Brahma Kumaris Retreat Center in Marin celebrates Navratri

Lakshmi, one of the five goddesses in the Jhanki in Navratri celebration at the Anubhuti Retreat Center Lakshmi, one of the five goddesses in the Jhanki in Navratri celebration at the Anubhuti Retreat Center

Brahma Kumaris Anubhuti Retreat Center in Novato, CA hosted Navratri both to bring out the significance of the festival as well as celebrate the rich tradition associated with it. A mixed crowd of 300 people from different cultures attended the celebration from as far as Sacramento, Fresno & Tracy.

Live garba music by Kirit Bavishi and company inspired people to join the harmonious dance. Those who were new to this tradition were taught the dance, until the floor was completely full with people swaying and clapping in unison. Sister Vaishali gave a talk unravelling the significance of the festival and why the goddesses are worshipped in India during this season leading up to Dusshera. Sister said "We worship 'Shivshakti' but what connection does Shiva have with shaktis? The shaktis are the memorial of souls who were companions of Supreme Soul Shiva, the Ocean of all powers. This power from the Supreme dispels the darkness of ignorance in the soul, resulting in the experience of peace, happiness and contentment. These shaktis radiate the powers even today from their idols in the temples". Sister Hema led a meditation with a guided commentary that took people to a deep state of peace.

The main attraction of the evening was the Jhanki or live goddess pageant. Five young women were dressed as Amba, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kali, creating a powerful scene. A commentary explaining what each goddess represented along with a hymn sung to that deity were played as the spotlight shone of each of them. People described this experience to be awe inspiring. The evening concluded with a sumptuous dinner.

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