Sri Durga Mahashtami was celebrated with due solemnity in the Temple of the Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi, on Wednesday, the 17th October 2018.
Mangalarati began at 5.00 a.m. on the Mahashtami day in the Temple. Chanting of Durga Saptasati was done in the Temple on Saptami, Ashtami and Navami days (16th, 17th and 18th October) at 8.00 a.m., 7.00 a.m. and 8.00 a.m. respectively by all devotees present there led by Revered Secretary Maharaj.
Puja was performed by Swami Amritamayanandaji under the guidance of Swami Kapilanandaji. Havan was also performed by Swami Amritamayanandaji guided by Revered Swami Shantatmanandaji Maharaj as Tantradharak.
During the Puja, Shri Bishnu Murari Chattopadhyay rendered devotional songs accompanied by Shri Siddharta Bhattacharya on tabla, and also Devi Stotram which was followed by all. Homa started at 10.05 a.m. and was over by 11.10 a.m. Then Pushpanjali for all devotees was administered by Revered Secretary Maharaj at 11.15 a.m. After Pushpanjali, the sanctum sanctorum of the Temple was closed for devotees when bhoga was started at 11.40 a.m.
During the period of bhoga, when the doors of the sanctum sanctorum were closed for the devotees, some devotional songs were rendered by Swami Dhruvarupanandaji.
This year Sandhi Puja was between 12.26 p.m. and 1.14 p.m. During this time, all devotees inside the temple and even those who could not get space inside but waited outside on the lawns did Japa and meditation in total silence. Thereafter, all the devotees offered pranams to Sri Sri Thakur, Ma and Swamiji and also Mother Durga after which they proceeded to partake prasad.