During this Navaratri time you can write or do Japa of Lalitā Sahsranāma.
Nowadays the whole world is riddled with many calamities and differences of opinions; countries are fighting wars and some regions are hit by droughts. There is a lot of suffering all around. Some places are suffering from various diseases. The whole world is going through a depression. But spiritual devotees are very happy and are raring to surrender even more to Mother Goddess or their favourite deities during this auspicious time. They are mentally busy with their practice and austerities.
Navaratri is such a festival when we do more penance and perform rituals so that there is a little bit of relief (to individuals and to the world) because Mother Goddess is very kind. She would surely bestow strength, good health and good mind. During this Kaliyuga this is only the beginning of suffering. As we go further the world would suffer even more. This is a repercussion of mistakes made by humans. We are creating our suffering through our mistakes. So Mother Goddess is punishing us a little, but she is also very benevolent and gives good blessings. This year Swamiji's special prayers to Mother Goddess would be to forgive humanity. The mistakes were done at various levels - Swamiji will pray on your behalf for forgiveness.
There is a Bhajan on this topic - Bhayamu Bhakti Nammakamu (Bhajan ID 8217)
It is a beautiful Bhajan which is very relevant and highly important this year. We need Bhayamu (spiritual fear out of veneration & respect) and Bhakti (devotion, strong faith) towards Mother Goddess. This Bhajan is really critical for this year. It means, we are all your children O Mother, please forgive our mistakes. It is a prayer to Mother Goddess. You can say that this Bhajan very much applies to this year. And it will be more useful in the future too. Last year when this Bhajan was composed, we all had sung it as a Bhajan, but this year it is a prayer.
Sometimes we think Puja means a lot of Physical work. There is a more to it, but since we are all embodied beings we must use our body and offer worship. Later you can graduate to doing mental Puja (mānasika Puja). Mother Goddess will look at you kindly, if you perform Puja utilising your physical body.
Devi Upāsana, Saptashati pārāyana, Sri Chakra Puja, all are worships for Mother. Khadgamāla, Soundarya Lahari, Shivānanda Lahari, Devi Bhāgavatam - reading all these scriptures is Upasana (worship) of Mother Goddess. These 9 days the Puja will relate to Tripura Devi. Raja Rajeswari Devi and Lalita Parameshwari Devi’s consecration will take place later in December. We have planned it during Datta Jayanti, everything is ready for it.
So from next year onwards, the Navaratri ritual is going to change!
Swamiji is channeling the power of Navaratri ritual into that consecration, so from here on the Navaratri Puja pattern is going to change, just as the menu changes from day to day.
All of you must write Lalitā Sahasranāma in English too. You must all exit Nada Mandapa very quietly after this program. If you do not maintain silence, I will not come out for Darshana. Normally the announcements to maintain silence are made harshly/loudly over the mic, that is not the right way; all of you maintain silence, so much so that it should feel like there is no one in Nada Mandapa. Do not even whisper.
I hear a lot of gossip is spreading about our devotees’ behaviour in the society outside Ashrama - it feels bad to hear such comments. If someone comments my devotees then it is a comment on Appaji. I have received many voice messages saying your Ashrama is Vaikuntha but your devotees are noisy! You must prove them all wrong. If you wear mask your will inevitably talk less. Each one of you must wear mask, do mantra, write Lalitā Sahasranāma.
You are used to talking a lot and talking loudly too. It is a mistake, the mind is affected by too much chatter and too much noise. As Swamiji's one ear is weak in hearing, Swamiji cannot hear when some devotees whisper their difficulties to me. If Swamiji cannot hear because of your noise, then you will have to bear the brunt of it.
You usually talk a lot, but from now on talk in whispers only if needed. All of you raise your hands and promise to observe Mouna. Mouna (Silence) is the only gift that you can offer to Swamiji. You cannot give anything else. You can only gift material items but the true offering that you can make to Swamiji which is dear to Swamiji is Mouna.
Look at other places (other Ashramas & institutions) - all those devotees observe silence. These people of Andhra create a racket. Reduce the noise. All of you wear mask - that is your punishment. When you wear a mask on your mouth, it means maintain silence. Do not talk in Annapurna Mandiram or in prasadam queue. If you do not honor this punishment, the other punishment is Swamiji not coming out. Is that ok? We have announced enough number of times to maintain silence but you do not listen. I will just do Sri Chakra Puja and go in. Do you want that? Will you maintain silence?
One ear of Swamiji struggles to hear, so when you talk loudly, it strikes *** the other ear. Do you want that for your Swamiji?
If not, then maintain silence.
SDVT Swamiji: Appaji says - if you all wear mask, then Appaji will not wear mask and give us full Darshana. If not, Appaji will wear a mask. If you want full Darshana then observe the mask rule. It is in your hands what you want. Appaji says - I cannot tolerate noise, so wear mask. All of you make a promise to maintain absolute silence in Universal Prayer Hall. If you do, Appaji will give Darshana for longer duration. If you want that, let us observe silence and have more Darshana of Appaji.