|Pic courtesy Ludhiana Tribune ( Online Edition)|
Navratras are here again. These are the days to start any new venture, without going for any "muhurat" because Maa Durga bestow her unqualified blessings on one and all.
It is believed that the period is one of the utmost periods of piety. Maa Durga has nine facets and is discerned in in manifestations deemed auspicious for for all new beginnings. People observe the Navratras by getting up in the wee hours and after completing the morning chores start praying
During this time, people make it a point that they observe fast for nine days or for as many days as possible, depending on the contingencies and the person to person constraints. The sick, and the infirm, however need not go in for fasts during these days.
There is a custom to sow 'jow' ( Barley) in a pot and reap the 'crop' on the approaching Ashtmi/ and or Naumi. After this, rich feasts are thrown open to celebrate Ram Naumi, the birth of Lord Rama with great pomp and show in temples. Prayer sessions are conducted and young females are treated and their good wishes are invoked. The Custom is christened 'KANJAK' ; delicious meals, money and gifts are offered on the day. Kids are pampered and they wear saffron head gears.
People observe total piety and simple living and do not do anything in "thought. word or deed" to harm or hurt anyone in any manner. They always try to follow the path of righteousness in order to be useful to their brethren which . in turn, helps everyone lead a pious life.
People also try to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine to pay their obeisance and earn the Mother's blessings. It is said that Mother never disappoints any one and blesses all without any kind of divide or discrimination. "
In many states in India, besides the Prayers, Fasting and other Pooja ritual;s there is also an atmosphere of gaiety and dancing and singing. During the nine days, DANDIYA, a dance form originating from Gujarat is performed in open squares by women, men, and children .
The very same Dandiya is also celebrated in Mumbai where celebrities , especially from Bollywood , grace the Pandals , and join the pious and fun atmosphere.
This is my second post on Navratras. May Maa Durga Bless us all.