Navarathri Festival Oct 9 to 19: Navarathiri - nine auspicious nights | Sunday Observer

Navarathri Festival Oct 9 to 19: Navarathiri - nine auspicious nights

The word ‘Navarathri’ means nine auspicious nights for the religious celebration of Durga Lakshmi and Saraswathi. On these nine days the devotees celebrate this festival in their homes, schools and working places and Hindu temples.

These nine nights are the three avatars of Mother Goddess in the form of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. In other words, Malai Magal, Alai Magal and Kalai Magal. Malai Magal means Durga Ma (Mother Durga) who grants us courage and victory.

This festival occurs during the end of September and the beginning of October according to the Hindu calendar. The second three days are celebrated for Sri Mahalakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. The last three days are observed for Maha Saraswathi, the Goddess of Education, Art and Music, holding a Veena in her hand.

During these nine days nine varieties of cereals are planted in earthen pots and most of the devotees observe fasting, breaking rest during night hours continuously. Idols of the Three Mothers are kept at the pooja sites known as Kolu Vaithal in Tamil. The 10th day of the festival is called Wijaya Dhasamy on which day the auspicious time is selected to commence the first letter of the Alphabet for children. This is mostly celebrated in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and other countries. The first letter in Tamil is Akaram (Aana) and in all other language ‘A’ is the first letter.

In Kerala the first letter is written on the tongue of a child by the guru or teacher with a golden ring. On Wijayadhasamy Day cutting of banana plant is called ‘Manam Poo’ during the religious observation of the final stage.

During the nine days of this festival the devotees observe austerity, and the singing of bhakthi songs, musical show and other religious and cultural activities are celebrated on a grand scale.

Both, males and females including children take part during this period with religious observations.

Sweets, fruits, religious leaves, and flowers are offered to our Mother on this day to fulfil vows.

More details are given clearly in the Devi Mathmyam, Puranams and other scriptures of the four vedas. In Mahabharatha Arjuna kept his weapons under the Banyan tree and prayed for victory which he obtained in the 18 day Mahabharatha Great War.

Our Mother is the Avatar of creating God Brahma, protective God Maha Vishnu and Rudra, the destroyer at the end.

It is of utmost importance that all Hindus and others must pray Maha Sakthi on these nine auspicious days with full devotion.

(Pon. Arunassalam, Kotagala Group Cor.)