Thursday, November 29, 2012

'Owl festival' celebrated in Varanasi

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Hundreds of people participated in a unique Owl Festival in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, to highlight the current state of the country's political class.

A poetry meet was organized and a rally taken around the city, with people dancing and rejoicing.

Rajendra Trivedi, a member of the organizing committee, said the festival was all about fun and frolic. He also said the poets took potshots at the political fraternity over the issue of corruption.

"It's a festival of fun merriment and enthusiasm. This Owl festival is now being organized for the 12th year running. This is a unique event where we take out a procession in honour of the owl. We target the corrupt political leaders and administrative officers through this festival. Famous poets and singers take part in this as well," said Trivedi.

Meanwhile, a poet, Saand Banarasi, said that every year, this festival had a different theme and this year the theme was 'throwing muck', which was decided keeping in mind the way the political parties have been behaving with each other.

"Every year we have a particular slogan and theme. This year it is 'throwing muck'. It has been chosen keeping in mind our corrupt politicians. As you can see today all the political parties doing is blaming each other and throwing muck," said Banarasi.

A series of high profile scandals have rocked the reputation of the Indian political fraternity — including the coal scam, the sale of lucrative mobile phone licences that cost the state possibly US $39 billion in lost revenues and disastrous mismanagement of the Commonwealth Games — appear to be a key tipping point.

Corruption has been worsening in India over the years. Transparency International's corruption index in 2010 ranked India 87th, level with Albania and below China in 78th place.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ganesh Chaturthi

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भगवान गणेश का व्यक्तित्व बेहद आकर्षक माना गया है। उनका मस्तक हाथी का है और वाहन मूषक है। उनकी दो पत्नियां ऋद्धि और सिद्धि हैं। सभी गणों के स्वामी होने के कारण इनका नाम गनेश है। परंपरा में हर कार्य के प्रारंभ में इनका स्मरण आवश्यक है। उन्हें विघ्नहर्ता कहते हैं। गणेश में ऐसी क्या विशेषताएं हैं कि उनकी पूजा 33 कोटि देवी-देवताओं में सर्वप्रथम होती है। आइए जानें गणेश की विशिष्टता के बारे में-

ऋग्वेद में लिखा है ‘न ऋते त्वम क्रियते किं चनारे’ अर्थात हे गणेश, तुम्हारे बिना कोई भी कार्य प्रारंभ नहीं किया जाता है। तुम्हें वैदिक देवता की उपाधि दी गयी है। ú के उच्चारण से वेद पाठ प्रारंभ होता है। गणेश आदिदेव है। वैदिक ऋचाओं में उनका अस्तित्व हमेशा रहा है। गणेश पुराण में ब्रहा, विष्णु एवं शिव के द्वारा उनकी पूजा किए जाने का तक उल्लेख मिलता है।

वाहन चूहा क्यों:-

भगवान गणेश की शारीरिक बनावट के मुकाबले उनका वाहन चूहा काफी छोटा है। चूहे का काम किसी चीज को कुतर डालना है। वह चीर-फाड़ कर उसके प्रत्येक अंग-प्रत्यंग का विश्लेषण करता है। गणेश बुद्धि और विद्या के अधिष्ठाता हैं। तर्क-वितर्क में वे बेजोड़ हैं। इसी प्रकार मूषक भी तर्क-वितर्क में पीछे नहीं हैं। काट छांट में उसका कोई सानी नहीं है। मूषक के इन्हीं गुणों को देखकर उन्होंने इसे वाहन चुना है।

गणोशजी की सूंड:-

गजानन की सूंड हमेशा हिलती डुलती रहती है जो उनके सचेत होने का संकेत है। इसके संचालन से दु:ख-दारिद्रय समाप्त हो जाते हैं। अनिष्टकारी शक्तियां डरकर भाग जाती हैं। यह सूंड जहां बड़े-बड़े दिग्पालों को भयभीत करती है, वहीं देवताओं का मनोरजंन भी करती है। इस सूंड से गणोश, ब्रहाजी पर पानी एवं फूल बरसाते है। सूंड के दायीं और बायीं ओर होने का अपना महत्व है। मान्यता है कि सुख-समृद्वि हेतु उनकी दायीं ओर मुड़ी सूंड की पूजा करनी चाहिए, वहीं शत्रु को परास्त करने या ऐश्वर्य पाने के लिए बायीं ओर मुड़ी सूंड की पूजा करनी चाहिए।

बड़ा उदर:-

गणेश जी का पेट बहुत बड़ा है। इसी कारण उन्हें लंबोदर भी कहा जाता है। लंबोदर होने का कारण यह है कि वे हर अच्छी और बुरी बात को पचा जाते हैं और किसी भी बात का निर्णय सूझबूझ के साथ लेते हैं। वे संपूर्ण वेदों के ज्ञाता है। संगीत और नृत्य आदि विभिन्न कलाओं के भी जानकार हैं। ऐसा माना जाता है कि उनका पेट विभिन्न विद्याओं का कोष है।

लंबे कान:-

श्री गणेश लंबे कान वाले हैं। इसलिए उन्हें गजकर्ण भी कहा जाता है। लंबे कान वाले भाग्यशाली होते हैं। लंबे कानों का एक रहस्य यह भी है कि वह सबकी सुनते हैं और अपनी बुद्धि और विवेक से ही किसी कार्य का क्रियान्वयन करते हैं। बड़े कान हमेशा चौकन्ना रहने के भी संकेत देते हैं।

मोदक बेहद पसंद -

बड़े पेट वालों को मीठा बेहद पसंद होता है। भगवान गणेश एक ही दांत होने के कारण चबाने वाली चीजें नहीं खा पाते होंगे और लडडू खाने में उन्हें आसानी होती होगी। इसीलिए मोदक उन्हें प्रिय है क्योंकि वह आनंद का भी प्रतीक है। वह ब्रह्मशक्ति का प्रतीक है क्योंकि मोदक बन जाने के बाद उसके भीतर क्या है, दिखाई नही देता। मोदक की गोल आकृति गोल और महाशून्य का प्रतीक है। शून्य से ही सब उत्पन्न होता है और शून्य में सब विलीन हो जाता है।

गणेश जी का दांत:-

भगवान परशुराम से युद्ध में उनका एक दांत टूट गया था। उन्होंने अपने टूटे दांत की लेखनी बना कर महाभारत का ग्रंथ लिखा।

पाश:-

उनके हाथ में पाश है। यह राग, मोह और तमोगुण का प्रतीक है। इसी पाश से वे पाप समूहों और संपूर्ण प्रारब्ध को आकर्षित कर अंकुश से इनका नाश कर देते हैं।

परशु:-

इसे गणेश हाथ में धारण करते हैं। यह तेज धार का होता है और तर्कशास्त्र का प्रतीेक है। वरमुद्रा - गणपति प्राय: वरमुद्रा में ही दिखाई देते हैं। यह सत्वगुण का प्रतीक है। इसी से वे भक्तों की मनोकामना पूरी करते हैं।

इस प्रकार गणेश जी का सारा व्यक्तिव निराला है। उनके आंतरिक गुण भी उतने ही अनूठे हैं जितना उनका बाहरी व्यक्तित्व। गणेशजी के सभी प्रतीक सिखाते हैं कि हम अपनी बुद्धि को जाग्रत रखें, अच्छी-बुरी बातों को पचाएं, पापों के शमन के लिए सद्तर्को की धार रखें तथा तमोगुण पर विजय हासिल कर सत्वगुणों का विस्तार करें।

प्रतिमा चित्र खैरताबाद (हैदराबाद) की है लगभग 52 फीट की प्रतिमा है !!! 


गणेश अष्टोत्तर शतनामावली Lord Ganesha 108 Names
ॐ विनायकाय नमः
ॐ विघ्नराजाय नमः
ॐ गौरीपुत्राय नमः
ॐ गणेशाय नमः
...

ॐ स्कन्दाग्रजाय नमः
ॐ अव्ययाय नमः
ॐ पूताय नमः
ॐ दक्षाय नमः
ॐ अध्यक्शाया नमः
ॐ द्विजप्रियाय नमः
ॐ अग्निगर्वच्चिदे नमः
ॐ इन्द्रश्रीप्रदा य नमः
ॐ वाणिप्रदाय नमः
ॐ अव्ययाय नमः
ॐ सर्वसिद्धिप्रदा य नमः
ॐ सर्वतनयाय नमः
ॐ शर्वरीप्रियाय नमः
ॐ सर्वात्मकाय नमः
ॐ श्रृष्टिकर्त्रे नमः
ॐ देवाय नमः
ॐ अनेकार्चिताय नमः
ॐ शिवाय नमः
ॐ शुद्धाय नमः
ॐ बुद्धिप्रियाय नमः
ॐ शान्ताय नमः
ॐ ब्रह्मचारिणे नमः
ॐ गजाननाय नमः
ॐ द्वैमातुराय नमः
ॐ मुनिस्तुताय नमः
ॐ भक्ताविघ्नविनाश नाय नमः
ॐ एकदन्ताय नमः
ॐ चतुर्बाहवे नमः
ॐ चतुराय नमः
ॐ शक्तिसम्युताय नमः
ॐ लम्बोदराय नमः
ॐ शूर्पकर्णाय नमः
ॐ हरये नमः
ॐ ब्रह्मविद्दुत्त माय नमः
ॐ कालाय नमः
ॐ गृहपतये नमः
ॐ कामिने नमः
ॐ सोमसूर्याग्निलो चनाय नमः
ॐ पाशांकुशधराय नमः
ॐ चंडाय नमः
ॐ गुणातीताय नमः
ॐ निरंजनाय नमः
ॐ अकल्मषाय नमः
ॐ स्वयंसिद्धाय नमः
ॐ सिद्धार्चितपदाम ्भुजाय नमः
ॐ बीजपूरफलाशक्ताय नमः
ॐ वरदाय नमः
ॐ शाश्वताय नमः
ॐ कृतिने नमः
ॐ द्विजप्रियाय नमः
ॐ वीतभयाय नमः
ॐ गदिने नमः
ॐ चक्रिणे नमः
ॐ इक्शुचापध्रुते नमः
ॐ श्रीदाय नमः
ॐ अजाय नमः
ॐ उत्पालकराय नमः
ॐ श्रीपतये नमः
ॐ स्तुतिहर्षिताय नमः
ॐ कुलाद्रिभ्रुते नमः
ॐ जटिलाय नमः
ॐ कलिकल्मषनाशनाय नमः
ॐ चन्द्रचूडामणये नमः
ॐ कांताय नमः
ॐ पापहारिणे नमः
ॐ समाहिताय नमः
ॐ आश्रिताय नमः
ॐ श्रीकराय नमः
ॐ सौम्याय नमः
ॐ भक्तवांचितदायका य नमः
ॐ शान्ताय नमः
ॐ कैवल्यसुखदाय नमः
ॐ सच्चिदानंदविग्र हाय नमः
ॐ ज्ऩानिने नमः
ॐ दयायुताय नमः
ॐ दान्ताय नमः
ॐ ब्रह्मद्वेश विवार्जिताय नमः
ॐ प्रमत्तदैत्यभयद ायनमः
ॐ श्रीकंटाय नमः
ॐ विभुदेश्वराय नमः
ॐ रामार्चीताय नमः
ॐ विधये नमः
ॐ नागराजयाग्नोपवी ते नमः
ॐ स्थूलकंटाय नमः
ॐ स्वयंकर्त्रे नमः
ॐ सामघोषप्रियाय नमः
ॐ परस्मै नमः
ॐ स्थूलतुंडाय नमः
ॐ अग्रगण्याय नमः
ॐ धीराय नमः
ॐ वाघीशाय नमः
ॐ सिद्धिदायकाय नमः
ॐ दूर्वबिल्वप्रियाय नमः
ॐ अव्यक्तमूर्तये नमः
ॐ अद्भुतमूर्तिने नमः
ॐ शैलेन्द्रतनुजोतसंग खेलनोत्सुखमानसा य नमः
ॐ स्वलवन्यसुधासरजतिमन्मथविग्रहाय नमः
ॐ समस्तजगदाधाराय नमः
ॐ मायिने नमः
ॐ मूषिकवाहनाय नमः
ॐ ह्रुष्टाय नमः
ॐ तुष्टाय नमः
ॐ प्रसन्नात्मने नमः
ॐ सर्वसिद्धिप्रदायकाय नमः

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shree Krishna Janmashtami-2 Sep-2010

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Shree Krishna Janmashtami-2 Sep-2010

BHADRA KRISHNA KI ASHTAMI, ARDHRATI BUDHWAR!
NAKSHATRA ROHINI THA JAB HUA KRISHNA AVTAR!!

BHARAT ME VIKHYAT HE, MATHURA NAGAR MAHAN!
JAHAN KANSH KI JAIL ME PRAGTE SHREE BHAGWAN!!

OM SHREE KRISHNAY VASHUDEVAYA HARYE PARMATMNE, PRANATKLESHANASHAY GOVINDAYE NAMONAMH!


Birth of Lord Krishna
Janmashtami is celebrated to welcome and enjoy Lord Krishna's birth. The birth of Lord Krishna took place when the various planets were in auspicious places. It is said that God chooses a particular time, as to when he will take birth as a human and the planetary systems are adjusted accordingly.

Auspicious Nakshatra (Constellation)
Around the time of Bhagwan Krishna's birth, Rohini Nakshatra was predominant as it is considered to be quite auspicious. This is so because it is under the supervision of Brahma, the creator of Universe. Sri Krishna was born in the month Of Sravana more than 5000 years ago.

Born in Dwapur Yug (Iron Age)
According to some scholars, Krishna was born on Wednesday,the eighth day of second fortnight in Sravana month in the year of Visvavasu around 3227 BC, also known as Dwapur Yug. July 19th 3228 BC to be more accurate. He lived for 125 years and disappeared on February 18th 3102 BC on the new moon night of Phalguna. His death was the onset of the current corrupt age known as Kaliyug.

Universal Happiness of all Forms of Life
From the time, Devki conceived Sri Krishna, she began to glow and exude divine light. The prison walls glowed with the aura of the new born infant. Atmosphere of peace and happiness prevailed all over, Forests were all green and full of trees with all kinds of beautiful flowers, rivers were all swollen due to joy, peacocks began to dance in sheer joy, people in all villages started being happy.

Objective of Krishna's Birth
The main objective of Lord Krishna's birth was to free Mother Earth from the wickedness of demons. Playing an important part in Mahabharata (legendary battle in Kurukshetra) and propagating the theory of bhakti and good karma were other important objectives.

Events Before The Birth of Sri Krishna
The people of Mathura were extremely unhappy with the wicked king Kansa who put his father, king Ugrasen in prison and declared himself the king of Mathura. It was to put an end to his evil ways and other demons that Lord Vishnu decided to take birth on Earth in human form. According to Akashvani (heavenly voice) at the wedding of his beloved sister Devki, Kansa got to know that the eighth child of his sister will take birth to kill him. So, in turn he rushed to kill his sister. Kansa gave up the idea of killing after being assured by Vasudev that he will handover all his children to him. He put them in Prison. Kansa killed all the six infants as soon as they were born. The seventh child (Balram) was saved due to divine intervention, when he was transferred from Devki's womb to that of Rohini's (other wife of Vasudev).

Events During the Birth of Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna was born in a prison cell in the captivity of King Kansa. He took birth in divine form with lotus like eyes,his palms bearing the signs of a lotus and discus. He had a swastika sign on his sole. Wearing a yellow colored silk cloth, adorned with precious diamond earrings and a crown made of emeralds. Soon after the birth, a chain of events astonished Vasudev,when he saw the gates of the cell flow open and all the guards fast asleep. He immediately thought of Nand ,his close friend in Gokul and decided to handover his child to him in order to save him from the clutch of Kansa.

River Yamuna Bows To The Feet of Sri Krishna
The night of birth was witnessed by heavy rains which led to River Yamuna being in floods. As soon as the feet of Lord immersed in the river, the flow became normal and Yamuna made way for the Lord. Sheshnag, the serpent formed an umbrella to save the new born baby from rain.

Exchange of the Babies
Vasudev kept his child next to fast asleep Yashoda and took the baby girl lying with him back to Mathura. The baby girl is believed to be the sister of Lord Vishnu.

Disappearance of The Divine Child
On hearing the news of birth of the eighth child of Devki and Vasudev, Kansa rushed to the prison-cell and lifted the baby girl to kill her despite pleadings from Devki. However, instead of hitting the stone, the child flew up in the air and announced that the annihilator of Kansa was born and in safe hands.

Krishna later grew in Gokul and finally killed his maternal uncle, King Kansa.

When is Janmashtami?

Janmashtami is on 2nd September 2010

Janmashtami celebrates the birth of one of the most famous Gods of Hindu religion, Bhagwan Krishna, on the eighth day (Ashtami) in the month of Sravana or Savana. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the 'Rohini' nakshatram (star). It is generally celebrated in the month of August-September according to the Christian Calendar. Legend has it that Sri Krishna was born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and atrocities of his maternal uncle, Kansa.

Position of Stars at the time of Birth
It was only on the eighth day of the second fortnight, in the month of Sravana when, the moon entered the house of Vrishabha in Rohini Nakshatra (star) that Lord appeared. According to Barhapatyamana, the month of Sravana corresponds to the month of Bhadrapada Krishnapaksha. Lord was born in the year of Visvavasu, appx. 5,227 years ago.

Celebrated for over Two Days
Janmashtami is celebrated for over two days as “Rohini” nakshatra and Ashtami may not fall on the same day. The first day known as Krishnashtami, as the birth of Bhagwan Krishna falls on the eighth day after Raksha Bandhan, which generally falls in the month of August. The second day is known as Kalashtami.

Welcome the Lord at Midnight
It is only at midnight between the first and the second day that birth of Sri Krishna took place. The actual festivities begin during midnight in this 48 hour period. The celebration reaches its peak at midnight, with the birth of Lord Krishna, with lot of hymns, arti taking place and blowing of the Conch (shankh), rocking the cradle of Lord. The idol of lord is bathed with Panchamrit (A mixture of milk, ghee, oil, honey and Gangajal). The Panchamrit is later distributed as Prasad to the devotees along with other sweets. While some Fast on the first day and break it at midnight for others the fasting continues for both days. The period coincides with rainy season.

Legend of Janmashtami

Janmashtami, one of the most popular festivals of Hindus celebrates the birth of their beloved God, Sri Krishna. Detailed story of Janmashtami or Lord Krishna's birth has been narrated in Puranas. Please read on to know more about the various fascinating aspects of the legend of Janmashtami as stated in Puranas.

Mathura, a prominent town of Northern India and the birth city of Sri Krishna was ruled by King Ugrasen, a Yaduvanshi ( Belonging to the Community of Yadavs). He was a great king loved by his subjects. He had two children, a son Kansa and a daughter Devki. Kansa was quite cruel by nature, his wickedness knew no bounds when he jailed his father and forcefully became the king of Mathura.

Love for sister Devki and Brother in law Vasudev
Though Kansa was hard hearted but he loved his sister immensely and married her off to Vasudev, one the high ranking officers in his army. However on the day of wedding, as a result of a heavenly prediction that Devki’s eighth child will be born to kill him, Kansa decided to kill his sister. On Vasudev's pleading, he put both of them in dungeons and let them live but with a promise that they will handover all their children to Kansa, only to be killed by him.

Birth of Balram
Kansa succeeded in killing all the six new born babies of Devki and Vasudev, however the seventh child was saved by divine intervention as the child was transferred from Devki’s womb to that of Rohini's, Vasudev's other wife. Thus Balram, the elder brother of Krishna was born but Kansa thought that Devki had a miscarriage.

Birth of Krishna
The birth of the eighth child of Devki, Lord Krishna was followed by a chain of dramatic events. Soon after the birth of the child, as if by a sheer miracle, all the soldiers guarding the couple fell asleep and the gates of the dungeon flew open themselves. Vasudev decided to smuggle the child safely in a basket to his friend Nand in Gokul. Since it was raining heavily, River Yamuna was all swollen and Vasudev feared that both he as well as his child will drown if he tried to cross it, however, as soon as the feet of the infant touched the river, the flow of water became normal and Vasudev was able to cross it easily. Sheshnag, the five headed serpent of Lord Vishnu protected the child with its fangs. Vasudev knew that his was not an ordinary child but a divine being. After handing his child, to his dear friend, Nand, Vasudev returned back safely with a girl child and no one got to know about it.

Yogmaya’s prediction
On hearing the news of the eighth born child, Kansa rushed to kill the girl. He paid no heed to Devki’s plead of sparing the girl. He held the child by her legs and just as he was about to bang her against the wall, the girl vanished into thin air and told Kansa that his slayer had been born and was safe in Gokul. The girl child was none other than Yogmaya (divine illusion). The eighth child grew up as Yashoda and Nand’s son in Gokul and later killed his maternal uncle Kansa, freeing all the people of Mathura from his tyranny.

Legend of King Kansa

Kansa was the king of Mathura city and maternal uncle of Sri Krishna. According to legend, Janmashtami is celebrated as the birth of Bhagwan Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu to slay the cruel king . Kansa was a self-proclaimed King of the city of Mathura (A City in Northern India). He overthrew his father, King Ugrasen and forcefully became the king. He was very wicked and evil in thinking. His subjects feared him, the cowherds of not only Mathura but also other neighbouring villages like Gokul, Barsana, Nandgaon were the victims of his wickedness. They had no option but to surrender to his tyrannical ways.

Army of Demons
King Kansa had an army of demons who helped him spread fear and accomplish his evil tasks. Putana, Bakasura, Aghasura were his close aides.

Loving Brother
Kansa loved his younger sister Devki and fulfilled all her wishes. He married her to Vasudev, one of his cousins and a high-ranking officer in the army with great pomp and show. However, during the wedding ceremony of his sister, Devki, the love for his sister turned to hatred when a heavenly prediction warned him, that the eighth child of Devki will be the annihilator Of Kansa. On being assured of getting all the new born children of Devki and Vasudev, Kansa decided to imprison them under close supervision and let them live.

Killing of Infants
Kansa managed to kill all the new born of his sister Devki and brother-In-Law, Vasudev. His elder brother Balram, seventh child of the couple, was saved by being transferred to Rohini's womb. Similarly Lord Krishna, the eighth child, born to kill evil Kansa was saved after being miraculously shifted to Gokul on the night of his birth and replaced with a female child. However, Kansa got to know that his destroyer had been born and was being brought up by an unknown family in a neighboring village.

Ongoing Efforts to Kill the Child
Soon, after getting to know that the eighth child of his sister was born and safely growing in another village, Kansa ordered his soldiers to kill all the one-day old male infants in and around Mathura. He made quite a few unsuccessful attempts to kill the child.

Episode of Putana-The Demoness
King Kansa, sent one of his reliable servants to kill on the infants in the village by feeding them poisonous milk. She killed many infants but in the end she was killed by baby Krishna who ****ed her life while being fed poisonous milk.

Killing of Demon Trinivarta
On hearing the death of Putana, King Kansa, sent his another servant- demon Trinivarta to kill Sri Krishna. Trinivarta took the form of a whirlwind, and carried the young Krishna away with itself, in the hope of throwing him away. Lord Krishna increased his weight which made the demon unable to move any further. After some time, the weight of Lord Krishna became too heavy for the demon to handle, so he fell on Ground and died.

End of Bakasura
At the instigation of Kansa, his friend Bakasura, changed his form to that of a crane,and went to kill Young Krishna, He hit him with his beak but Lord caught hold of his beak and tore it apart, killing him instantly.

Slaying of King Kansa
King Kansa, tired of the killing of all his servants, invited both his nephews, Balram and Krishna for a wrestling match in Mathura. He made use of elephant Kuvalyapeeda to kill Krishna at the entrance of the arena, Krishna killed him followed by killings of Charuna and Toshalaka- chosen atheletes of Kansa. Krishna went to Kansa, took him by hair and threw him on the ground; finally killing him. The slaying Of Kansa ended his tyrannical rule and people rejoiced and celebrated his death.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2010

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Ratha Jatra, the Festival of Chariots of Lord Jagannatha is celebrated every year at Puri, the temple town in Orissa, on the east coast of India. The presiding deities of the main temple, Sri Mandira, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, with the celestial wheel Sudarshana are taken out from the temple precincts in an elaborate ritual procession to their respective chariots. The huge, colourfully decorated chariots, are drawn by hundreds and thousands of devotees on the bada danda, the grand avenue to the Gundicha temple, some two miles away to the North. After a stay for seven days, the deities return to their abode in Srimandira.

Ratha Jatra is perhaps the grandest festival on earth. Everything is on a scale befitting the great Lord. Full of spectacle, drama and colour, the festival is a typical Indian fair of huge proportions. It is also the living embodiment of the synthesis of the tribal, the folk, and the autochthonous with the classical, the elaborately formal and the sophisticated elements of the socio-cultural-religious ethos of the Indian civilization.


Sanctity and Significance of Ratha Jatra

The festival is also known as Gundicha Jatra, Ghosa Jatra, Navadina Jatra, Dasavatara Jatra and by a variety of other names. For the devoted and believers, it is considered the most auspicious occasion. Rathe tu vamanam drishtwa punarjanmam na vidyate A glimpse of the Vamana, the dwarf form, an incarnation of Lord Jagannatha, is sure to ensure emancipation, release from the cycle of birth and death.

Jatra is an essential part of the ritual of the Hindu system of worship. Jatra literally means travel or journey. Normally, it is the representative deities of temples more popularly known as Utsava Murti in south and Chalanti Pratima or Bije Pratima in Orissa, partake in these journeys. It is rarely that the presiding deities come out of the sanctum for such ritual journeys. The Jatra for the Ritual Journey take two forms – one involving the short circumbulation around the temple and other involving a longer journey from the temple to some other destination. The Jatra is considered as an important part of festivities and ceremonies of each temple and is considered as a special and sacred occasion.
Rath Jatra being unique among all Jatras is the grandest festival of the supreme divinity who has manifested himself in the Kali Yuga to emancipate humanity and to relieve them from their sufferings. Lord Jagannatha is identified fully with Vishnu and Krishna. In his original manifestation as Nilamadhaba, he was worshipped in a sacred Nyagrodha Briksha or banyan tree. The branches of the tree had spread for several miles and any one entering this area was instantly emancipated and was relieved of the travails of the birth and re-birth. In fact, the influence of Yama, the God of Death, is supposed to have been curtailed in the sacred city of Puri – Srikshetra on account of the presence of Lord Jagannatha and therefore it is also called the Yamanika Tirtha.

A glimpse of Lord Jagannatha on the chariot is considered to be very auspicious and saints, poets and scriptures have repeatedly glorified the sanctity of this special festival.

The sanctity of the festival is such that even a touch of the chariot or even the ropes with which these are pulled is considered enough to confer the results of several pious deeds or penance for ages. In fact, there is a famous Oriya song which says that on this occasion, the chariot, the wheels, the grand avenue all become one with Lord Jagannatha himself.


The concept of the chariot has been explained in the Kathopanishada in the following words-

Atmanam rathinam viddhi sareeram rathamevatu
Buddhim tu saarathim viddhi marah pragrahameva cha.
The body is the Chariot and the soul is the deity installed in the chariot. The wisdom acts as the charioteer to control the mind and thoughts.

The Skanda Purana glorifies the sanctity of the Rath Jatra in the following words-

Gundicha mandapam namam yatrahamajanam pura
Ashwamedha sahasrasya mahabedi tadadvabat.

Those who are fortunate to see the deities of the Srimandira in the Gundicha Temple, the final destination of the procession of the chariots, derive the benefits of a thousand horse sacrifices, an immensely pious deed. Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja in his famous Vaidehisa Vilasa mentions that the Lord comes out from his sanctum for participating in the Gundicha Jatra, another name of the Festival of Chariots, only for redeeming the fallen, the patita jana who get the opportunity to behold their dearest god at close quarters on this occasion. Similarly, saint poet Salabega waxes eloquent in praise of his dearest dark darling and says that the Lord swaying and moving like a wild elephant arrives at the Grand Avenue and rides his chariot and destroys in a flash all the sins of his devotees, even if these may be grave or unpardonable.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

**Happy Baisakhi **

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Baisakhi Festival falls on April 13th or April 14th and marks the beginning of the solar year. People of North India, particularly Punjab thank God for good harvest. Visit to Gurudwaras, Vaisakhi processions and traditional performances are the highlights of the day. Baisakhi has special significance for Sikhs as on this day in 1699, their tenth Guru Gobind Singh Ji organized the order of the Khalsa.


Baisakhi Festival

Baisakhi is one of the major festivals of Sikhs and is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and gaiety in the state of Punjab and all throughout the world where there is a significant Sikh population. For the large farming community of Punjab, Baisakhi Festival marks the time for harvest of rabi crops and they celebrate the day by performing joyful bhangra and gidda dance. For the Sikh community, Baisakhi Festival has tremendous religious significance as it was on a Baisakhi Day in 1699, that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru laid the foundation of Panth Khalsa-the Order of the Pure Ones.

Baisakhi Celebrations

People of Punjab celebrate the festival of Baisakhi with exuberance and devotion. As the festival has tremendous importance in Sikh religion, major activities of the day are organized in Gurdwaras. People wake up early to prepare for the day. Many also take bath in the holy river to mark the auspicious occasion. After getting ready people pay a visit to their neighbourdood gurdwara and take part in the special prayer meeting organized for the day. At the end of the Baisakhi ardas, congregates receive specially prepared Kara prasad or sweetened semolina. This is followed by a guru ka langar or community lunch.

Later, during the day people of Sikh faith take out a Baisakhi procession under the leadership of Panj piaras. The procession moves through the major localities of the city amidst the rendition of devotional songs by the participating men, women and children. Mock duels, bhangra and gidda performances make the procession joyous and colourful.

Celebrations by Farmers

For the large farming community of Punjab and Haryana, Baisakhi marks a New Year’s time as it is time to harvest rabi crop. On Baisakhi, farmers thank god for the bountiful crop and pray for good times ahead. People buy new clothes and make merry by singing, dancing and enjoying the best of festive food.

Cries of "Jatta aai Baisakhi", rent the skies as gaily men and women break into the bhangra and gidda dance to express their joy. Everyday farming scenes of sowing, harvesting, winnowing and gathering of crops are expressed through zestful movements of the body to the accompaniment of ballads and dhol music.

In several villages of Punjab Baisakhi Fairs are organized where besides other recreational activities, wrestling bouts are also held.


Significance of Baisakhi

Vibrant Festival of Baisakhi is considered to be an extremely important festival in India for number of reasons. Apart from being important for the farmers as a harvest festival, the festival is of prime importance in Sikhism as a foundation day of Khalsa Panth. Besides, auspicious Baisakhi day is of importance for astrological reasons too !!

Astrological Significance of Baisakhi

The festival of Baisakhi falls on April 13 every year and April 14 once in every 36 years. Change in date is because of the fact that date of Baisakhi is reckoned according to the solar calendar. Astrologically, the date of Baisakhi is significant as marks sun’s entry into Mesh Rashi. For this very reason, many people also know Baisakhi as Mesha Sankranti. The auspicious date of Baisakhi is celebrated all over India under different names and rituals. It is celebrated as 'Rongali Bihu' in Assam, 'Naba Barsha' in Bengal, ‘Puthandu’ in Tamil Nadu, 'Pooram Vishu' in Kerala and ‘Vaishakha’ in the state of Bihar. 


Baisakhi Songs

Singing and dancing are an intrinsic part of the joyful festival of Baisakhi ! To celebrate the Baiskhi Festival exuberant young boys and girls of Punjab come out in the fields in their colorful attire to participate in the traditional Baisakhi songs and dance. It is on the occasion such as Baisakhi and Lohri that one can get a feel of the rich folk culture of Punjab. Culturally, the state of Punab is divided into three regions - Malwa, Majha and Doaba. In present time, Malwa is said to represents the spirit of Punjabi folk traditions.

Typical Baisakhi folk songs in Punjabi depict the joy of the farmer who is happy with the bountiful harvest at the time of Baisakhi celebrations. Love songs besides other songs with fast beat are also quite popular on the occasion. Bhangra and gidda accompany Baisakhi songs and adds joy to the merriment.

Most often Punjabi folk songs are sung on the beats provided by the drum where 'Dhol' and 'Dholik' is the male and female drum respectively. Other musical instruments traditionally used in Punjabi music are 'toombi', 'algoza', 'chheka', 'chimta', 'kaanto', 'dhad', 'daphali' and 'manjira'.

List of Baisakhi Songs

» Ambarsare diyan vardiyan

» Jugni

» Jind Mahi

» Chitthi Aayi Hai

» No. 1 Punjabi


Baisakhi Dance

Dancing is one of the most prominent aspects of Baisakhi celebrations in Punjab. Most popular form of dance for the occasion is Bhangra and Gidda, the folk dance for men and women respectively. To celebrate the harvest festival of Baisakhi men and women dress themselves in traditional attire and get together in open fields and dance to the fast paced beat of the dhol.

The scene of Baisakhi celebrations looks quite colorful. A drummer carries the dhol with the help of a strap around his neck and beats the two heads of the drum using sticks. Leader of the dance group stand by the drummer while other dancers move in a circle. Other people from the village keep joining the circle. Dancers take turns to recite a boli (verse) of the song by coming into the centre of the circle. Most often dancers depict the scenes of sowing, harvesting, winnowing and gathering of crops through zestful movements of the body to the accompaniment of ballads. More excitement is added to dance performances when dancers and drummer challenge each other to continue the dance.

Bhangra

Bhangra is the most popular folk dance of Punjab and in recent times it has gained tremendous popularity not just in India but countries around the world. What make bhangra so popular amongst youth today are its fast and energetic pace and relatively simple dance movements. The dance is considered to be extremely vibrant and exudes life, renewal and hope for the future.

By origin, Bhangra is associated with fertility rites and was commonly performed at the time of the ripening of the harvest. Today, bhangra is so popular that it is performed on every social or cultural function in Punjab.

Bhangra dance is performed in several popular styles including Sialkoti, Sheikhupuri, Tribal, Malwa, Majha and Jhummer. Bhangra is danced to the accompaniment of dhol and rhythmic clapping. The flow of the rhythm is interspersed with chants of "Hoy, Hoy", "Balle, Balle" or “Shawa - Shawa” by the dancers. Use of props like sticks, chimtas and acrobatics add thrill to bhangra performances. Quite often dancers divide themselves competitively into pairs. Each pair performs in its turn while the rest remain in a circle. When a pair exhausts itself it goes back to the ring and another pair comes forward to take its places. This way Bhangra goes on for hours on a Baisakhi day.  

Giddha

Giddha is a popular folk dance of women in Punjab and exhibits teasing, fun and exuberance of Punjabi life. Gidda dance is just as energetic as bhangra and at the same time it manages to creatively display feminine grace and elasticity. Giddha is essentially danced in circles. Girls form rings and one of the dancers sit in the centre of this ring with a dholki (drum). Just as in bhangra, one girl comes forward and sings a boli (verse). As she comes to the end of it, the others pick up the refrain and join. Most commonly girls dance in twos.

Gidda dance is stylistically simple. Jingle of the bells, thumping of the feet, beat of the drum and the resplendence of Punjabi women in salwar kameej creates an enchanting atmosphere for it. What makes Giddha so popular is that it is not performed according to any cut-and-dried rule. Harmony is the essence in gidda movements that are inclusive of swinging and twisting the body, shaking of the shoulders, bending to a double and clapping. Giddha dance incorporate village life scenes of woman spinning, fetching water from the well and grinding. This is accompanied with appropriate boli and songs.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

!+!!!~*~!!!{RAM NAvAMI}!!!~*~!!!+!

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The birthday of Lord Rama, the celebrated hero of the famous epic, 'Ramayana', is enthusiastically celebrated on the ninth day of the waxing moon in the month of Chiatra, all over India. Lord Vishnu is worshipped in his human incarnation as Rama, the divine ruler of Ayodhya. Celebrations begin with a prayer to the Sun early in the morning. At midday, when Lord Rama is supposed to have been born, a special prayer is performed. People sing devotional songs in praise of Rama and rock, images of him in a cradle to celebrate his birth. Rathyatras or chariot processions of Ram, his wife Seeta, brother Lakshman and devotee Hanuman are held from many temples. People gather in thousands on the banks of the sacred river Sarayu for a dip. Some observe a strict fast on this day.


Lord Rama: An Ideal

The Ideal son: He always obeyed His parents; at times even advised the elders.
The Ideal brother: Rama-Lakshman's love is cited as the ideal of brotherly love.

The Ideal husband: He was devoted to His one and only wife. Kings, then, use to have many wives.

The Ideal friend: He helped Sugreev, Bibhishan and many others during their difficult times.
The Ideal King: He followed all codes of conduct for Kings as laid down in our scriptures.

The Ideal Enemy: Bibhishan refused to perform the last rites of Ravan, his brother. Lord Rama said to him, ''If you do not do it, I will. He was my brother too!''

Maryadapurushottam: He represents the Supreme extent of Righteousness.

Lord Rama's Human Nature



He displays emotions of happiness & unhappiness just like humans do. (His melancholy at Sita's abduction is an example.) Hence, we feel closer to Him than we feel towards other Deities.

The implied meaning of the Ramayana in our lives:

    * Lakshman refers to the focus on the soul, instead of the worldly.
    * Bharat signifies a seeker engrossed in the worship of radiance.
    * Shatrughna is the one who destroys the six foes (Shadripus) of the soul.
    * Rama, Sita and Lakshman together stand for spiritual knowledge, devotion and detachment respectively.
    * Hanuman is the activated Kundalini and
    * Ravana embodies the 6 enemies of a human being which are desire, anger, greed, attachment, vanity and envy.

Every Incarnation comes to Earth with a specific purpose: The main task of every Incarnation is to destroy evil and establish the Divine Kingdom; but the percentage and proportion of this varies in different Yugas. And, all activities of the Incarnation are centred around this task.

Killing of Ravana: Ravana was highly learned and possessed the knowledge of Righteousness (Dharma). Lord Rama had to destroy him, so that He could protect the embodied souls doing spiritual practice. Lord Rama acquired a gross body to help the souls pursue their spiritual aspirations appropriately.

Final Liberation: Many embodied souls completed their individual spiritual practice through the path of Knowledge (Dhyanyoga) but since their spiritual practice for the sake of society (Samashti sadhana) was incomplete, their spiritual practice for Final Liberation remained incomplete. In Satya-yuga there was no way to perform spiritual practice for the sake of society and as a result many embodied souls got stuck midway. For their progress and liberation, they were born as monkeys (vanars) during Lord Rama's time. Some of the Gods who had been cursed were also born during this period as monkeys. In order to make all these embodied souls practice spirituality for the sake of society and their progress, Lord Rama acquired a gross body.

To set an ideal for the people: Lord Rama set an example through each and every action of His. He explained how an embodied soul can attain Final Liberation by acting in accord-ance with the scriptures.

He set an example of a Divine Kingdom for the people: When Righteousness (Dharma) manifested in the gross, Unrighteousness (Adharma) also manifested in the gross. Many embodied souls started troubling Sages and others who acted in accordance with the scriptures. During that time Lord Rama protected the Sages and set an example through His own deeds for all kings as to how a Divine Kingdom should be. Lord Rama is an ideal of how selfless, free from desire and impartial a King can be!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

~~~Navratri - 2010~~~

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Navratri

Navratri, Navaratri, or Navarathri is a Hindu festival of worship and dance. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshipped.

Significance

The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are two very important junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar. Being the oldest religion in the world, Hinduism has numerous belief systems.

In Hinduism the adherents believe in one omnipresent Deity but may worship Her/Him in any of the numerous manifestations that are prevalent all over India. Navaratri represents celebration of Goddess Durga, the manifestation of Deity in form of Shakti [Energy or Power]. Dasahara, meaning ‘ten days’, becomes dussehra in popular parlance. The Navaratri festival or ‘nine day festival’ becomes ‘ten day festival’ with the addition of the last day, Vijayadashami which is its culmination. On all these ten days, the various forms of Mother Mahisasura-mardini (Durga) are worshipped with fervour and devotion.

Devotees inWest Bengal roshni lamps to celebrate Navaratri and Durga Puja
Navaratri is celebrated four times a year. They are Basantha Navaratri, Ashada Navaratri, the Sharana Navaratri, and the Poushya/Magha Navaratri. Of these, the Sharada Navaratri of the month of Puratashi and the Vasantha Navaratri of the Vasantha kala are very important.
1. Vasantha Navaratri - Basantha Navrathri, also known as Vasant Navratras, is the festival of nine dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the spring season(March – April). It is also known as Chaitra Navratra. The nine days of festival is also known as Raama Navratri.
2. Gupta Navaratri - Gupta Navratri, also referred as Ashada or Gayatri or Shakambari Navratri, is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Ashada (June – July). Gupta Navaratri is observed during the Ashada Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon).
3. Sharana Navaratri - This is the most important of the Navratris, and is simply called Maha Navratri (the Great Navratri) and is celebrated in the month of aashivina. Also known as Sharad Navaratri, as it is celebrated during Sharad (beginning of winter, Sept-Oct).
4. Poushya Navaratri - Poushya Navratri, is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Poushya (Dec – Jan). Poushya Navaratri is observed during the Poushya Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon).
5. Magha Navaratri - Magha Navratri, also referred as Gupta Navratri, is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Magha (Jan – Feb). Magha Navaratri is observed during the Magha Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon).

Vasantha Navaratri

This is celebrated during Vasantha Ruthu (beginning of summer) (March- April). This is also known as Chaitra navaratri as it falls during the lunar month of Chaithra.

The Story Behind the Origin of Vasanta Navaratri

In days long gone by, King Dhruvasindu was killed by a lion when he went out hunting. Preparations were made to crown the prince Sudarsana. But, King Yudhajit of Ujjain, the father of Queen Lilavati, and King Virasena of Kalinga, the father of Queen Manorama, were each desirous of securing the Kosala throne for their respective grandsons. They fought with each other. King Virasena was killed in the battle. Manorama fled to the forest with Prince Sudarsana and a eunuch. They took refuge in the hermitage of Rishi Bharadwaja.
The victor, King Yudhajit, thereupon crowned his grandson, Satrujit, at Ayodhya, the capital of Kosala. He then went out in search of Manorama and her son. The Rishi said that he would not give up those who had soughts protection under him. Yudhajit became furious. He wanted to attack the Rishi. But, his minister told him about the truth of the Rishi’s statement. Yudhajit returned to his capital.
Fortune smiled on Prince Sudarsana. A hermit’s son came one day and called the eunuch by his Sanskrit name Kleeba. The prince caught the first syllable Kli and began to pronounce it as Kleem. This syllable happened to be a powerful, sacred Mantra. It is the Bija Akshara (root syllable) of the Divine Mother. The Prince obtained peace of mind and the Grace of the Divine Mother by the repeated utterance of this syllable. Devi appeared to him, blessed him and granted him divine weapons and an inexhaustible quiver.
The emissaries of the king of Benares passed through the Ashram of the Rishi and, when they saw the noble prince Sudarsana, they recommended him to Princess Sashikala, the daughter of the king of Benares.
The ceremony at which the princess was to choose her spouse was arranged. Sashikala at once chose Sudarsana. They were duly wedded. King Yudhajit, who had been present at the function, began to fight with the king of Benares. Devi helped Sudarsana and his father-in-law. Yudhajit mocked Her, upon which Devi promptly reduced Yudhajit and his army to ashes.
Thus Sudarsana, with his wife and his father-in-law, praised Devi. She was highly pleased and ordered them to perform Her worship with havan and other means during the Vasanta Navaratri. Then She disappeared.
Prince Sudarsana and Sashikala returned to the Ashram of Rishi Bharadwaja. The great Rishi blessed them and crowned Sudarsana as the king of Kosala. Sudarsana and Sashikala and the king of Benares implicitly carried out the commands of the Divine Mother and performed worship in a splendid manner during the Vasanta Navaratri.
Sudarsana’s descendants, namely, Sri Rama and Lakshmana, also performed worship of Devi during the Vasanta Navaratri and were blessed with Her assistance in the recovery of Sita.

Why Celebrate Vasanta Navaratri?

It is the duty of the devout Hindus to worship the Devi (Mother Goddess) for both material and spiritual welfare during the Vasanta Navaratri and follow the noble example set by Sudarsana and Sri Rama. He cannot achieve anything without the Divine Mother’s blessings. So, sing Her praise and repeat Her Mantra and Name. Meditate on Her form. Pray and obtain Her eternal Grace and blessings. May the Divine Mother bless you with all divine wealth!"

Sharad Navaratri

Commences on the first and ends on the tenth day of the bright half of the lunar month Aswayuja/Asvina.
‘The Navaratri festival has to be celebrated during the bright fortnight of the month of Asvina, in the order of pratipada, etc, until the navami ends,’ says the Dhaumya-vacana.

Devasthanam's Dasara festivities

Sri Kanaka Durga Devi, the chief deity of the temple is portrayed as blessing the visiting devotees in various forms (avatars) during the ten day festival. A symbolic representation of the 10 forms of triumph of good over evil, this form (known as 'Alankaram') of the day is chosen as per the astrological star of each day, in accordance with the lunar calendar. This year, the devotees are being blessed according to the following schedule of Alankarams:
Day 1 –SRI SWARANA KAVACHALAKRUTA DURGA DEVI
Day 2 – SRI BALA TRIPURA SUNDRI DEVI
Day 3 – SRI ANNAPURNA DEVI
Day 4 – SRI GAYATRI DEVI
Day 5- SRI LALITHA SUNDARI DEVI
Day 6 – SRI SARASWATI DEVI
Day 7 – SRI MAHA LAKSHMI DEVI
Day 8 – SRI DURGA DEVI
Day 9 – SRI MAHISHASURA MARDHINI DEVI
Day 10 – SRI RAJA RAJESHWARI DEVI

Forms of Shakti

Nine forms of Shakti are worshipped during the Navaratris. The Devis worshipped depend on the tradition of the region.

* Durga, the inaccessible one
* Bhadrakali
* Amba or Jagadamba, Mother of the universe
* Annapurna, The one who bestows grains (an) in plenty (purna)
* Sarvamangala, The one who gives joy (mangal) to all (sarva)
* Bhairavi
* Chandika or Chandi
* Lalita
* Bhavani
* Mookambika

Rituals

The Navratri commences on the first day (pratipada) of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwin. The festival is celebrated for nine nights once every year during the beginning of October, although as the dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar celendar, the festival may be held for a day more or a day less.
Navaratri is celebrated in different ways throughout India. In North India, all three Navratris are celebrated with much fervor by fasting on all nine days and worshipping the Mother Goddess in her different forms. The Chaitra Navratri culmintes in Ram Navami and the Sharad Navratri culminates in Durga puja and Dussehra. The Dussehra of Kulu in Himachal Pradesh is particularly famous in the North.
The last four days of Sharad Navratri take on a particularly dramatic form in the state of West Bengal in East India where they are celebrated as Durga Puja. This is the biggest festival of the year in this state. Exquisitely crafted and decorated life-size clay idols of the Goddess Durga depicting her slaying the demon Mahisasura are set up in temples and other places. These idols are then worshipped for five days and immersed in the river on the fifth day.
In Western India, particularly in the state of Gujarat, Navratri is celebrated with the famous Garba and Dandiya-Raas dance. Since the past few years, the Government Of Gujarat has been organising the "Navratri Festival Celebrations" on a regular basis for the nine days of Navratri Festival, in Gujarat. People from all over Gujarat and even abroad come to participate in the nine days celebrations. It is also popular throughout India and among Indian communities around the world including UK and USA.
In South India, people set up steps and place idols on them. This is known as golu. Photos of typical Golu displayed in Tamilnadu style at a home in Nerul, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India is shown by the side.
Navratri is divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the supreme goddess or goddesses.

First three days

The goddess is separated as a spiritual force called Durga also known as Kali in order to destroy all our impurities.

Second three days

The Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees inexhaustible wealth, as she is the goddess of wealth.

Final three days

The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. In order to have all-round success in life, believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of the divine femininity, hence the nine nights of worship.
In South India, Saraswati pooja is performed on the 9th day. Eight day is traditionally Durgashtami which is big in Bengal. The 10th day is Ayudha Pooja when everyone gives their tools of the trade -- pens, machinery, books, automobiles, school work, etc. a rest and ritually worships them. They start a fresh from the next day, the 10th day which is considered as 'Vijaya Dasami'. Many teachers/Schools in south India start teaching Kindergarten children from that day onwards. Students also pay homage to their respective teachers as they are considered the third god (Maathaa, Pitha, Guru, Daivam - Mother, Father, Teacher & God). On this tenth day of Navratri in October - the holiday of Dussehra, an effigy of Ravana is burnt to celebrate the victory of good (Rama) over evil.
During Navratri, some devotees of Durga observe a fast and prayers are offered for the protection of health and prosperity. A period of introspection and purification, Navratri is traditionally an auspicious and religious time for starting new ventures.
During this vowed religious observance, a pot is installed (ghatasthapana) at a sanctified place at home. A lamp is kept lit in the pot for nine days. The pot symbolizes the universe. The uninterrupted lit lamp is the medium through which we worship the effulgent Adishakti, i.e. Sree Durgadevi. During Navratri, the principle of Sree Durgadevi is more active in the atmosphere.
Navratri is celebrated in a large number of Indian communities. The mother goddess is said to appear in 9 forms, and each one is worshipped for a day. These nine forms signify various traits that the goddess influences us with. The Devi Mahatmya and other texts invoking the Goddess who vanquished demons are cited.
During the eight or ninth day, Kanya Poojan, pre-pubescent girls are ceremonially worshiped.







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