Posted in festivals

Navratri (Reblog)

माडी तारु कंकु खर्यु ने सूरज उग्यो (२)
जग माथे जाणे प्रभुताए पग मूकयो (२)
कंकु खर्यु ने सूरज उग्यो…
माडी तारु कंकु खर्यु ने सूरज उग्यो

मंदिर सर्जायू ने घंटारव गाज्यो
नभनो चंदर्वो मां ए आंख्युमा आंज्यो
दिवो थवा मंदिरनो (२) चांदो आवी पुग्यो
कंकु खर्यु ने सूरज उग्यो…

मावडी ना रथना घुगरारे बोल्या
अजवाळी राते मां ए अमरत धोल्या
गगननो गरबो मांना (२) चरणोंमां जुक्यो
कंकु खर्यु ने सूरज उग्यो…

– अविनाश व्यास

English Transcript

(Maadi Taaru Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo
Jag Mathe Jaane Prabhutae Pag Mukyo
Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo.

Mandir Sarjaayu Ne Ghantaarav Gajyo
Nabhno Chandarvo Maa Ae Ankhyumaa Aanjyo
Divo Thaavaa Mandir No Chando Aavi Pugyo
Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo…

Maavdi Naa Rath Naa Ghugharaa Bolyaa
Ajavali Raate Maa e Amrut Dholyaa
Gagan No Garbo Maa Na Charanomaa Zukyo
Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo…

– Avinash Vyas)

A beautiful poem by Avinashbhai comparing the advent of dawn, with the vermilion applied on the forehead of the Goddess. He goes on to describe that it feels as if the feeling of Godliness has taken over. The grandiose of the Goddess as described in the poem is truly the one that need to observe and behold in our eyes. The grand celebrations started two days back.

The Goddess is worshipped in different forms and every form has its own name and characteristic. Of the different forms, the three forms, namely Maha Kali, Maha Laxmi and Maha Saraswati represent the Female trinity. Again all the three forms are just one of the different forms of the omnipresent. The three signify destruction, wealth and knowledge as well as death, prosperity and birth respectively. They are also worshipped as consorts of Shiv, Vishnu and Brahma respectively.

These days of Nav Ratri (Nine Nights) actually mean 10 days. The 10 days of the battle between Mahisasur and The Goddess Durga. On the 10th day, the Asur was slained and is celebrated as Dusshara (दशहरा). An Asur is someone who is enjoying life and is completely immersed in one’s senses and worldly gratifications only and denies the existence of anything except self. Here the Asur is named as Mahisasur meaning a person who lives and behaves like cattle. Goddess Durga kills this characteristic found within Humans. The fight is within and without too. To overcome or slay these vices one needs to arouse the feminine characteristic within oneself. And this feminine characteristic is Durga. Durga means to takes oneself beyond all difficulties. It is the divine energy that protects the soul from known and unknown, adversity and opposition. Durga means to deliver oneself across the turbulent ocean of ignorance to the radiant other shore beyond all darkness. To remind oneself a Durga Idol/ Ghat/ Kalash is installed in every household of India.

Many households especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat celebrate the festival as ‘Ghatsthapana‘ or ‘Garba‘. The flame or a Diya (small lamp) is kept in a specially made earthen pot with pores (holes) in it. The pot represents the omnipresent Goddess. The rays of light coming out through the pores signifies the importance of knowledge and strength. The Garba is placed at the centre of a circle and the men and women play a disciplined dance, also called Garba, around it on its periphery. It has many a significance. It reminds us that every action of ours needs to be God centric. And also we need to work in tandem with everyone. There needs to be a rhythm in our movement and we cannot afford to miss one step. The village as a whole comes together to celebrate.

At this juncture, need to talk about today’s Garba played in our cities. The youth today calls it Gujarati Sunburn, which is absolute humbug. They just feel that it is a place for entertainment and fun. A place where we can make friends for fun. A place to pick up boys / girls and to spend the nights with them. And then forget everything and live an uncontrolled and non-obstructive life. My readers, I urge upon you to give a thought about the thoughts and rituals which we have got from our elders through our past generations and would they like the way we celebrate them today?

The blaring music and the obscene dance steps add to the joke we have made out of such divine festivals. It affects the environment too. I myself remember playing Garba, the whole night, but it was quite a smaller scale in those times. Every lane had it’s own Garba celebrations and everyone from children to the elderly, participated. I have vivid memories of the girls and the boys playing at different times. In Gujarat, Girls playing is called ‘Garba‘ and the boys playing is called ‘Garbi‘. It is expected that both the sexes play differently. Also it was played on a single Dhol (drum) accompanied by the singing. Men and Women both sang during their routines. It used to be a grand affair and we all learnt the songs well. There were variations in steps then too. But today, the picture has changed. We just want to dance and vent out our feelings. We too like Mahishasur have started leading our lives for our senses and pleasure. We do not deny the existence of God, but at the same time we behave as if He does not exist. The time has come to arouse the Durga within us.

Friends,

Let us be environment friendly and at the same time instill faith and devotion towards the Goddess during these days.

Let us learn to develop an outlook of treating every woman with respect, as She is the embodiment of Maa Shakti.

Let us remember to keep God in the centre of our life and plan and execute things around Him.

Author:

Am a teacher by profession. A student of History and international politics. Believe that Bhakti (Devotion) and Humanism can only save Humanity. Revere all creation. My thoughts are influenced by His Holiness Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale

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