Devi Comes Home
It began with a trip to the local hardware store and we found several Tamilians looking for the same item: deck steps. What is that for?, you may ask. Well, it is time for Kolu.
While the Bengalis begin their Pujo, many of us in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, set up "steps" and have a dolls exhibition, many of them themed after stories from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Shrimad Bhagavatham. The exploits of Krishna, Dashavatharam, Rama Pattabhishekham, Shiva-Parvathi, Durga-Lakshmi-Saraswathi, Ganesha, Santa Clause, Buddha, Sai Baba, every one exists in harmony, rubbing shoulders with each other, adorning the "steps". There are always odd number of steps- three, five, seven, or in some elaborate ones, nine and so on!
My Gujarati friends are gearing up for nine nights of Raas Garbha and there are several Non Profits hosting Raas Garbas as fundraisers which are jam packed. You will never feel that you are in America, given the next few days: Everyone is decked up in their Indian finery, going to temples, attending Paats, Jagarans, Raas nights and Kolus.
The weather has turned cooler reminding us that autumn is here. The tree tops are slowly turning color, getting tinged with yellow, orange and red. My Jewish friends celebrate their "New year" (Rosh Hashana) on Mahalaya Amavasya and on Vijaya Dashami, Yom Kippur.
The Kalash, symbolic of the universe, represents the Devi, during these nine days. Chanting and recitations from special texts, especially Durga Saptashati (called Chandi Paat, in the North) are part of the festivities.
The Devi is here, ready to be propitiated for the next nine days. Let us reflect upon the mysteries of the Divine Feminine. Just as we reside in our mother's womb for 9 months, these nine nights take us deeper within the spiritual realm of ourselves. This is a great time to meditate and engage in other spiritual practices such as fasting and Kirtan. Happy Navarathri!
Devi Comes Home
- » Published on September 30, 2008
- » Type: Opinion
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