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Fremont Hindu temple celebrates Navratri

Fremont Hindu temple celebrates Navratri
October 05
05:23 2017

FREMONT, CA: The word Navratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit – Nava meaning nine and Ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti / Devi are worshipped.

Navratri is a multi-day Hindu festival celebrated in the autumn every year. It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent. In the eastern and northeastern states of India, Durga Puja is synonymous with Navratri, wherein goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon to help restore Dharma. In the northern and western states, the festival is synonymous with “Rama Lila” and Dussehra that celebrates the battle and victory of god Ram over the demon king Ravana.

In southern states, the victory of different goddesses, of Rama or Saraswati is celebrated. In all cases, the common theme is the battle and victory of Good over Evil based on a regionally famous epic or legend such as the Ramayana or the Devi Mahatmya.

Lit up with festive lights, filled with the aroma of various traditional delicacies and flooded with the hustle and bustle of festively dressed men, women and children, the Fremont Hindu temple was transformed into a festive hub as desis in Bay area celebrated Navratri as well as Durga Puja festivities.

The pujas performed during these nine days were Saraswati Puja, Chandi Yagna, Ashtami, Navami, Vijayadasami Homa and Aksharabhyasa for kids. Aksharabhyasam or Vidyarambham is a traditional religious function in which a child is given initiation for education. By doing so the child is ready to receive formal school education, says Govind Pasumarthi, Temple volunteer.

During the nine days, devotees solemnly fast and worship the nine manifestations or forms of Goddess Durga, also known as Shakti. The Sharad Navratri or autumn Navratri is celebrated in the lunar month of Ashwin according to the Hindu calendar. Each day has a special significance, and one form of the Goddess is worshipped. Each day is also associated with one color, and one planetary body.

Chandi Yagna is the most powerful yagna in Hindu religion. It is done across India during different festival, especially during Navaratri festival. Chandi Homa is celebrated by enumerating verses from the Durga Sapthasathi and giving oblations into the sacrificial fire. By performing Chandi Yagna once a year gives success in life and also offers positive strength to face all hurdles in their life. This Yagna gives strength to win over enemies and overcome all the obstacles in life, says the temple priest.

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

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