Monday, October 11, 2010
Significance of Navarathri..!!!
Significance of Navarathri
by K.K. Arumainayagam
Hindus observe the Navarathri pooja for nine nights in the Tamil month of Puraddathi. Navarathri means nine nights. It is also called 'Sakthi Valipadu,' means prayers to Sakthi, the consort of Lord Shiva. Hindus from time immemorial worshipped Sakthi, the divine mother. Bharathi, the great poet and an ardent devotee of 'Parasakthi' said that one could get more blessings if he or she surrenders to 'Ambikai' the divine mother.
Navarathri Pooja starts with 'Kumbam', which is placed to invite Shakthi to make abode on it by chanting manthrams. Kumbam means a pot of water adorned with a husked coconut and mango leaves representing the deity. Since the pooja is offered to Kumbam during Navarathri it is also called 'Kumba Pooja.'
During Navarathri (Nine nights), the first three nights are dedicated to goddess Durga the next three days to goddess of wealth Lakshmi and the last three days to goddess of knowledge Saraswathy. Durga is worshipped to get her blessings for strength. Lakshmi for wealth and Saraswathy for education.
In mundane life one needs these three elements to live a good life. The tenth day falls on the lunar day Thasami, and it is called Wijeyathasami. It is an auspicious day. Small children are introduced to their first alphabet on this auspicious day. Hindus start new ventures on this day with the belief that it would bring success.
There is a puranic story connected to Navarathri. A powerful demon called 'Mahisasuran,' who made others suffer by his cruel acts. When his cruelty became unbearable, people prayed to Sakthi to save them from Mahisasuran. Sakthi took the form of Durga and killed the demon. Since Ambigai annihilated Mahisasuran, she is called 'Mahisasuramarthani.' A religious observance in the name of 'Manampoo' is performed in temples to mark this event.
Navarathri Pooja is observed in temples, houses, schools, offices and workshops.
On the Wijeyathasami day many cultural programs such as religious speeches, music and dance are arranged specially at schools and Hindu religious organisations for moral, material and spiritual uplift.
The inner meaning of worship of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathy is to attain the supreme bliss that is the atma (soul) to unite with the 'Paramathma.'
Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2010 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.