Navaratri

TrinetraThe Mother Goddess is well known in Hinduism. Almost every God in Hinduism either has a consort or a feminine counterpart. Shiva is Ardhanareeswara – both male and female; Ganapathi has Lakshmi for his consort, just as Krishna has Radha, and Rama has Sita. Divine forms take birth as human in order to overcome evil and restore righteousness to the Earth. Each year, there is a festival of the Mother Goddess – Navarathri (with a few spellings) which celebrates the victory of good over evil with the blessing of the Mother Goddess, who has many names and forms.


Navarathri is a Hindu festival that spans nine nights [and ten days] and is celebrated every year in the autumn. It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of Indian cultural space, and this is celebrated all over the world wherever Indians have gone to settle down.

First three days: The Goddess is separated as a spiritual force called Durga, also known as Kali, in order to destroy all evil and grant boons.  

Second three days: The Mother is adored as a giver of wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotee’s inexhaustible wealth, as she is the Goddess of Wealth. 

Last three days: The final set of three days is spent worshipping the Goddess of Wisdom Saraswathi. In order to have all round success in life, believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of the divine round success in life, believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of divine femininity, hence the nine nights of worship.

Vijayadashami is the last day of the 10-day Dassera festival and the day after the nine-day Navratri festival. The idols of Goddess Durga are immersed in water on the day.

In North India, Navaratri is marked by the numerous Ramlila events, where episodes from the story of Rama and Ravana are enacted by teams of artists in rural and urban centres, inside temples.

Another notable Tamil tradition is a celebration of the festival with Golu dolls.  These include gods, goddesses, animals, birds and rural life all in a miniature design. In West Bengal, it is the most important annual festival where Goddess Durga is worshipped. This marks the victory of the Goddess Durga in the battle against the shape-shifting, deceptive and powerful buffalo demon Mahishasura.

In Melbourne, at the Vinayakar Temple [at The Basin] and at Hindu Society of Victoria [at Carrum Downs] every day pooja and homam is done with special events. Usually hundreds of devotees throng the temples each day to get the blessings from the Goddess, but due to COVID restrictions, these temples are streaming these events live.

 

The Mother Goddess
The Mother Goddess in her three forms.

 


 

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