3 Oct 2014

Prityangari Devi Yagna with Sri Swami Vishwananda

On the seventh day of Navaratri, Sri Swami Vishwananda performed a Sri Prityangira Devi Yagna.

The ceremony started with a Kalash Puja.

Kalash Puja to Sri Prityangira Devi
At the beginning of the Yagna, the participants were blessed with a meditation on the seven chakras guided by Sri Swami Vishwananda.

At the end of this meditation Sri Swami Vishwananda gave a final blessing saying, “The 21,600 times that you breathe a day, shall be a dedication to the Guru's Feet as samarpanam [offering] and Devi will give you the strength to do so.”

During the Prityangira Devi Yagna, dozens of kilos of chillies were offered into the Yagna kund.

Sri Swami Vishwananda said, “Prityangira Devi Yagna is one of the most powerful yagnas. We are doing lot of abbreviations of that Yagna due to our Sampradaya. In the Vaishnava tradition we don't offer meat to Devi, whereas in the Tantra they offer meat to Her. What we offer as sacrifice to Devi is our heart.”

Sri Swami Vishwananda told us the story of Prityangira Devi as follows:
“Prityangira Devi is linked to the manifestation of Narasimha but She is not His Shakti. Narasimha is a Purna Avatar. He is God incarnated. Narasimhi is the other name of Prityangira Devi. When Lord Narasimha appeared due to Prahlad Maharaj's prayer, after He had killed Hiranyakashipu, there was such a tremendous energy, that it created a chaos is the whole creation. This means that the whole universe was unbalanced.

"At that time, the devas approached Maha Lakshmi asking, ‘Please, even if the Lord is in this Ugra form of Narasimha, in another form He is also your husband. Maybe you can calm Him down.’ Maha Lakshmi Herself tried but She could not calm Him down. Shiva also tried but didn't succeed.

"Then they approached Maha Shakti, which is Goddess Parvati Herself saying, ‘Mother, you are the sister of Narayana, who has incarnated in such a terrifying form. Can you please calm Him down?’ So, She appeared as Prityangira Devi taken also the appearance of a lion. She has the head of a lion, not a lioness.

Ugra Narasimha's appearance during Narasimha Chaturti
in Bhakti Marga's Narasimha temple in Feltham UK

"Here, again you see this dual quality of male and female, the combination of these two shaktis. She took the aspect of a male face and a female body and She is seated on a lion. She approached Lord Narasimha and tried to calm Him down but She also could not. So, She pray to Him, ‘Please, there is only one thing that I want from you, 'Give me the head of Hiranyakashipu.' So, She took the head of Hiranyakashipu.

"As all three of them, Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati, who are dear to Him, could not stop Him, they said, ‘Let's combine ourselves!’ So Lord Shiva took another aspect, a lion form, Sarabeshwara. Devi became His head and Maha Lakshmi became His wings. The combination of these three became Sarabeshwara, which is an incarnation of Shiva. He also tried to calm Narasimha down but could not, because He is the primordial aspect of God, which is fully manifested.

"Then Brahma realised that it was due to Prahlad's devotion that the Lord had taken such a form. So he appeared to Prahlad and asked him, ‘You are the only one who can calm Narasimha down.’ And then, you know already the story when Prahlad went to Narasimha and could calm Him down.

"Prityangira Devi appeared to many sages. To one of these sages She appeared as Goddess Parvati saying that whoever prays to Her, whoever suffers calamities, whoever has lots of enemies, She will take that aspect of Prityangira Devi to finish them.

"Here you have to understand that She symbolises destruction, not destruction as your mind understand, but the destruction of the pride and ego. The head of Hiranyakashipu represents this spiritual pride. She manifested Herself to cut off this pride, that's why She took this head into Her care saying, ‘I shall hold your spiritual pride with Me and I shall look after it.’ She took the aspect of the thousand-headed Prityangira, which is the cosmic form of Prityangira Devi. She has a thousand heads and from each head there is fire coming out. This is called Maha Prityangira. She burns and annihilate everything.

After the yagna the swamis and swaminis made a puja to a young child representing Prityangira Devi 

"However, even in this terrifying aspect of Devi, behind that aspect She is still a Mother. The terrifying aspect is only seen by the ego. If you have pride, of course, you will see the negative aspect of Her. But if you have love inside of you for Her, even if She looks terrible outside, inside She is pure. It is said that the more terrifying She looks, the more loving She is. This is the secret of Prityangira Devi.

"Though Mahavishnu orders, Devi was given the permission to guide everyone. As you know, in the Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahavishnu, Narayana said to Devi, 'People will pray to You as they pray to Me. Through You, they will come to Me. You are a Mother, You have been given to the world and in that form, You will be responsible to bring the people who are surrendered to Me.”