Navaratri/Dussehra - Victory over Ignorance!

Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit and this festival is celebrated at nights in the Hindu temples and homes. It is a colorful festival, celebrated throughout India in different names like Navaratri, Dussehra or Durga Pooja. The basis of this festival is to celebrate the Destruction of evil power, Appreciation of Spiritual & Material Riches and Enlightenment. These three factors are represented by Goddesses Durga (Parvathi), Lakshmi and Saraswathi respectively. During Navaratri, 3 days are dedicated for each Goddess successively.

In temples, deities are adorned in various forms of the Goddesses in the evenings and special prayers are conducted at nights. On the 9th day, in most of the temples all 3 forms of the goddesses are presented!

This is from my family's trust temple. For SOOC Sunday

In the above shot, Saraswathi the goddess of education (enlightenment) is on the 1st left and she holds Veena (a classical musical instrument). Lakshmi the goddess of wealth is in the center and the next is Durga or Parvathi the goddess of power. At homes, children celebrate by arranging dolls to depict various religious and day to day life activities and it is called as Kolu. So, in this season, handicraft shops and shops beside the temples sell colorful dolls.

Kolu dolls at Pudhu Mandabam in Meenakshi Amman temple, Madurai, India

Ninth day of celebration is also called as Saraswathi Pooja. As children, we were always looking forward to this day, mainly because our school books would be kept in prayers and left overnight in front of the deity, which meant we didn't have to TOUCH the books^^.

After 9 days of celebration, 10th day is called as Vijayadasami. There is a belief that Lord Rama killed Ravana (demonic ruler of Srilanka) on that day, hence it is considered as triumph over evilness. This epic war is enacted in most of the Vaishnava temples.

Rama from (Sourashtra) South Krishnan Temple, Madurai. For Skywatch.

This shot shows Lord Rama with bow and arrow!

Spiritually, Vijayadasami means victory over ignorance and gain enlightenment. Hence, goddess Saraswathi is given importance on this day and in South India, this is the most auspicious day to start a child's education. Most of the schools take new admissions for Reception classes!


Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Very interesting post and nice photos.

Regards and best wishes

clairz said...

Thank you for this peek into life and culture in your country.

Teresa said...

Great pictures. I love the bright colors!

gengen said...

This is cool one for SOOC Sunday.

Fatima College English Literature said...

Hi vaish! good to know that you enjoy Navaratri festival! Do you
have Golu at home!Let me know when you are in town!

ladyfi said...

How lovely and colourful!

VaishVijay said...

@ Geetha Mam - TQ for visiting my blog!

Yes, I do enjoy Navaratri and almost every year, I tell my daughter about the festivities we used to have in Madurai when I was about her age!

No, I don't have kolu at home.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Enjoyed this post very much.

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