Thursday, October 16, 2008

SL: In Dedication to the Goddess of Learning!

In dedication to the Goddess of Learning
K.S. Sivakumaran
As most of us know the Hindus consider Saraswathi- consort of Brahma among the pantheon of deities- is worshipped as Goddess of Learning. Even the Buddhists and maybe Christians too acknowledge this observation. A nine-day pooja in the name of Saraswathi was concluded a few weeks ago, all over the island. A few places in Colombo too had this function.

The Hindu Association of Lake House had a religious ceremony and cultural functions recently at the Hindu Congress Hall in Fort and also released a publication called Jaladeepam. There are a few articles which may interest readers who are not familiar with the Saraswathi Pooja.

I give below excerpts from some of the articles:

"The Saraswathi Pooja is celebrated to honour the God of knowledge which is observed by the Hindus world over. The festival reaffirms the Hindu faith in the triumph of god. Hindus believe that this Navarathri fast gives fulfillment of all desires." (Bandula Padmakumara- Chairman ANCL)

"Navarathri Fast or Shakthi worship or Saraswathi pooja in honour of the Hindu pantheon of Goddesses namely Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi is celebrated for nine nights. Goodness, prosperity and knowledge are the three aspects of Navarathri Pooja which have to be brought into our lives. Goddess Saraswathi is depicted seated on a white lotus draped in a white saree playing the Veena indicating that she sings the melody of life inviting devotees to merge into the Naada Brahmam. Further Goddess Saraswathi's appearance symbolizes purity and transcendence and perfection. The white swan is a symbol of spiritual transcendence and perfection and is worshipped for knowledge the wisdom which will guide us on the onward march to the final goal of liberation" (Chelvathamby Maniccavasagar)

In this publication there are articles in Thamil and Sinhala too. In Sinhala, Piyasena Rathvithana has written on Saraswathi. Ravi Rathnavel's article speaks about meaning and Dharma. A few articles in English are on other subjects relating to Hinduism. They are: Nanthy as Emblem of Hindu Flag (S. Ratnarajah), Siva Yogaswami: sage and mystic (Dr Vimala Krishnapillai).

The rest of the articles are in Thamil. They include messages from Swami Sarvarupaananda, Shanthi Naavukkarasan, Siva Subramaniam, Anannda Paalakidnar and Shyamala Devi Karunakaran. The other articles are by K.E, Dr Kumarasamy Somasundaram, A. Kanagasooriyar, K. Eswaralingam, Dr Chelliah Rasadurai, Chinniah Ratnavadivel, and the late Kannadasan.

Besides these there are also some notes relating to the association. The cover picture depicts Goddess Durga. Ananda Paalakidnar has written a note on the significance of the picture. There are also photographs in colour and black and white.

The publication was issued free and it is available from the publishers, the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited.

There are many of us who worship Gods and Goddesses and observe religions without understanding the meanings that are represented therein. Such publications help the laypeople to understand religions in the correct perspective.

1 comment:

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