2nd Day of Chaitra Navratri, 2019: Dwitiya

Goddess Brahmacharini was worshiped on this day. She is the unmarried, celibate form of Goddess Durga. Devi Brahmacharini is the goddess of asceticism and penance and governs the planet Mars. Sindhara Dooj is also a significant festival for women which fell yesterday.

At the Durga Temple:

Yesterday was the second day that we carried out a Ramayan Path for Chaitra Navratri:

Video credit: Vivek Gupta

Be sure to join us in person and tune-in online via our facebook page throughout this Chaitra Navratri festival!

1st Day of Chaitra Navratri, 2019: Pratipada/Prathama

Kalash Sthapana marked the beginning of Navratri as devotees invited Goddess Durga to reside in their household. Maa Shailputri is Goddess Durga’s first avatar. She is the daughter of mountains and governs Moon. The first day also marked Chandra Darshan, which is the first day of moon sighting after amavasya. Devotees observing a day-long fast, broke it after seeing the new moon last night.

At the Durga Temple:

We had 48 sponsors for the Mata Ki Chowki yesterday!

Durga Maa was adorned with garlands, jewelry and chunri to mark the start of Chaitra Navratri!

We started with Ramayan Path and then invoked the presences of Durga Mata via our Mata Ki Chowki. The images and videos below capture the joyous occasion:

Photo and video credits: Suresh Rajporohit, Sohan Chadha, Dilip Sharma

Be sure to join us in person and tune-in online throughout this Chaitra Navratri festival!

The Colors of Holi Mark Spring Equinox and Victory of Good Over Evil

For Hindus, Holi marks not only the end of winter and start of spring, but also the celebration of the victory of good over evil. The demoness Holika (or Holi), was enlisted by her brother, Hiranyakashipu, to kill his son Prahlada because of the latter’s unshakable devotion to Vishnu. Prahlada was saved, however, Holika burnt in the very fire that she had planned to kill Prahlada in.

At the Durga Temple, we gathered for a fun filled evening of celebration. We started with a painting challenge for all age ranges. Our budding artists used their creativity to illustrate the essence of Holi.

The result were breathtaking – you be the judge:

The artists left their mark at Durga Temple of Westchester!

If the artwork left you inspired, the performances would make you amazed! We were treated to a mix of poetry recitation, singing, dancing and even the reading of the legend behind the celebration of Holi.

Our faithful devotees added to this their melodious bhajans, after which, our volunteers had setup a delicious langar with full dinner and sweets. It was a truly memorable experience for everyone who came.

Don’t forget to join the Sunderkand Path this Saturday, March 30th at 4 PM

Happy Holi 2019!

Recalling a Busy Week at Durga Temple…

Maha Shivratri

Last week, we started March with so much to celebrate! Maha Shivratri (the great night of Shiva), was on March 4th. This was a night celebrated by millions of devotees of Lord Shiva across the globe, along with our Durga Temple extended family. This auspicious day allows us to absolve our sins and attain moksha.

We chanted Shri Rudram, which is a stotra or homage hymn to Rudra, who is the fear-inducing aspect of Shiva.

Followed by our talented youth singing in honor of Lord Shiva. Here’s a link, in case you missed the video.

Everyone had an opportunity to carry out Abhishek for the Shiva lingam with Milk, Water and Belpatra. We were fortunate that Pandit Ji showered Kumbh water from Prayagraj, INDIA (holy water) on everyone present in the Pooja.

Shri Hanuman Chalisa

Our weekly Shri Hanuman Chalisa brought back the weekly prayer group, following the lead of Chander Ahuja Ji and her group.

Bhagavad Gita Classes

Followed by our first Bhagavad Gita classes in Westchester in English. Dr. Jatin Kapadia, who is the president of the Chinmaya Mission of New York, leads these classes on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Don’t miss our Holi Celebration with Colors on March 23rd marking the coming of spring!

Snack Bags to Brighten the Day!

A team of dedicated adults and children, gathered in the evening on Tuesday, February 19th, to help children in need by providing snack bags. This was the first of many actions to help the less fortunate and further our mission at the Durga Temple of Westchester.

The bags were filled with a variety of snacks such as cookies, chips, juice, and water. What made them unique, were the drawings, puzzles, jokes and messages that the children composed on each bag to brighten another child’s day!

Here are the results of their labor of love for the community.

Community Service – One Snack Bag at a Time!

Join us next time in the service of others!