Monday, October 22, 2012

Maha Navami -- 10/23/2012

Tomorrow is Navami, the last day and the culmination of the Navratri festival. The rituals performed on Navami are the same as the ones on Ashtami. Some people do kanjake on Navmi instead of Ashtami. We've already done that so tomorrow we will simply pray to the Goddess. In India, the temples are usually full of devotees on the last two days. This period of Navratri is a time for the purification of our mind and body; that is why we fast and pray regularly in these days.

On this day, tools, instruments, vehicles, machines, etc. are cleaned and worshiped. Books and musical instruments are kept on a pedestal and worshiped, too . These are not to be disturbed on this day.  The day is spent on worship and contemplation. The next day is supposed to be auspicious to start new ventures and work starts afresh. 

In West Bengal and East India, the last four days are celebrated as Durga Puja. Durga Puja is celebrated lavishly in large scales and is the biggest festival of the year in these states. Exquisitely crafted and ornate life-size clay idols of Goddess Durga slaying the demon, Mahishasura are set up in temples and other places. These idols are worshiped for five days and then immersed in the river on the final day. 

Photo by IBN Live
The city is lit up with lights and it is literally a carnival for five days. People from all different backgrounds, regardless of their religious beliefs, take part in this carnival. Durga Puja is the most important event of the year in Bengal and on this day, everyone wears new clothes and exchanges gifts. Traffic comes to a standstill and thousands of people go pandal hopping on foot. Pandals are the ornate statues of the Goddess which are set up all over the city. It is said that over 2000 pandals are set up in Kolkata. 

Durga puja is considered the Rio Carnival of the Eastern Hemisphere. 

Hope this Navratri brings you lots of health, wealth, wisdom, luck and success.
May the Goddess shower her blessings on you.

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