Sri Durga Mahashtami was celebrated with due solemnity in the Temple of the Ramakrishna Mission on Tuesday, the 4th October, 2011. Sri Sri Thakur and Swamiji were adorned with new silken dhoti and chaddar. The pictures of Holy Mother and Mother Durga were also decorated with new Kanchipuiram-silk sarees, courtesy Nalli Sarees, Connaught Place.
All arrangements for worship had been completed the previous evening itself. An artistic background with flowers in the sanctum sanctorum provided a beautiful setting. Flower vases holding Rajnigandha, Gladioli,, Roses (yellow, red and pink) flowers and zarbera were tastefully arranged in the garbha mandir.
Mangalarati began at 5.00 a.m. on the Mahastami day in the Temple. Chndi Path was done in the Temple on Saptami, Ashtami and Navami days (3rd, 4th and 5th October) at 8.00, 7.30 a.m. and 8.00 a.m. respectively by all devotees present there led by Revered Secretary Maharaj. On 3rd, 60 devotees were present during Chandi Path and on 5th, 42 devotees were present for Chandi Path. All were served a samosa each and tea at the end. On Ashtami day because of the special puja to Mother Durga, Chandi Path started at 7.30 a.m. and went up to 9.30 a.m.
Simultaneously the Puja began at 6.45 a.m. and it continued till 10.05 a.m. Swami Tattwatitanandaji Maharaj did the puja and Revered Secretary Maharaj was the Tantra Dharak at the time of Havan (Homa).
After the Chandi Path, Shri Champak Chatterjee accompanied by Shri Ashok Brahmachari on Tabla rendered one or two bhajans. Homa started at 10.10 a.m. Pushpanjali for all devotees was administered by Swami Bhaktirasanandaji Maharaj. After that the sanctum sanctorum was closed for devotees when bhoga started at 11.05 a.m.. During the period of bhoga, a few devotional songs were rendered by Br. Abhayesh Maharaj and Swami Shantatmanandaji Maharaj . Bhogarati was accompanied by the chanting of ‘Ayagiri Nandini” by all devotees led by Br. Abhayesh. Maharaj.
When arati was over at 12.05 p.m. all devotees offered pranams to Thakur, Ma and Swamiji and also Mother Durga after which the Temple was closed at 12.30 p.m.
In the spirit of Narayana-seva, about 240 people were served kichuri prasad at the main entrance of the ashrama.
In the evening after arati and special bhajan, devotees were served prasad. Monastics and volunteers took prasad in the dining hall at night.
Thus the celebration of Durga Ashtami Day with puja etc. till Vijaya dashami day was a grand success.