The get-togethers which Navratri-Golu festival offers overwhelms your mind. You meet relatives, know they’re well being and old friends. Thicken the bond, reminisce memories together and fill yourself with the warmth. You make new friends! And call them over! Relationships are the real treasure. Friendship, caring and sharing make life more beautiful. The giggles, the chuckles, the laughter, the fun-filled moments, some complaints about life, some resolutions and many such other things. Many times meeting a friend/relative is also about meeting their pets. Just back from one such meet and had many people come over at my place.
About Saraswati Puja:
In South India, we celebrated Saraswati Puja, today. Goddess Saraswati epitomises knowledge. Knowledge of arts and music, knowledge of maths, accounting and sciences wisdom and the eternal truth. God is formless. Worshipping Saraswati means constant learning and development!
या कुन्देन्दुतुषारहारधवला या शुभ्रवस्त्रावृता
या वीणावरदण्डमण्डितकरा या श्वेतपद्मासना।
या ब्रह्माच्युत शंकरप्रभृतिभिर्देवैः सदा वन्दिता
सा मां पातु सरस्वती भगवती निःशेषजाड्यापहा॥१॥(Hymn in Sanskrit)
Goddess Saraswathi is always clad in white saree(Indian Attire) representing that one should be free from Worldly materialistic pleasures to attain any merit at learning. You should have a pure heart while acquiring knowledge.
She holds Veena the musical instrument. Well, Veena is a very difficult instrument to play. It takes a lifetime to learn this art. This points to the fact that life is also most difficult to live. But with hard work, perseverance and penance, the knack to live life satisfactorily can be mastered.
She holds the Rosary in one hand(out of the four hands). Rosary denotes the ‘Sankhya Shastra’ or the different sciences and the maths behind counting/accountancy.
She is the one holding a book. Undoubtedly the book she holds is the four Vedas of Hindus.
A pot of water:
She is also seen to hold a pot of water/kalasham. It is to make us realize that the water in the pot and that in the ocean/bigger water bodies is only one. This philosophy is called ‘ Advait’. The deity and the devotee are all one. One should constantly strive to realize this phenomenon. We aren’t two. The universe is one.
Her vehicle/vahanam is the bird, Swan. It is believed that Hamsapakshi or the bird Swan has the ability to separate water and milk. Thus, consuming the milk and leaving behind the residual water.
We as human beings need to attain that highest self-realization by separating the material objectives and the spiritual subject.
The ritual is to pray the Goddess for blessing us with hard work, perseverance and the power of meditation. The last three days of Golu/Navratri various rituals are performed to pray Goddess Saraswati in her idol form. The custom is to install her idol with hymns, shlokas and part with her on the last day. The idol is put to sleep on the last day of Golu, thus, calling off the festival.
I wonder do we ever part with our Deity! Happy Dussehra everyone!