Annapurna is the form of Divine Mother which grants us nourishment. All humans are compelled to seek some form of nourishment, whether it be material, such as food, money, or possessions, or whether it be spiritual, such as cultivating a connection with the Divine.
Anna means food and grains, while the meaning of purna is full, complete, and perfect. Annapurna is the Goddess of Nourishment, She is full, complete, and perfect with food and grains.
Benefits of Worship
When Mother Annapurna is worshiped, She blesses her children with nourishment beyond the gross material things we desire. She blesses us with the attainment of perfection in wisdom and renunciation.
Before partaking of any meal, a devotee should offer Her food with this prayer: “Oh Annapurna, you are always full, complete, and perfect. You are the energy of the beloved Lord Shiva. For the attainment of perfection in wisdom and renunciation, please give me your nourishment.”
The wisdom Mother gives is the understanding that “Giving” is the true spirituality. She teaches that renunciation will allow us to remain in equanimity in all of life’s circumstances.
Holy Places of Worship
The city of Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benares, is the spiritual capital of India. The presiding deities of Varanasi are Lord Shiva and the Divine Mother known by the name of Annapurna.
On several occasions, the priests of the Annapurna temple in Benares have invited Shree Maa and Swamiji to worship Mother Annapurna there. They have asked them to bless the temple, the devotees, and the City of Varanasi. The video “Sadhana in the Jyotirlingams,” shows Shree Maa and Swamiji performing puja to the Goddess Annapurna in the Annapurna Temple.
Celebrations at the Devi Mandir
At the Devi Mandir, we celebrate Navaratri (the Nine Nights of Worship of Divine Mother) four times a year, one in each season: winter, spring, summer, and fall. On these occasions, devotees chant, participate in homes, perform pujas, and fast.
At the culmination of the eighth day, Swamiji performs the Annapurna Puja and leads the chanting of the Annapurna Sahasranam (the Thousand Names of Annapurna). Devotees offer several different kinds of culinary delicacies to Mother Annapurna and pray for Her blessings of wisdom, renunciation, and completeness.
- Annapurna Puja and Sahasranam by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. This is also available as an iPad App.
- Annapurna Sahasranamvideo class series by Shree Maa and Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
- Streaming podcast of Shree Maa singing the “Annapurna Stotram.” This is also available on the CD, In the Temple of the Heart.
- Video of Shree Maa and Swamiji performing Annapurna Puja in Benares.