The ninth day of the Navaratri Celebrations was another fulfilling day for devotees as they got the chance to spend more precious time with their Lord, while the purifying Yajnas were performed with meticulous details and sincerity. Bhagawan Baba arrived at the Hrudaya Mandir Auditorium and blessed everybody, accepting letters and listening to the prayers of the devotees. He visited the ‘Gollu’ display inside the Hall before moving out towards the Navaratri Homam area, where Nava Chandi Homam was performed by the Ritwiks.
Chandi Homa is a sacred fire ritual dedicated to Goddess Chandi – the fierce and powerful form of Goddess Shakti. She is the primordial energy responsible for creation, sustenance and destruction of this entire cosmos. She is the sum total of the energies of all beings in this universe. Goddess Chandi is an embodiment of power and all the divine forces, who protects you from evil forces and perfects your mind, body and soul. During the explanation about the Homa in Kannada and English, the priest mentioned that when the children fail to listen to the soft-hearted Mother’s peaceful advice, she assumes a raging form and goes on to destroy the wickedness. Bhagawan blessed the priest with His special grace, as he had been exhilarating everyone with moving explanation day after day during the celebrations.
The ninth day marks the day when Mahishasura was killed by Goddess Durga and she is worshipped as the Mahishasura Mardhini. Devi is given the ritualistic bath and sixteen varieties of offerings are given to her. The Bengali men prepared the Bhog/feast for the Goddess. Bhagawan Baba proceeded into the Hall where Durga Arati was performed by Dhaki drummers and Dhunuchi dance by the priests in the traditional Bengali style.
The Rudra Homa commenced took place simultaneously. As Bhagawan moved to the Yajna-Shala area, He accepted letters and blessed students from various campuses who had the unique chance of witnessing this special and auspicious Yajna in front of the Yajna-Purusha Himself.
The Yajna was performed in the traditional manner offering chants from various Vedas and texts, along with musical offerings. Mangala Arati was offered to Bhagawan and thus the ninth day morning session came to a close.
The evening session started with the regular incantations of Sri Rudram and Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavanthu at Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Hall at Sri Sathya Sai Grama at Muddenahalli. Being the penultimate day, the devotees had turned up in full-force to bask in the love of their Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The compere briefly presented the events of the morning and introduced the divine God form worshipped on this Navami as Siddhidatri. The evening proceedings began with the Vedic Chanting of Gana Paata of the Ganapathy Prarthana – Ganaanaam Twa by students of Centre for Human Excellence. Their flawless rendition of the chanting was elevating and evoked a thunderous applause from the assemblage.
Equally inspiring was the opening speech by Bhagawan’s long standing devotee – Sri Sunil M Gavaskar – the opening batsman as well, of the Indian cricket team of yester years. His short and crisp speech helped to shine a light on the unity that inherently existed in this land, that is Bharat. He gave the example of the Indian Cricket Team that won for Bharat, his First World Cup in the year 1983. The team was captained by a Hindu, The Wicket Keeper was a Muslim, a Sikh as fast bowler and a Christian All-rounder. This unity beyond religious distinctions has always been the hallmark of Bharat – he said. He requested all fellow devotees to sprinkle Bhagawan’s Love to make this world a better place to live.
The musical programme that followed next was by yet another long-standing devotee, legendary Sarod Maestro musician – Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. He performed along with his two sons Sri Amaan Ali Bangash and Sri Ayaan Ali Bangash. He started with his own discovery – a new melody Ganesh Kalyan and a few enthralling Carnatic compositions. The Trio’s play with this unique String Instrument – Sarod ended with an enlivening Jugalbandi.
Bhagawan blessed the Trio and accompanying artists Sri Mithilesh Kumar Jha who accompanied the musicians on tabla, and Sri Krishnan on the Mridangam, after the performance.
The session concluded with Mangala Arati which was offered to Bhagawan.