[Advaita-l] Guru for Devi Puja

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Oct 17 12:23:29 CDT 2012

On Wed, 17 Oct 2012, Paresh Patel wrote:

> Namaste Guruji,
> My name is Paresh Patel, My kuldevi is Umiya Mataji. I want to worship
> Umiyaji everyday. For the Devi Puja I don't have enough knowledge so Can You
> please guide me for my daily worship. I don't have Guru. Can you be my Guru
> and show me the Path of Devi Bhakti.
> it is best to get a Guru who is knowledgeable to give you proper advice.
> Thanks.
> Paresh Patel

Dear Pareshbhai, Jai Shri Krishna,

As this is Navaratri you have picked the best time to ask this question. 
You are absolutely right about the necessity of a Guru.  All varieties of 
Hinduism revere their teachers but in Devi Upasana diksha from a 
sampradayika sadguru is a must.  You did not say where you are located.
  If it is outside India it may be more difficult.  But do not worry for 
the adhikara for Devi Bhakti is only overflowing love for Mataji.  When 
one meets that qualification, our shastras say She will appear as the Guru 
in some shape or form 100% guaranteed.

Unfortunately I cannot take on that responsibility myself.  My moTAmAmA 
Shri Vallabhram Vaidyaraj (Dave) was an extremely learned upasaka but he 
went to Kailasa when I was quite young and I did not get an opportunity to 
get diksha from him though I have learned a lot from his written notes. 
So I can offer you some advice based on that and Gujarati parampara.

First of all, whatever you do, do it with discipline.  It is no good 
starting up grand schemes and then abandoning them half way through or 
doing them haphazardly.  So while I am going to suggest a number of 
things, be realistic about what you can manage.

Second, whatever you do, do it with the correct bhava.  The tamasika 
bhakti is that which is done out of fear.  (i.e. Mataji will punish me or 
cause misfortune if I do not worship Her.)  Rajasika bhakti is done out of 
selfishness (i.e. Mataji will reward me with material wealth or siddhis 
etc. if I worship Her.)  The pure sattvika bhakti is that which is done 
purely out of love for Mataji and dedicating all words, deeds, and 
thoughts to Her without any expectations.

For daily puja I can send you the details for the basic panchopachara puja 
offline (Let me know if you prefer instructions in Gujarati or English.) 
one should also do atleast one mala of navarna mantra (aiM hR^iM kliM 
chAmuNDAyai vichchhe) daily with rudrakshamala.  (Or once one has had 
diksha shrividya mantra etc.)

One should do atleast some parayana of shastras; ideally the entire Chandi 
Path with purva and uttara angas.  However this takes about 2-3 hours so 
is not feasible for most people.  If the whole thing cannot be recited in 
one sitting one can just read the madhyama charita (adhyayas 2-4) with 
angas.  Never the other two charitas.  Or one can recite one of the 
stotras found within the Chandi Path (Shakradaya stuti, Devi sukta, Ratri 
sukta) by itself.  Other stotras recommended for daily parayana are 
Saundarya Lahari by Shankaracharya, Shyamala Dandakam (ascribed to 
Kalidasa,) Lalita sahasranama from Brahmanda Purana or Devi Gita from 
Devibhagavata Purana.  All these are available with Gujarati translations 
albeit of varying quality.  I have found the editions by Sastu Sahitya 
karyalaya and Gita Press are the best.  Despite not being in Sanskrit, the 
aarti Jaya Adyashakti or the Vishvambhari stuti etc. are also suitable as 
the have deep philosophical and spiritual meaning.

Observe all the utsavas during the year.  Vasanta, and Sharadiya 
Navaratris and Mahashivaratri are the most important.  Offer your kuladevi 
mahanaivedya on Ashvin Sud 8 or Vad 14 (depends on family traditions.)  Do 
upvas.  If you do agiyarash that is fine otherwise sud aatham 
(Durgashtami) of each month or Fridays are good days.

There is much more and if you have specific questions please let us know 
but hopefully this is enough to get you started.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list