Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in USA
Devi Mandir, Napa, CADevi Mandir
5950 Highway 128
Napa, CA 94558 USA
Phone and Fax 1(707) 966-2802
What We Do
At Devi Mandir we live by the guidance of Shree Maa and Swami Satyanada Saraswati. They show us the way of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal ideal of perfection, and teach us how to live with God in every moment.
The Sanatana Dharma defines eight forms of behavior called “achara” which are appropriate for spiritual life:
- Vaishnavachara which means find our inspiration.
- Vedikachara which means learn about that which we love.
- Shaivachara which means practice that which we learn about.
- Vamachara which means, “Beloved Behavior,” perform every action in life efficiently.
- Dakshinachara which means, “Preferred Path,” reduce our necessity to perform worldly actions.
- Siddhantachara which means make our behavior correspond to the activities spoken of in the scriptures. These are primarily seven
- Puja (Worship)
- Path (Recitation)
- Homa (Sacred Fire Ceremony)
- Sangeet (Singing)
- Nrit (Dancing)
- Pravachan (an explanation of the meanings and applications, how to integrate these various activities into our lives)
- Arpana (offering)
- Yogachara means “Behavior of Union”.
- Kulachara means “Behavior of Excellence,” whether sitting still in meditation or actively pursuing some objective, the attitude toward life remains the same in every circumstance.
The Chandi Path, also known as the Durga Saptasati, is a way to attaining this ideal; it is a practical training manual. As human beings we have become habituated to being beset with thought. Through the study and practice of this work, we seek to free ourselves from this habit, to take the “EGO I” out of thought, to find the remedy of that all too chronic disease, attachment, and to expand our awareness beyond the relationships of this physical body so as to intuit by direct perception the Bliss of the Universe.
Shree Maa and Swami Satyananda Saraswati’s basic teaching is that every home is a temple, and all of the occupants within are the priests; that a Guru is an example of inspired leadership, and wherever there is teaching the Guru is present; and that whenever anyone performs any action with respectful attention, sincerity and devotion, that person is performing worship.
Swamiji says, “Worship itself means paying attention. Learning takes place when one pays attention. When we love something or someone, we pay attention. We offer respect through paying attention. The practice of concentrating our attention is called meditation. Through the practice of meditation we learn how to learn, we learn how to love, we learn how to respect, how to worship, how to pay attention — how to increase the efficiency of every function in our lives.”
Mission and GoalsOur creed is that there is One All-Pervading, Infinite Divinity, which resides in every being of Creation, and is especially manifest in the hearts of all humanity. This Divinity inspires within seekers sincerity, joy, love and wisdom, and the highest respect for all that lives. All bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit, and the highest ideal of man is to honor God through loving service to all created beings, and attentive devotion in the pursuit of self-realization.
Our purpose is to inspire the worship of the Divine and empower people to cultivate a closer relationship with God.
Our mission is to teach people how to worship with the greatest sincerity.
Our vision is to establish a temple in every home and in every heart, and to educate every individual to be the priest or priestess of his/her temple.
Our goal is to demonstrate the sincerity of our convictions through efficiency in our every action.
Our hope is to empower people to spiritual and economic independence through the pursuit of dharma (an ideal of perfection), artha (the procurement of the material necessity to maintain that ideal), kama (freedom from/fulfillment of desires), and moksha (Liberation, Self-Realization).
Our message is our way of life.
Our aim is to inspire in people the desire to follow the example of the Sadhus (the efficient ones) and the Rishis (the wise ones), examples that we find in Shree Maa and Swami Satyananda Saraswati. By following their example we find a greater organization, a greater efficiency, a greater energy and a greater more vibrant relationship with God in our lives. The Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Ideal of Perfection) touches on every aspect of life and its scripture is never complete; each of us contributes in its writing by living the example.
Our process is to work together as a team in a spiritual family, for the expansion and empowerment of all the people in periphery of our influence, to create a bond of oneness in our entire family. Each person is an important part of our team, and that understanding inspires commitment. When we can work together, and derive a consensus on many kinds of decisions, we can move forward as One, with unity, harmony, and conviction. We invite everyone to be a part of this family.
Annapurna, Chandi, Durga, Gayatri, Kali, Lakshmi, Lalitha, Saraswathi
Ganesha , Hanuman, Krishna, Rama, Shiva, Vishnu
Events CalendarThe Events Calendar includes three sections: Upcoming Events, 2013 Hindu Festival Dates, and The Significance of the Festivals. Scroll down the page to learn more!
Upcoming Events, Holy Days and FestivalsClick on the picture below to learn more about the upcoming event:
08/11 Pancami Manasa Devi Astha Nag Puja 08/12 Shashthi Shri Lakshmi Puja 08/13 Saptami Shri Sitala Saptami Puja 08/17 Ekadashi Shri Krishna Jhulan Yatra Begins, Upavas 08/18 Trayodashi Shri Krishna Jhulan Yatra Complete 08/20 Purnima Shri Baladev Janma Yatra, Rishi Tarpan, Rakshabandhan
08/27 Saptami Sitala Saptami 08/28 Ashthami Shri Krishna Janmashtami, Gokulashtami, Janmashtami Vrat 08/29 Navami Shri Krishna Janmashtami Vrat 08/31 Ekadashi Upavas 09/03 Chaturdashi Aghora Chaturdashi Vrat 09/04 Amavasya Alokamavasya Vrat
09/08 Chaturthi Ganesha Chaturthi Vrat, Shri Lakshmi Puja 09/09 Pancami Viswakarma Puja, Sat Pancami Vrat, Rishi Pancami Vrat 09/10 Shashthi Mahan Shashthi 09/11 Saptami Lalita Saptami Vrat 09/12 Ashthami Radhashtami Vrat 09/13 Navami Tala Navami Vrat 09/15 Ekadashi Upavas 09/16 Dwadashi Vaman Dwadashi Vrat 09/17 Chaturdashi Ananta Chaturdashi Vrat 09/18 Purnima Shri Satyanarayan Vrat
09/19 Pratipad Pitri Paksha Begins 09/27 Ashthami Jitashtami Vrat 09/28 Navami Shri Durga Devi Kalparambha & Bodhan 09/30 Ekadashi Upavas 10/04 Amavasya Mahalaya Shraddha
10/05 Pratipad Shri Durga Devi Navaratri Vrat Begins 10/09 Pancami Sat Pancami Vrat 10/10 Shashthi Shri Durga Devi Amantran & Adhivas 10/10 Saptami Shri Durga Devi Saptami Vihita Puja 10/11 Ashthami Shri Durga Devi Ashthami Vihita Puja, Sandhi Puja 10/12 Navami Shri Durga Devi Navami Vihita Puja 10/13 Dashami Shri Durga Devi Dashami Vihita Puja, Vijaya Visarjan 10/14 Ekadashi Upavas 10/18 Purnima Shri Kojagari Lakshmi Puja, Shri Satyanarayan Vrat
10/22 Chaturthi Dasaratha Chaturthi Vrat 10/30 Ekadashi Upavas 11/02 Chaturdashi Kali Puja Bhuta Chaturdashi Vrat, Chaturdashi Dipa Danam, Shri Syama Puja, Kali Puja 11/02 Amavasya Dipawali Parvan Shraddha
11/03 Pratipad Sanskrit New Year Begins 11/04 Dwitiya Bhratri Dwitiya, Yama Dwitiya 11/07 Pancami Shat Pancami 11/08 Shashthi Nari Shashthi 11/09 Saptami Shri Kartik Puja, Shri Jagaddhatri Puja Begins 11/10 Ashthami Shri Jagaddhatri Puja 11/11 Navami Shri Jagaddhatri Puja Complete 11/12 Ekadashi Upavas 11/15 Chaturdashi Vaikunta Chaturdashi Vrat 11/16 Purnima Shri Krishna Rasyatra, Kartik Purnima, Tulasi Birthday, Chaturmasya Vrat Complete
11/18 Pratipad Katyayani Vrat Begins 11/25 Ashthami Prathamashthami Vrat 11/28 Ekadashi Upavas
12/06 Pancami Shat Pancami Vrat 12/07 Shashthi Guha Shashthi 12/08 Saptami Shri Surya Puja 12/12 Ekadashi Gita Jayanti, Upavas 12/13 Dwadashi Akhanda Dan Dwadashi Vrat 12/15 Chaturdashi Shri Lakshmi Puja
Margshirsh Krishna: 12/25 Ashthami Pupashthaka Shraddha 12/28 Ekadashi Upavas
Shree Maa on RelationshipsThis is a practical and insightful discussion with Shree Maa and Swamiji, on the relationship between men and women. Reference the article as you listen to Shree Maa’s Discourse.
The Feminine and Masculine PrinciplesShree Maa: Today I would like to talk about the relationship between men and women — Swamiji will explain.
Swami: The least qualified! (laughter)
Shree Maa: By the union of the masculine and feminine principles, this entire perceivable universe has come about. For as long as this manifested existence will remain, so long the union between the masculine and feminine principles will remain.
Both the masculine principle and the feminine principle are eternal. From the touch of the masculine principle, the feminine brings forth this entire manifested existence with all its qualities.
The feminine principle is energy, and the masculine principle is the director of energy. Without the energy, the director of energy has nothing to do. Likewise, without the director of energy, the energy has no path. So, the relationship between the energy and director of energy is eternal and this is the relationship between man and woman.
The man is masculine principle, and the women is the feminine principle. One alone, without the other, is not complete. The appearance of duality is, in reality, one body. The left side is feminine, and the right side is masculine. One body is the cause of circumstances, improvement, growth, nourishment, more nourishment and satisfaction.
One alone, without the other, will not be able to manifest these works.
Each contain his or her sphere of influence. Each manifests his or her own influence of excellence. The excellence of the two is the actually the highest excellence, the ultimate excellence. That’s why both man and woman, through various functions, each manifests excellence in their own way.
In human life, by the means of both men and women, this universe has come to be.
The Ornaments of a Human BeingShree Maa: Woman is Mother, and the helper in all acts of perfection. By means of the inspiration of women, the man can aspire to control the modifications of consciousness. Ultimately he can hope to free himself from all bonds and can find in the highest light, the illumination of divine light. He can find liberation.
Now, Mother is going to explain the ornaments of man and woman:
- Mutual support
- Freedom from egotism
- Empathy with the pains of others
- Selfless service as an expression of love
- Freedom from violence
- Constantly moving with God
- Devotion to the Lord
The Story of the Sadhu and the HousewifeShree Maa: Now, Mother will tell a story about an excellent relationship between man and woman:
After many days of performing sadhana, one sadhu, dressed as a beggar, came to take alms from a village house.
Appearing before the house he called out to the housewife, “Mother, please give me something to eat.”
When the housewife heard the voice of the sadhu, she came outside and began to wash his feet, and she gave him a seat upon which to sit.
And the sadhu began to think within his own self, “Why is it that this housewife is giving me such loving service? Is it possible that she has recognized who I am?”
Immediately the housewife gave an answer to the sadhu’s innermost thought, “Oh Babaji, you can’t hide from me. You have come to me disguised as a beggar but I know who you really are.”
The sadhu was taken aback, “How is it possible that this housewife knows who I am?”
He became extremely curious to find the answer, and asked “Mother how is it possible that you know who I am? I am unable to understand who you are. What kind of spiritual discipline are you performing to attain to such knowledge? Please tell me quickly.”
The housewife gave her reply: “First you take your food and thereafter I will describe to you the spiritual discipline I practice.”
The sadhu ate very quickly. And then he said to her, “Mother please tell me, by the worship of which deity have you attained to such knowledge? I have been performing spiritual practices for many, many years and I haven’t understood who you are.”
Shree Maa interjects: “I think lots of you are like that here!”
The sadhu continued, “Please tell me quickly the secret of your spiritual discipline. My heart is palpitating.”
The housewife thereafter invited the sadhu into her home. He saw inside the house there was neither an altar, nor a photo, nor any symbol of divinity whatsoever.
The sadhu asked, “Mother, please explain to me your secret. I don’t see any deities, I don’t see any symbol of divinity, I don’t see any scripture or holy book. How is it possible that you’ve attained to such divine knowledge?”
The housewife gave her reply – “By serving my husband as a God I have attained to divine knowledge. By means of my pure inspiration, my husband attained divine wisdom. By following my husband’s divine wisdom and guidance, I’ve attained liberation.”
Shree Maa says: “Jai Maa!”
Swamiji interjects: “Mother suggests that we all remain awake!”
Make Peace in this WorldShree Maa: Human birth is the highest of all births. A human being is defined as one who has controlled their mind. God is within our heart. When we can know that divinity inside without selfishness, then we can illuminate divine wisdom.
Always we have to contemplate. “I am God’s child and God is my own.” This is the highest sadhana.
It’s very simple, is it not? We are so lucky that we are human beings. Why do we forget ourselves? It is very simple. If we give up a little bit our selfishness, the whole world will be at peace. Why do we serve each other with divorce? We came into this world to unite ourselves.
Please wake up! Make peace in this world!
That is my prayer for everybody and my blessing.
Krishna Janmashtami 2013Krishna Janmashtami is the celebration of Lord Krishna’s birth. It is one of the most popular Hindu festivals and is celebrated on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Shravan, which is typically in the months of August–September.
In 2013, Krishna Janmashtami falls on August 28th.
The Significance of Lord Krishna’s LifeLord Krishna, who is the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, took birth to foster dharma (righteousness), promote truth, delight His devotees, and disseminate spiritual teachings – such as the scripture the Bhagavad Gita – which shares universal teachings and has gained world-wide appeal.
Typical Janmashtami Celebrations in IndiaIndia celebrates Krishna Janmashtami with great fervor, as Lord Krishna is one of India’s most beloved deities.
Many devotees fast all day and participate in a grand celebration at midnight, when it is believed that Lord Krishna took birth.Typical events may include devotional singing, dancing, the teaching of scriptures, japa, and puja. Devotees may even enact a play, or a drama, of the events in Lord Krishna’s life.
Celebrations at the Devi MandirOn August 28th, festivities at the Devi Mandir will begin at 6:00 pm PDT.
We will celebrate Lord Krishna’s birthday with a Puja to Lord Krishna and chanting of the Bhagavad Gita.
To follow along, get your copy of these books or download the iPad App: Vishnu Puja iPad App and Bhagavad Gita iPad App.
After the puja and chanting, we will have arati and devotional singing to the Lord.
The celebration will then continue in the kitchen, where devotees will partake in a special dinner, which will include sweet milk dishes that, legend says, were enjoyed by Shri Krishna.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna states: “If you offer Me anything with love – be it a leaf, flower, fruit or water – I will accept it.” Shree Maa and Swamiji remind us to offer whatever we can, but make that offering with sincere love and devotion, as that is all that matters!
Jai Maa! Jai Swamiji!
Meet SwamijiBorn and educated in America, Swami Satyananda Saraswati worked in managerial positions for major corporations before beginning to travel the world in the mid 1960s.
During his travels, he worked in many countries, studied philosophy and history, and became proficient in numerous languages.
As a young explorer, he journeyed throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, and India. While in India, he traveled an unbeaten path into India’s interior and remained there for fifteen years, walking across the length and breadth of the Himalayas. Wherever he went, he would learn the local systems of worship, becoming proficient in numerous Indian languages, including Bengali, Hindi, Pahari and Urdu. He also became fluent in, and developed a deep passion for, Sanskrit.
He knew the mountain pathways and the local Indian cultures. He understood Sanskrit and the local Indian languages. With this as his foundation, the verses of his Sanskrit translations come alive with colorful experience. He translates with a universal understanding and application, which can only come from an international citizen, who has traveled on every continent and in more countries than we can count.
Swamiji’s translations from Sanskrit have been translated into English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, French, German, Nederlands, and Portuguese. His original texts and translations convey inspiration, joy, and the Love of one who has enjoyed the experience of spiritual fellowship around the world.
Swamiji was initiated into the worship of Chaṇḍī and the sacred fire ceremony, the yajña, as his primary system of sadhana, by his Guru in 1971. He practiced worship and meditation, and undertook many forms of tapasya and great austerities.
He practiced the recitation of the Chaṇḍī Path in the snows of the Himalayas and in the hot springs of Bakreshwar. He attained to asana siddhi, the ability to sit beyond heat and cold for long periods of time. Swamiji has performed the Sahasra Chandi Yajna (a thousand day worship of Chaṇḍī, without leaving the temple premises) seven times – four times in India and three times in America – for a total of 21 years.
Swamiji’s teachings combine an intellectual understanding with strong devotion. His gift of weaving jñana (wisdom) with bhakti (devotion) provides a spring-board for a devotee’s spiritual practices. He teaches an aspirant to move from the intellectual contemplation of the “whys” and “hows” of creating a discipline, to the practical applications of actually sitting for recitation of the Sanskrit texts. He clearly explains how to sit, how to breathe, how to become one with the Guru and one with the Goddess.
Swamiji has dedicated most of his life to worship. Like a master craftsman, Swamiji utilizes all the tools of chanting: mantra, pranayama and asana. With focused attention and profound respect, he transforms every effort into an offering of love and surrender. Every breath, every shloka, every offering, brings him closer into the presence of the Divine Mother.
His selfless love is visible in all of his actions. He is generous beyond measure and has a truly divine sense of humor. He inspires by example. To see Swamiji perform puja creates a desire in the blessed observer to also worship the Divine. To hear him chant filled with the bhava of inspired enthusiasm, creates a desire in us to learn the mantras. To watch him, sparks a desire to experience that same depth of absorption.
It is even more extraordinary that he is able to maintain the same bhava (emotional attitude) in all of his actions. Whether he is performing a puja, chanting at the altar, tirelessly working at the computer, chopping wood for the homa, or helping in maintenance at the ashram, he maintains that same loving attitude. This is because, for Swamiji, all actions are offerings to the Beloved Mother.
His deep love, his intuitive understanding, and his spiritual experience, are evident in every scripture he has translated. In Sanskrit, his books encompass the totality of Hindu and Vedic Philosophy. He has written books on Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu, Ganesh, and the Nine Planets, as well as Vedic Philosophy, History, Astrology, Spiritual Business, and biographies of the great saints and sadhus.
He brings to life every character within the scriptures with such intensity, that we begin to realize that these very same characters exist within us. He empowers us to learn how we can purify ourselves until we realize our own Divinity!
Our website includes articles and books in Français, Deutsch, Nederlands, Hindī, Italiano, Marāṭhī, Português, Español, Tamiḻ, and Fārsi. (oṃ aiṃ hrīṃ klīṃ cāmuṇḍāyai vice )
Testimonials of GratitudeShree Maa is a pure example of Truth in the Kali Age."
- Ramnath Aghori Baba, 217 years old, India.
The work that you, Swami Satyananda and Shree Maa, are performing will be remembered by history as a tremendous benefit not only to Hindu culture, but also to all of mankind."
- Swami Purnananda Giri, Niranjaniya Akara Mahant, India.
"Shree Maa and Swamiji's Love, their kindness, their simplicity and transparency have stayed in my heart and I bring home with me a deep feeling of peace and love."
- Manjushri, Iran.
"Shree Maa and Swamiji selflessly offer everything they have to whomever will accept and the world is so blessed by their gifts."
- Manya Devi, Canada.
"I am amazed when I think about the positive impact that these two people have had on my path and continued spiritual growth. Swamiji is a rare treasure."
- Eric Jensen
Schedule is Pacific Standard Time.
Our PujasDaily Pujas:
Shiva Puja: The worship of the Consciousness of Infinite Goodness, Shree Maa performs this puja daily. Become the master of your mind and your Will (Sankalpa).
Durga Puja: The worship of the Reliever of Difficulties. Durga Puja makes us free from the difficulties and hardships that life brings presents.
Santoshi Maa Puja: The worship of the Mother of Contentment and Satisfaction. Santoshi Maa Puja fills us with peace by satisfying our soul.
Cosmic Puja: The worship of all the forces of Divinity in existence. The Cosmic Puja allows one to recognize all our actions as part of a universal worship unfolding in accord with the Will of the Divine.
Chaṇḍi Path: The recitation of the story of the manifestation of She Who Tears Apart Thoughts. Chanting the sacred Chandi Path purifies all thoughts, so that we can more deeply surrender all our actions (karma) and become free from egoism and material attachments.
Shiva Abhishek: Abhishek is the ritual bathing of Lord Shiva, making us fixed in the wisdom of Unity.
Group Chandi Chanting: Coming together as one family to worship She Who Tears Apart Thoughts. At the Devi Mandir we perform the group chanting of the Chandi Path every Sunday and we invite everyone to join us live on the webcams or wherever we are chanting.
Hanuman Puja: The worship of the Symbol of Pure Devotion. Hanuman Puja fills us with devotion and the joy of pure, unselfish service. By doing puja to the most perfect devotee, we become inspired and infused with the qualities of pure devotion. We perform this puja every Saturday afternoon.
Rudrashtadhyayi: The Eight Chapters from the Yajur Veda in honor of the Reliever of Sufferings. Chanting the “Rudri” brings us in to harmony with the infinite Self. We can then recognize the unity between the individual and the Supreme. We chant the Rudri on Mondays.
Sahasra Chandi Yajna: This is the vow to perform one thousand Chandi Yajnas. The Varahi Tantra proclaims that the Sahasra Chandi Yajna will bring the ultimate wisdom and liberation. The last time we performed this sankalpa it began on January 24th, 2005 and completed it on January 24th, 2008.
Ganesh Puja: The worship of the Lord of Wisdom, the Lord of the Multitudes. Puja to Ganesha removes all obstacles in life. It transforms our perception so we go through life enjoying the privilege of applying solutions, rather than being blocked by obstacles.
Nava Graha Puja: the worship of the Nine Planets. Put yourself in harmony with the universal and planetary forces.
Lakshmi Puja: the worship of the Goddess of True Wealth. Lakshmi Puja helps us to clarify our life goals and find the true wealth we are seeking by giving us peace in our minds and hearts.
Saraswati Puja: the worship of the Goddess of All Pervading Knowledge. Saraswati Puja bestows the knowledge which brings freedom from ignorance.
Kali Puja: The worship of the Remover of Darkness, She Who is Beyond Time. Kali Puja illuminates the darkness of ignorance with the light of wisdom.
Vishnu Puja: Worship of He Who Pervades the Universe, the Perceiver of All. Vishnu Puja allows us to recognize the all-pervading divinity within each individual and every aspect of creation.
(With Exact Times)
Arati: 5:30am, 12pm, 6:30pm
(With Approximate Times)
Cosmic Puja: 5:30-8:30am
Shree Maa's Shiva Puja: 8-9:30am
Swamiji's Chandi Path: 8-9:30am
Santoshi Maa Puja: 6-7:00am
Satsang and Kirtan: 6:30-8:30pm
Rudrashtadhyayi if Swamiji is available: 3-5am
Group Chandi: 9:30-12pm
Full Moons (Purnima)
Satya Narayana Vrat Puja: 5:30-6:30pm
New Moons (Amavasya)
Kali Puja: 9-10pm
4th Lunar Day (Chaturthi)
Ganesh Puja: 6-7:30am
5950 Highway 128
Napa, CA 94558 USA
Phone and Fax 1(707) 966-2802
Devi Mandir is a 501c(3) Non-Profit organization. IRS tax exemption number 68-0065591.
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )