Whether it be the kitchen or reaching the moon it’s always a woman, an Indian woman. India, the land of great gold glorifying history, sharing the platform to perform variant form of art and culture has ‘Navratri’ enlisted describing the relevance of goddesses in the birth of the universe.
The festive begins with the preparation of small bed of mud where barley seeds are sown, dedicated to the Hindu deity Maa Durga and her sacred manifestations. The worshiping girl child fabricates the significant image of women in the society and eventually, patronizing the evil of female infanticide. The Trinity of goddesses are worshiped as coalesce power in girls portraying their guise in Maa Lakshmi as the Goddess of peace and prosperity, Maa Saraswati as the goddess of art and knowledge and Maa Parvati as the goddess of mature woman with love and care. On the ninth day, of the Mahanavami, Kanya Puja is performed as nine young girls are worshipped. These nine girls represent the nine avatars of Goddess Durga. On the last day, Kanjak Devi’s are being welcomed by washing their feet, offering food, clothes and gifts to them. And the sprouted roots are given to the attendees of the puja considering it the blessings of Maa.
This 9 day scheduled Hindu festival strictly and prominently works on no meat eating habit for the entire festive. If you prefer, you can observe fasting over the nine days of Navratri in the prescribed manner. The specific food eaten once a day in the evening alone by those observing the nine days fast are Saagaar’s.
Navratri puja is a great occasion to connect with the most merciful powers, wisdom, and compassion. People take the puja very seriously and exhibit devotion with concentration, maintaining the hygiene level in and around the puja room. Praying with pure mind and body has its own significance. It makes people reluctantly punctual for their good health and lifestyle.
People light the lamp and incense sticks. Do the invocation of all the sacred rivers in the Ghat and ask them to purify the mother earth. Offer Panchopachaar to the deities invoked (this means worshipping with five materials including scent, flower, camphor light and cooked dishes).
‘Garba’ is the dance form performed in Navratri, people joyously dance, groove, thump and jump on the beat of drums and play ‘dandiya’ all night which brings the sense of unity among them by sharing their happiness and inculcating the sense of belongingness.
India and Indians abroad have been celebrating ‘Navratri’ since ages with love and without any regional, cultural and sexual boundaries; tranquilizing the various aspects of living as an individual or as a group with the blessing of goddess Maa Durga to bring the holy and quenching thirst feel in the sphere of humans.
About The Author
Upasna Chauhan (DAV College 10)