Sri Nava Chandi Maha Homam

By Priest Sri Manicka Bhattar & M.K.Sriram

PEARLAND: It is said that in the Kali Yuga, worshipping Goddess Chandi and Lord Vinayaka are of great importance. Goddess Chandi is the most powerful Universal Mother. She is the combination of Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswathy.  Like the God Rudra, she has two forms.  In Her fierce form, she destroys the evil demons, whereas in Her resplendent and benevolent form she is most compassionate.  Mother Rajamathangi, who has a special place in our temple, is a form of Sri Chandi. It is interesting to note that Rajamathangi herself assumes different forms at different times of daily puja – MahaShodasi and Bala at dawn and early morning, Bhuvana and Gowri in mid-morning, Shyamala at noon, Mathangi in evening and Panchadashi and Shodashi at night.  

The Board members, Priests, Artisans, staff and volunteers of Sri Meenakshi Temple are very busy preparing for the Nava Chandi Maha Homam scheduled from Thursday Aug 16 till Sunday Aug 19.  This is indeed a very rare event as the last time it was performed was over fifteen years ago.  This gives a unique opportunity for the Houston area devotees to partake and experience the power and love of the Divine Mother.

Among the sacred texts that laud the glory of the Mother, Devi Mahatmyam is considered extremely auspicious and powerful.  Devi Mahatmyam, or the Glory of the Goddess, describes the victory of the Chandi over the asuras Madhu-Kaitabha, Mahishasura and Shumbha-Nishumbha.  It comprises of 700 mantras and hence is called Saptashati.  Though the Devi Mahatmyam consisting of 13 chapters is part of   Markandeya Purana, it is not merely treated as a purana, but is considered a full-fledged scripture by itself.  The place where the slokas are recited becomes flooded with waves of vibration, purifying the entire place, and invoking the presence of the Supreme Devi.

The Nava Chandi Maha Homam is a very elaborate puja that includes many rituals requiring priests with special skills and knowledge.  With the temples own highly knowledgeable priests as well as a few visiting priests, MTS is proud to conduct this great puja and homam.  The highlight of the event is the recital of the 700 mantras from the 13 chapters of Devi Mahatmyam (Saptashati Parayanam) and the Homam.  Other important pujas included in the program are Kalasa Puja, Vilakku Puja, Lalitha Saharanama Archana, Bhairavar Puja, Kanyaka Puja and Sumangali Puja by Dhampathis.

All monetary contributions will benefit the Kalyana Mandapam Renovation project, which is dedicated to Saraswathy Devi, one of the prime aspects of mother Chandi, the Goddess of learning, knowledge, arts and music.