Saturday, January 28, 2023

Navarathri 2020

Navarathri or Nine Nights is a multifaceted festival celebrated across the State annually. Typically falling in either September or October, these 9 days are reserved for the special worship of the nine forms of Goddess Shakti / Devi. The final three days of Navarathri – Durgashtami, Mahanavami and Vijayadashami are set apart for the worship of Goddess Saraswati – the Goddess of wisdom and learning. Followers worship their work tools by keeping them in the pooja (worship) room and temples. Students at this time keep their books and other study materials in the pooja room and temples for worship. This unique practice is known as Ayudha Pooja (worshipping of vocational tools).

On Vijayadashami day, Keralites have their own special tradition. Words symbolising the name of God are written on the tongue of the child with a golden ring. The child is also made to write letters on a plate of rice with the help of elders. This practice is meant to introduce them to the world of knowledge and letters and is known as Vidyarambham. Ceremonies are performed in many places across the State to mark these festivities. Some of the important destinations for the same include Panachikkadu Saraswati Temple in Kottayam and Thunchan Parambu in Malappuram, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple in Thrissur and Chottanikkara Devi Temple in Ernakulam.

History
Legend has it that the demon king Mahishasura was granted immortality by Lord Brahma, with the condition being that he could only be defeated by a woman. Mahishasura attacked all the three spheres, Trilok, which includes Earth, Heaven and Hell, and nobody could defeat him. Then Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva combined their powers to create Goddess Durga.What ensued was a 15-day log battle between Mahishasura and Goddes Durga, during which the demon king kept changing his form to confuse the goddess. When Mahishasura turned into a buffalo, Goddess Durga slayed him with her trishul. It was the day of Mahalaya when Mahishasura was killed.

Significance of Navratri festival
As discussed above it is a nine-day festival that signifies the victory of good over evil. It is believed that in Shardiya Navratri worshipping Goddess Durga can help in getting salvation and seek her blessings for the future. Goddess Durga is a symbol of Shakti that is the ultimate strength.

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