12 October, 2018
In Hindu mythology, the pious NAVRATRA’s are celebrated twice in a year, once at the onset of Hindu Navvarsha –Chaitra month and another on the onset of winter (Oct), which is considered as MAHANAVRATRAS, announcing the commencement of festive season, of about one month, starting with nine days frenzied Pooja of the ten armed goddesses of power and fertility-Maa DURGA- going to Vijay Dashmi. Lord Rama’s victory over the RAVAN, and culminating with Deepawali, the homecoming of Lord Rama after the triumph over the Evil, and subsequent Kali Pooja, which culminate this month-long festivities, celebrated with Worshipping, Frantic Dances known as Garba, and feasting with Aaatish and lighting every part of abode.
Navarra celebrates the victory of Durga who rescued the universe from the evils of MAHISHASUR- the demon king. This king earlier, after a severe penance and worshipping of several years, had sought and received a boon from Lord Brahma that he could not be killed by any living or dead male, animal, natural calamities and or by any of the superpower booned to any man and thus wanted to become an immortal. He ignored the woman, thinking her fragile and never imagining that a woman can kill too. This power made him absolute arrogant toward all the objects of the universe and started utmost cruelty including even Devtas.
WHEN ALL THE Devtas could not tame the buffalo demon, they begged Lord Shiva, for help, who advised them to unite together and invoke their ‘Shakti’ (power) including that of self, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. On doing that a united power emerged in the form of a woman, and thus DURGA came into being. All the Devtas endowed this form with all their weapons and power. Durga subsequently went to war with Mahishaasur and ultimately killed him, riding on a Lion.
One view also holds that Mahishaasur, himself, on learning of his impending death at the hands of the Goddess, invoked her and said “Durga I have dreamt of you and in the dream I worshipped you. I will be glad to die at your hands. All that I ask you, now, is that all should also worship me after my death. Durga granted him the prayer and blessed that “in my three forms, you will forever be at my feet and worshipped by the Gods, human beings and Demon.” Some Purana’s like Skandpuraan and Chandi (a part of Markandey-puraan) give different pictures of the goddess as KALI, where she is dark and fierce showering death and destruction, whereas the other form is that of Maa Parwati where she is the embodiment of beauty and virtues.
It is believed that the worshipping of Durga started about 700 years, as a virgin. In Mahabharata, the Devi `is delighting with Wine and animal sacrifices. As Uma, she plays the role of the concert of Shiva. She is also the Shiva’s Shakti in the form of Parwati. The Durga is “special,” she represents all the Guns” or good treats of the female form & spirit. She represents beauty, the tenacity, the patience, and the love
Of a woman, but she is also deadly in her wrath and fury in a fight against injustice. She fights against all the manifestations of evil and protects her devotees from all pervading shadows.
Maha Durga’s daughters are Laxmi and Saraswati, who are wedded to Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma,
respectively, the ultimate for the virtues of wealth, prosperity and knowledge.
Of course, there are different versions of Durga Pooja. The Ramayana relates it to the festival of Rama. The story goes, Lord Rama went to Lanka to rescue Sita from Ravana. Rama invoked the Devi Maa to seek her blessings before leaving for Lanka. While worshipping her for the blessings, he had offered 1oo Neelkamals as offering to Goddess but could get only 99 Neelkamals. Thus to make up for the shortage of one, he offered one of his eyes. Devi was pleased with the Rama’s devotion to duty and blessed him for the fulfillment of his task.
by esteemed Samarth member, Shri Ramesh C. Srivastava
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