Sagun Nirgun

39: O, Let’s Celebrate

Festivals have a special importance in Indian culture. Human beings love celebrations. Festivals are the means to spread joy and happiness.

Indian festivals are associated with the seasons. As a result, these festivals are the source of health, wealth and prosperity. Among the various festivals celebrated in India, ‘Sharadiya Navratri Mahotsav’ is celebrated to worship Goddess Chandika. The festival comes in the month of Ashwin of the Hindu Calendar. Goddess Chandika represents Shakti, hence worshipping this ‘Shakti’ not only empowers an individual but also the society and the nation.

Indian scriptures, the Puranas state the importance of worshipping Shakti. Navratri is celebrated for nine days beginning with Ashwin Shuddha Pratipada to Navami. The goddess exists during these nine days as Jaya, Vijaya, Ajita, and Aparajita. In the Devi Mahatmya text, Adisakti is described as possessing tremendous power to destroy evil tendencies. It does so by assuming the forms of ‘Mahakali-Mahalaxmi-Mahasaraswati’. On the first day, Ghatasthapana and Akhand Nandadeep are part of Navratri. Kumarika Pujan, Saraswati Pujan is also performed. Sage Agasti advised Lord Shree Ramachandra to celebrate the ‘Navratri festival’. Shastras say that everyone should celebrate Navratri festival with enthusiasm as a family.

In India, there is a tradition of celebrating the ‘Vijaya Dashami’ festival after this festival. On this day Prabhu Ramachandra left to gain victory over Ravana. Chatrapati Shivaji also left on this day to conquer his enemy. This day symbolizes “Victory.” Let’s see the importance of this from the incident. Raghuraja, of Raghukula dynasty, donated his entire property. As a result, his treasury was empty. When Kautsa, a disciple of Varatanu Rishi, asked for Raghuraja for big gurudakshina, Raghuraja sought out Kubera for help. Kubera was aware of Raghuraja’s abilities and fearing that he would lose the war if he did not give the property, Kubera showered gold on the Shami tree. Raghuraja gave all this gold to Kautsa. Kautsa took this donation and left for gurukula. Hence the Shami tree is worshipped on Vijaya Dashami as a ‘symbol of glory’. Similarly, in the Mahabharata, the Pandavas hid their divine weapons on this tree. Shami or Apta leaves are a symbol of gold and people all over the country distribute the leaves. The noble sentiment behind it is ‘Let us all enjoy each other’s prosperity.’


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