Sharada Sharan Navaratri Celebrations
The Sharada Sharan Navaratri Celebrations at Sringeri commenced on the Mahalaya Amavasya day falling the September 30, 2016. Mahabhisheka was performed to Goddess Sharada in the presence of Sri Sannidhanam, Jagadguru Sri Vidhushekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji, amidst chants of Saraswati Sukta, Devi Sukta, and Ratri Sukta from the Rig Veda and Saraswati Sukta, Medha Sukta, Sri Sukta and Durga Sukta from the Yajur Veda. After the Mahabhisheka, Goddess Sharadamba gave Darshan as Jagat Prasutika signifying her role as the Divine Mother of the Universe. Mahamangalarati was performed in the presence of Sri Mahasannidhanam, Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji.
On the morning of October 1, 2016, the first day of Navaratri (Ashwayuja Shukla Pratipat), Sri Mahasannidhanam first performed Sharada Prathishta and offered a special Puja. The Puja took place near the Sannidhi of Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Sri Mahasannidhanam then went to the temple of Goddess Sharadamba and offered elaborate worship to the Goddess who was sporting the Hamsa Vahana Alankara (Brahmi). Sri Sannidhanam crossed the river Tunga in a beautifully decorated boat and performed Ganga Puja on the northern banks. Sri Sannidhanam then had Darshan at all the temples in the premises of the Math. Sri Sannidhanam then gave Darshan to devotees. After Sri Mahasannidhanam completed His elaborate Puja, Sri Sannidhanam entered the sanctum sanctorum and worshipped Goddess Sharadamba.
On the subsequent days, Sri Mahasannidhanam offered worship to the Goddess from around 11 AM to about 1 pm and distributed Pushpa Prasada to Navaratri Sevakartas. Sri Sannidhanam performed Ganga Puja, had Darshan at all the temples, gave Darshan to devotees, and then arrived at the Goddess Sharadamba temple and offered worship from around 1 pm to 3 pm. Both the Acharyas granted Darshan in the evenings to devotees.
During the Navaratri period, Goddess Sharada sported a number of Alankaras such as Hamsavahini (Brahmi), Mayuravahini (Kaumari), Rishabhavahini (Maheshwari), Garuda Vahini (Vaishnavi), Kamadhenu Alankara, Rajarajeshwari, Veena Sharada, Mohini and Simhavahini. On the subsequent days leading up to the Poornima, devotees also beheld the splendour of Goddess Sharadamba in the Alankaras of Gajalakshmi, Indrani, Gayatri, Annapoorna and Bhuvaneshwari.
As part of the Navaratri festival, Parayana of the four Vedas, the Prasthana-traya Bhashyas of Sri Adi Shankaracharya, as well as texts like Sri Devi Bhagavatam, Sri Devi Mahatmyam, Srimad Ramayanam, Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Harivamsha Puranam, Sri Vishnu Puranam and Sri Madhaviya Shankara Vijayam took place. While the Parayana of Sri Shankara Bhashyas took place in the Sri Adi Shankaracharya temple, all the other Parayanas and Japas took place in the Jagadguru Sri Narasimha Bharati Yagashala opposite to the Goddess Sharadamba temple. Suvasini Pujas and Laksharachanas also took place every day.
During Navaratri, the Utsava Moorti of Goddess Sharada was taken in a Utsava every evening along the main street of Sringeri. The Utsava commenced every evening from outside the Sharadamba temple in the divine presence of Sri Sannidhanam. The Utsava Moorti was also decorated exquisitely in a number of Alankaras. The various forms of the Goddess were also depicted in the Murti of Goddess Sharada worshipped as part of the daily Sharada Chandramoulishwara Puja performed by the Jagadguru. Members of many Satsanghas and Bhajana Mandalis from Sringeri Taluk and other parts of the state participated in the evening Utsava on each day. On all days of Navaratri, eminent music artistes offered Navaratri seva to the Goddess with their musical performances at the Jagadguru Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswami Sabha Bhavana in the precincts of the Math.
The Panchami day also marked the commencement of the Shata Chandi Yaga which extended for four days. During the Yaga, 10 Ritwiks chanted the Durga Sapta Shati (Devi Mahatmyam) a hundred times over four days. On Mahanavami, the Poornahuti of the Shatachandi Yaga, conducted for the welfare of all beings, was completed in the presence of the Ubhaya Jagadgurus. The Gaja Puja, Ashwa Puja were performed in the presence of the Ubhaya Jagadgurus. Ayudha Puja and Vahana Puja were also performed on the same day.
Every evening, Sri Mahasannidhanam performed the Sharada Chandramoulishwara Puja in the “Sharada Prasada” building, adjacent to “Sri Bharati Tirtha Prasada”, the main Annadana complex of the Peetham. The Ubhaya Jagadgurus also gave their evening Darshan here.
Every night after the Chandramoulishwara Puja, Sri Sannidhanam in accordance to the centuries-old tradition, adorned in royal attire conducted the Golden Dindi Utsava of Goddess Sharada in the temple and held the Navaratri Durbar. During the Durbar, Sri Durga Sapta Shati (Sri Devi Mahatmyam) Parayanam took place followed by Ashtavadhana Seva including Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva Veda Seva, Panchanga Shravana and Vadya seva. On the night of Moola Nakshatra, when the Goddess was decorated as Veena Sharada, offerings of Maharajas of various Samsthanams including those of Mysore, Thiruvananthapuram, Gwalior, Indore, Jamakhandi, Sandur, Kashi and Nepal were placed before the Goddess by the Math’s CEO Dr. VR Gowrishankar on their behalf.
On Vijayadashami day (October 11), the Jagadgurus graced the Poornahuti of Lakshmi Narayana Hridaya Homa. Thereafter, the Jagadgurus had Darshan at the shrines of Goddess Sharadamba, Sri Shakti Ganapati and Sri Adi Shankaracharya and arrived at the Pravachana Mandiram. The Pattabhisheka Sarga from Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam was read by Sri Sannidhanam in the divine presence of Sri Mahasannidhanam at the Pravachana Mandiram.
Sri Mahasannidhanam then graced the devotees with an Anugraha Bhashanam. Sri Mahasannidhanam explained that the tradition of the Sringeri Jagadguru conducting Darbar during Navaratri has been in vogue in the Peetham since the time of establishing the Vijayanagar empire in the 14th century. Sri Mahasannidhanam stated that after having accepted His Uttaradhikari Shishya in the Jaya Samvatsara, He had conducted the Darbar last year along with His Shishya for the sake of devotees. Sri Mahasannidhanam said that His Guru had passed on the responsibility of conducting the Darbar to Him a couple of years after His own initiation into Sannyasa, and His Paramaguru too had done the same even earlier. Sri Mahasannidhanam said that He was following in the footsteps of His Guru and Paramaguru and has passed on the responsibility of conducting the Darbar to His Shishya (Sri Sannidhanam).
The event concluded with Mahamangalarati to Lord Sri Rama and the Jagadgurus granting of Darshan to devotees. Vijayotsava took place in the evening. The Utsava Murti of Sharadamba was taken in a procession to Kalikamba temple. A Puja was performed to the ‘Shami’ tree present near the temple and Shami leaves were distributed as Prasadam to the devotees. Then the Utsava Murti of Goddess Sharadamba was worshipped in the temple and the Utsava returned back. Sri Sannidhanam was present for the Golden chariot utsava that took place immediately after the Chandramoulishwara Puja performed by Sri Mahasannidhanam.
On Ekadashi (October 12), the Sharadamba Rathotsava and Adda Pallaki Utsava of Sri Sannidhanam took place. A large number of devotees thronged the holy town. Sri Sannidhanam was reverentially carried in the silver Adda pallaki (palanquin) facing the front of the Ratha adorned by Goddess Sharadamba. Durbar was then held where the final chapter of the Durga Sapta Shati was recited. Mahamangalarati and Ashtavadhana Seva then took place. Tirtha Prasada was distributed to all devotees by Sri Sannidhanam at the Pravachana Mandiram.
With Sankara TV beaming the events live, devotees across the world beheld the major events of Navaratri inclusive of the daily Pujas by the Ubhaya Jagadgurus, the Durbar and the Rathotsava.
The Sharan Navaratri celebrations this year was very special in that devotees had the joy of beholding the Ubhaya Jagadgurus conducting the entire celebrations, performing elaborate Pujas at the sanctum of Goddess Sharadamba and Sri Sannidhanam gracing the Durbar.
The Sharan Navaratri Celebrations ended with Mahabhishekha of the Goddess on Poornima (October 16) followed by Teppotsava in the evening.