Sri Premananda Centre in Sint-Amandsberg, Belgium
By Centre Coordinators, Hari & Shankari
The idea of celebrating Navaratri in our new house grew from our last journey through India. We discussed all the steps of Navaratri with Priya and Kugha, Centre Coordinators in Belgium. They explained everything in detail, as they are have celebrated it many times here in Belgium. In the weeks before, we asked devotees who come to the Centre to inform us how and when they could help out and we had a long list of volunteers. Finally we were longing for the first day of Navaratri. The first morning we got up early to plant the seeds. The Ashram had provided us with the auspicious time to plant the seeds and we did it accordingly.
So what was our experience of Navaratri? It was a splendid time. We had ten beautiful programmes in which we performed abhishekam to the Kali statue that Swamiji materialized for us long ago. We experienced a lot of love and blessings. There were little wonders and moving moments in our heart. Once the abhishekam was so beautiful and we were so moved that everybody stayed in silence for a long time afterwards.
We were very happy with the help of the devotees who made prasadam and flower garlands, who helped to prepare the abhishekam and Durga puja, to perform the pujas and wash the vessels. During this Navaratri we also expanded our temple, since we were expecting many people on the last day. We received a lot of help for this as well.
We were honoured that many devotees, International and National Sri Premananda Centre Coordinators and new people joined us. Some people came every day. One couple’s baby was even brought each night for the celebrations and given the opportunity by his mummy and daddy to experience this intense energy of Navaratri! During the blessing with the Divine Mother’s statue on the last day (called Vijaya Dasami) he received his blessing last and he seemed so filled with love that his face radiated pure love for a while!
The awareness that we have so many spiritual brothers and sisters gives us strength and humbleness and this is something we really need to kindle. During these ten days divine love was so strongly present that it greatly encouraged us all to keep following what Swamiji has taught us. Swamiji, we want to thank you for all the beautiful teachings, the blessings and lessons you bring on our path. We hope that the chain of love and devotion between the devotees gets stronger and that we can be an example for those who are seeking their spiritual path.
Kali is really a source of love, joy and light. We shed some tears after Navaratri, because we had been so fulfilled and suddenly it was all over. In the evening we performed another puja for her, because we just couldn’t get enough! Actually there are no words to describe the wonderful time we had!
Jai Prema Shanti!