Bala Swamiji explains Sree Chakra Puja procedure, as requested by Sri Appaji for the benefit of devotees:
"We are already in the 4th day of Navaratri. Soon the 9th day will also be upon us. Time flies. You are writing Sri Mata and chanting mantras and doing parayana.
During this Navaratri, everyone must know how mother Goddess is being worshiped. This is Pujya Appaji’s wish. Navavarana archana is the greatest amongst all forms of worship. This is mentioned in the Puranas.
Sometimes, puja would be performed till 5pm in the 70s, 80s and 90s. for the past ten years, since HH’s 70th birthday, the puja time has shortened but it still feels very elaborate to us. What we are seeing now is only a small part of the puja. In the morning, Sri Appaji gives us darshan in the form of mother goddess. After praying to Gomata and worshiping all the Gods, His Holiness (Sri Appaji) performs Dwara puja- praying to the doorway to the entire platform where puja is performed.
The mahadvaram here is Goddess’ temple. In the swing, for dolatsavam, Mother Goddess is placed. Praying for elements and minds to be purified, so that we may witness the puja, is then performed sometimes behind the curtains.
Benefits of Pancha Gavya
Pancha gavya- 5 ingredients related to the cow are mixed- milk, curd, ghee, gomaya (cow dung) and cow urine are mixed. These are given as Teertham to everyone who partakes in this worship. For 40 days, if we take pancha gavya, we will see immense benefits. The knot in the throat which radiates energy to the entire body, is cleansed. Ayurveda says pancha gavya heals thyroid related problems.
On the stage we can see many tables which we must consider as asanas in Manidveepa for Devi. HH then prays to Ganapati and then rings the bell to invite all the Gods. By lighting the lamp, all the Gods of Light- Narasimha Swami, Subramanya Swami and Jvala Malini are invoked. By performing kalasha puja (to the pot), sacred waters from holy rivers are invoked. Water is then sprinkled on all the ingredients for the puja.
Ancient, unique murtis
While we witness Sri Chakra puja every day, (we can observe) where Rajata (silver) is predominant. A very ancient Ganapati was given to HH when He visited a king’s home as a young boy. The king’s wife, delighted to see HH, gifted the Ganapati to His Holiness so that it would be worshiped every day. Lakshmi Narasimha Swami was also gifted. His Holiness’ father’s family have been worshiping Swami for many generations. Once, when they thought they had lost all the puja articles, the beams gave way and a chest bearing all puja articles fell down. The Swami was then given to His Holiness and everyday puja is done to this Lakshmi Narasimha Swami. A crystal Shiva Linga which emerged during Homa, is also part of the Sri Chakra puja. Teertham after abhishekam is performed, is given in the afternoon. You must all partake of this Teertha. With 5 ingredients, Abhishekam is performed. All the murtis seen in Mysore, are not seen here today, since it’s not possible to carry everything during travel. Trained priests are offering worship to them in Mysore.
Haridra Sri Chakra (Turmeric)is prepared and a panjara (cage) is then set. She is worshiped as the One residing in Omkara. The puja takes about 30minutes till 10:30am. Then the crystal Sri Chakra to which the Navavarna puja is performed is placed and worshiped. In the presence of Ganapati, Sadashiva, Lakshmi Narasimha (in Vishnu’s place) are placed and invoked. Then Pujya Appaji performs the Navavarna Archana- only a small part of this is performed right now. If this is reduced further, it would not be considered puja. All the triangles in the Sri Chakra are worshiped and the respective Gods pertaining to each of the 9 Chakras and triangles are invoked. All the yoginis related to each Avarna are invoked. While Pujya Appaji circumambulates, beejaksharas are chanted.
Today, on the 4th day, Kushmanda Devi is worshiped as Meenakshi Devi. She bestows speech. Each day, the powers which empower our intellect are invoked as Mother Goddess. The Navavarna Archana, which is done while sitting, is done by Pujya Appaji while circumambulating. At the top of the altar, we can see Shuka Maharishi, Hanuman, and various other deities. In this worship, there is no God who is not invoked and worshipped. It is infinite- this Navavarna Archana. There is no limit to the number of shlokas, mantras we can chant and Abhishekams we can offer. We are so fortunate to offer Mantra Japa and write Sri Mata Nama while witnessing the most auspicious Navavarna Archana.