During my younger days every Friday; Lalita Sahasranama (LS) chanting would be held at my home in Mumbai and many ladies from our colony would attend the same. As a teenager I never showed any inclination towards learning or even being a part of the ladies session. It was when I was going to get married my mum told me the importance of chanting of LS and asked me to learn it. She got a Sanskrit book for me and just to keep her happy I used to flip through the pages and could hardly pronounce the difficult Sanskrit words. I had learnt hindi but not Sanskrit; so just managed to ramble some mantras.
Later after I was married and expecting my daughter, my mum wrote a letter to me which I have still preserved (20 years now) where she reiterated the importance of LS and told me to atleast hear the CD often if I couldn’t be bothered to chant. And within 2/3 months of that letter my mum merged at the divine lotus feet of the Lord. This was a turning point for me and it became all the more important for me to learn the LS.
In 1999 after about a year of moving to Singapore, I met one of the ladies in my building and since both of us were not working asked her whether we could chant LS every Friday at my place. She readily agreed and soon armed with the CD and book, the 2 of us managed to get a hang of the mantras. As I was getting acquainted to new people here, I mentioned about this to some of the likeminded people and we were about 4/5 of us chanting regularly every Friday morning. This continued regularly for about 2 to 3 years when the merciful Lalita Devi sent a really wonderful person, my dear friend Prasanna who with her commitment and wide acquaintance got many other friends to join the group. As the number of people increased every one took turns to have chanting at their places. Many started working, but Devi’s grace was such that the session continued with days and timings changing and finally for the past 10 years or so, we have stuck to Monday evenings. Soon Vishnu Sahasranama and other prayers were also added.
The count of members went up to 30 in number 5/6 years ago and for the past 6-8 years we have been able to celebrate Navaratri on a grand scale by chanting LS twice daily for all the 10 days at various members places ably coordinated by Prasanna. The annual anniversary celebrations are held every Jan end/Feb first week and handled by another dear friend Uma. For this session we have the Kumkuma archanai and akshata archanai chanting the Sahasra Namavali. The hall reverberates with divine vibrations by the group chanting.
This has been entirely a team effort with all members beautifully cooperating and keeping the spirit of chanting going.
This year 2015 marks the 16th year of our puja celebrations by Her Divine grace.
I immensely thank the Lord for giving us this blessed opportunity.