Many of you may have already heard about the decision made by the board of directors of Baba’s Taos Ashram concerning Durga Puja/ NavaRatri, the nine nights of the year dedicated to joyful puja to the Mother.
The board of directors has decided that nine nights of worship is too many and they are going to reduce the traditional nine-night ceremony to three nights. However, this special time reserved for worship and honoring the Mother has been celebrated at this specific time since antiquity. Durga Puja always falls a couple of weeks after Bhandara and a couple of weeks before Divalvi. In His time, at His Ashrams in India, Maharaj-ji ALWAYS celebrated Navaratri with full pomp and pageantry.
Nava Ratri was the most lavishly celebrated holiday during the year in ALL of Maharaj-ji’s ashrams when Baba was in His Body.
This very distressed letter from Devi Veal was posted on Facebook last night and it generated quite a bit of discussion. Devi has acted as the primary organizer of Navaratri for the last decade.
For four or five years I was able to attended the nine-day ceremony in Taos and experience the beauty of the seva of the local Maas (Mothers), and the ecstasy on the tender Shaki filled all encompassing enlightening nine-night spiritual experience. Every day a new mandala is made with colored rice in the dhuni (firepit) by enthusiastic volunteers, new necklaces are made for the Devi Murtis (statues), all very inexpensive and done by volunteers.
At Baba’s Taos ashram, during these nine days, the over all Bhav is absolutely earth shaking! The Shakti flows, just like Baba loved to create in Kainchi, where the Maas would weep, as they do in Taos. I spoke to Chris, the manager of the Taos Ashram, and he told me that he has heard quite a lot of repercussions regarding this ominous decision. Annapurna has written the board and we await their reply. Here is Devi’s letter from Facebook:
DEAR SATSANG WE WOULD LIKE TO START A PETITION OR A WRITING CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE BUTCHERING OF NAVARATRI ... THIS PUJA IS NINE DAYS OF WORSHIP TO MA AND THE "BOARD" HAS DECIDED TO CUT IT TO 3 DAYS. THEY THINK THE PUJA IS TOO LONG AND THAT IT IS NOT BEING DONE PROPERLY, DUE TO COMPLAINTS LAST YEAR... HOWEVER, WE HAVE CONTINUED THE DUJA PUJA FOR 7 YR. WITH ENCOURAGEMENT FROM SEVERAL LOCAL BOARD MEMBERS ... DON'T KNOW WHAT HAS CHANGED. I DON'T HAVE TO DO THE PUJA BUT THE PUJA NEEDS TO BE NINE DAYS. SO PLEASE SOMEONE PUT A PETITION ON THE NEWS BOARD IN THE PARKING LOT, WRITE THE BOARD, MAKE SOME NOISE SO WE CAN WORSHIP MOTHER PROPERLY WITH NINE DAYS.
This petition will be sent directly to the board for there consideration. If you have any personal remarks on your experiences with navaratri. please do add your signature and your comments. This is so important for the continued integrity of this very special and needed celebration