Navaratri

Navaratri or Navratri is a grand festival that is celebrated for nine nights and ten days (nava- nine; rAtri - nights).  Devi fought the evil Mahishasura for nine days and slew him on the ninth night.  The tenth day, Vijayadashami, is celebrated as the Victory day.  As the slayer of Mahishasura, this personification of the Devi is called Mahishasuramardhini, and She reminds us that evil will be vanquished.

In the Southern part of India, Navaratri is celebrated as Golu, also called Kolu, Bommala Koluvu or Bomme Habba.  In this season, people show their creativity.  They build a display stand of ascending steps.  These steps are odd numbered.  On these steps, various dolls and figurines are displayed, portraying various themes from the Puranas and contemporary times.  The lowest step features trees and growing shoots.  The step above houses various animals.  The next step above portrays the Learned and the saints amongst men, such as Meera and Thyagaraja.  On the steps further up, dolls displaying the various scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharata and the ten avatars of Vishnu (dashavatara) are depicted.  The kolu shows the ascending consciousness in life forms, ultimately reaching the parabrahmam.

In the nine days of Navaratri, we worship Durga Parameshvari, Mahalakshmi and Sarasvati.  When we say three Devis, we mean that the one Adishakthi shows herself as Durga Parameshvari who blesses us with valor and bravery; Sarasvati, who bestows knowledge on us; and Mahalakshmi, who blesses us with very many kinds of wealth.  Depending on where we are in our lives, we need the different attributes.  The One AdiShakti takes different forms to bless us with what we need.

In Navaratri, we pray to Durga the first three days.  The second three days, we sing the praises of Mahalakshmi.  The seventh, eighth and ninth days, we see Her as Sarasvati and seek Her blessings.  The ninth day of Navaratri is Sarasvati puja.  On this day, the knowledge giving books and all the ayudha (instruments) and tools which help us in our lives are cleaned and made ready for the puja.  On the Sarasvati puja day, students take a day off from studies.  On the tenth day, Vijayadashami, on this day of Victory and Prosperous beginnings, students begin new lessons and new art forms.

In Devi Stuti, we have three slokas on Durga, three slokas in praise of Lakshmi and three slokas on Sarasvathi; one for each day of Navaratri.  On Vijayadashami day, when we celebrate the win of Devi over evil, we sing the praise of Adishakti.

 

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Sloka Series

In our day to day lives, we express our bhakti (devotion) by reciting slokas in praise of Bhagavan.  Slokas explain to us the philosophy of dharma.  We believe that the power of reciting any sloka is enhanced when one understands the meaning of the verse in the correct context.  In this series, we bring you well researched meaning of the verses to start your journey towards the goal of understanding the slokas.

About the App

  • High quality, inexpensive, paid app, with no click-bait.
  • Language agnostic.  Many of us are conversant in multiple languages with different comfort levels.  In this app, you can read and listen to slokas and explanations in multiple languages.  This is independent of your locale setting.
  • Slokas transliterated in multiple languages.
  • Audio synced to text for easy following.
  • Well researched, clear meaning and explanation of the slokas from the primary source.
  • The app was specifically designed to help parents teach their children to recite and understand the slokas and also to be a part of your personal reference library, to help you in your spiritual quest.
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