's clay image is actually immersed in the river and devotees/admirers entertain her with song and dance, requesting the Mother to "come again next year". This worship signifies a send off to the Mother Goddess and is done by symbolically withdrawing the deity from the image into one's own heart.

Thursday, October 5, 2017. Sri Lakshmi Puja.
Mother Lakshmi is the giver of prosperity and good fortune. On Mother Lakshmi's puja day, we can ask for Mother's blessings.

Thursday, October 19, 2017. New Moon. Sri Ma Kali Puja/ Dipavali.
Celebrated at the Vedanta Society of Sacramento.
Dipavali is the festival of lights with fireworks and illuminated decorations. It is celebrated throughout India and abroad. In Bengal, Mother Kali is worshipped on this day in a clay image throughout the night. She is the protectress of the world and the giver of devotion and fearlessness. She is called the savior and remover of the bondage that binds us to the world. She was worshipped as Bhavatarini at Dakshineswar by Sri Ramakrishna and the Holy Mother, Sri Sarada Devi

Saturday, October 28, 2017 Sri Jagaddhatri Puja (as well as the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sister Nivedita).
Mother Jagaddhatri is the support of the universe. She protects the three worlds and removes the fear of worldly existence. Mother Jagaddhatri was worshipped in Jayrambati by the Holy Mother's mother. That worship continues every year. Also on this auspicious day, the Vedanta Society of Sacramento was dedicated on November 14, 1964. Also, Mother's temple at Sri Sarada Math, Dakshineswar was inaugurated on November 6, 1981 on the occasion of Sri Jagaddhatri Puja.

For references see Wikipedia. Also see Swami Harshananda. Hindu Festivals and Sacred Days. Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore. May, 1994