Tag - Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Navratri

Dussehra- The festival of Victory, Homecoming & More

Dussehra The festival of Victory – History and Tradition

India is a hub of festivals and celebrations. Indian festivals have always been known for its rich history, ethnic culture, ancient background, and traditional rituals. Like any other festival, Dussehra too holds a unique story. Right from its historical context to modern-day significance and celebrations; there is more than just burning effigies of evil Gods and calling it a perfect climax of 10-day celebrations – Dussehra The festival of Victory.

Early History

The word Vijayadashmi also known as “Dussehra” has been derived from the Sanskrit word “Dash-hara”, meaning Ravana’s defeat. A turn of significant events, dating back to the ages of Gods and Goddesses, together commemorate Dussehra. Where one story emphasizes the victory of Lord Rama over the 10-headed demon Ravana, who had kidnapped Rama’s wife, Sita; another brings into the picture the triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura. Dussehra is perhaps the only festival which highlights the two Hindu epics together: Ramayana and Mahabharata. Besides Rama’s win over Ravana, it also reflects on the exile of Pandavas, the five brothers of Mahabharata.

Dussehra also marks the homecoming of Durga as she comes to earth from heaven along with her husband, Lord Shiva and four children: Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartikeya, for five days. Another historic relevance is that of Kautsa’s gift of gold coins, in the form of rain, to his Guru, Rishi Varatantu. With such great history and legendary actions, Dussehra is amongst the most popular festivals in the country and is celebrated from North-to-South and East-to-West in different forms and ways.

Celebrations across India

Ram Leela

Ram Leela scene

Dussehra is celebrated, with vibrancy and glory across all parts of the country. In North, Ramlila rules the festival. Various scenes from Ramayana like Ram-Bharat Milap, Ravana’s death and the return of Rama with brother Lakshmana and wife Sita to Ajodhya, after completing 14 years of exile. Kulu valley of Himachal Pradesh is famous for its week-long ceremonies, enactments and grand processions of village deities. Coming down to Delhi and its neighboring states; people burn giant effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran; Ravana’s brother who used to sleep for six months and stay awake for another six. Such celebrations happen in Ramlila mela, organized by different societies at large grounds.

In Southern states namely Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Dussehra is a 9-day celebration of three Goddesses. The first three days are devoted to Lakshmi (Goddess of prosperity and wealth), the next three days to Saraswati (Goddess of learning and arts) and the final three days worship Durga (Mother Goddess of Shakti). During this time, women and children make “Bommai Kolu”, artificial dolls and statues on well decorated and embellished steps. They further beautify the nearby place with colorful lamps and flowers. The final day, Vijayadashami, is considered to be crucial for students of academics and art.

Durga Pooja

Durga Pooja Pendal at West Bengal

In Eastern India especially West Bengal, Vijayadashami marks the end of Durga Puja. It is the last day when women feed the Goddess and her children with sweets and wave goodbye for another year. People dance to the tunes of Dhak and Dhol, holding Dhunuchi; married women enjoy vermilion ceremony where they spread vermilion on each other’s face and men embrace each other with good wishes, joys and hopes. Ma Durga along with her kids is immersed in the Ganges. In Orissa, it is known as Vijoya Dashami. The immersion ceremony is called Bisarjan Jatra signifying as Dussehra The festival of Victory.

Western states celebrate Dussehra on the tenth day of the Ashwin month, adhering to the Shaka Hindu Calendar. They immerse the idols, which are prepared at the beginning of Navratri, in memory of Rama’s victory over Ravana. Amidst fun and fiesta among friends, relatives and community; the Maharashtrians also worship the Aapta tree and exchange its leaves. On this occasion, they also recall the legendary tale of Shami tree, under which the Pandavas had kept their weapons during 12 years of outcast. Maharashtrians consider Dussehra as the best time to have new beginnings and enter into new ventures.

Significant Rituals & Traditions

Rituals are an important part of any Indian festival and so in Dussehra. Burning effigies of evil gods- 10-headed Ravana, Mahishasura, Kumbhkarna and his son Meghnath; spreading tikas on each other’s forehead and organizing Ramlila are prevalent across all parts of India. During Ramlila, artists disguise themselves as mythological characters and walk towards the Maidan or ground where stages are set for performance. People joins them, and altogether they burst crackers, light lamps and welcome signs of victory and good beginnings.

In Eastern states, men embrace each other and commemorate brotherhood; women spread vermilion on each other’s face, and people form groups and dance dhunuchi. Some other parts of the country witness the ritual of searching wagtail or khaujan. Residents engage in day-long activity of getting the khaujan, which is believed to bring good or bad luck, depending on where it’s found.

Gifting of Banni leaves is more common in Northern states like UP and people consider these leaves to be actual gold coins which were dispensed by Kautsa, according to age-old classic. Banni leaves are traditional gifts given to relatives and well-wishers.

Vidyarambam, or the beginning of learning, education and academics, is the backbone of South India’s Dussehra. People dedicate this day to the Goddess of Learning and they worship books, pen, musical instruments and other educational tools. Children take this day to enter into culture education, concerning music and dance.

Kolhapur Royal Dussehra

It’s the Dasara among the royals (Shahi Dasara). With the 1932 Maybach, it gives a majestic touch to the festivities and enhances the long legacy and tradition. Maybach, a four-seater vintage has been a part of Shahu Maharaja’s family and for the past 80 years, has been out on the streets, to observe Dussehra. The custom-made saffron-hued car graces the occasion, as it passes by city crowd, greeting everyone and spreading love and good wishes. The magnificent car has been a sign of traditional sophistication. The Royals clad in finest traditional wear and walk along with the car all throughout Kolhapur and reach the chowk called as Dasara Chowk. Members of the Kolhapur family perform all rituals and age-old practices and throw open to imperial celebrations. The antique four-wheeler is well decorated, much in advance and the majestic celebrations and observances, takes Dussehra to another level of devotion, commitment, and worship.

Mysore Dussehra

Dussehra The festival of Victory

 

Mysore is one of the famous cities, where Dussehra is enjoyed, in full vibrancy and charm. With a history of more than four centuries, this is indeed the best place to get the real flavor of this festival. The city holds a legacy since the days of Kauravas and Pandavas and even now showcases true colors and realms associated with Dussehra. Cultural programs are conducted across large communities and grounds and people gather in thousands to live the Dussehra moments. Women take part in various competitions, like rangoli, dance, musical chairs, improvisation and other exciting activities. Apart from competitions, there are traditional dance programs, accompanied by regional music. With such enthusiastic revelries and gaiety; Mysore lives up to the Dussehra mood.

With this, Dussehra marks an end to a 10-day fun, fiesta and gala events. Whether it’s the Royals or commoners, people come together, enhance their spirit and throw open to the festive mood. Dussehra is undoubtedly the most fascinating festival where regional dances, traditions, culture and mythology get more prominence and dignity and touches the heart of Indians.

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Shardiya Navratri Mahotsav Information

Shardiya Navratri Mahotsav

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Mahalaxmi-Idol-With-Box-Frame ₹10,000

What is Shardiya Navratri Mahotsav?

Symbolizing victory of positivity over negativity, Navratri literally means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit; Nav – Nine and Ratri – nights. During these nine nights and ten days, the three forms of the goddess -Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi – are invoked.

What’s the Significance of Navratri?

During Navaratri, we invoke the energy aspect of God in the form of the universal mother, commonly referred to as “Durga,” which literally means the remover of miseries of life. She is also referred to as “Devi” (goddess) or “Shakti” (energy or power). It is this energy, which helps God to proceed with the work of creation, preservation and destruction. In other words, you can say that God is motionless, absolutely changeless, and the Divine Mother Durga, does everything. Truly speaking, our worship of Shakti re-confirms the scientific theory that energy is imperishable. It cannot be created or destroyed. It is always there.

Mahalaxmi-Idol-With-Photo-FrameWhy Nine Nights & Days?

Navaratri is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the supreme goddess. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects. The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees the inexhaustible wealth. The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the mother as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. In order have all-round success in life, we need the blessings of all three aspects of the divine mother; hence, the worship for nine nights.

Goddess Durga is also worshipped under nine different names for the nine days in Navratri. Every day, she assumes a new character, a new look and a new duty. These nine forms of manifestation are Shailaputri, Brahmachartini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamaata, Kaatyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidaatri. For the initial six days Puja celebrations are limited to home. The celebrations acquire a festive form since the seventh day when the festivities of Navratri surround the atmosphere.

Navratri is divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the supreme goddess or goddesses.

First three days

The goddess is separated as a spiritual force called Durga also known as Kali in order to destroy all our impurities.

First Day Puja

The first form of Goddess Durga is called ‘Shailaputri’. She is considered the daughter of the Himalayas. She is a form of Shakti, the consort of Lord Shiva.

Second Day Puja

The second form of Goddess Durga is known as ‘Brahmacharini’. Her name is derivative of the word ‘Brahma’, which means ‘Tapa’ or penace. She is also a form of Uma or Parvati, a form of Mata Shakti.

Third Day Puja

On the third day the Goddess is worshipped as ‘Chandraghanta’. She is the symbolic representation of beauty and bravery.

Second three days

The Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees inexhaustible wealth, as she is the goddess of wealth

Fourth Day Puja

On the fourth day Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form ‘Kushmanda’. It is believed that Kushmanda is the creator of the entire Universe and she has created the entire Universe by her laugh.

Fifth Day Puja

On the fifth day, the form of Goddess Durga is called ‘Skandamaata’. She is actually called so because she is here represented as the mother of Skanda, the chief warrior of the Gods army.

Sixth Day Puja

On the sixth day, the Goddess Durga is worshipped as ‘Kaatyayani’. Seated on her vehicle lion, Kaatyayani has three eyes and four hands.

SC5_MAHALAXMI_WITH_KAMAN_23X26Final three days

The final set of three days is spent in worshiping the goddess of wisdom, Sarasvati. In order to have all-round success in life, believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of the divine femininity, hence the nine nights of worship.

Seventh Day Puja

On the seventh day, the Goddess Durga is worshiped as ‘Kaalratri’. As the name suggests, Kaalratri is as black as a dark night. She has four hands, she is meant to make the devotees fearless.

Eighth Day Puja

On the eight day, the Goddess Durga is worshiped as ‘Mahagauri’. She is considered to extremely beautiful, white like snow and accessorized with white colored ornaments. She represents calmness and exhibits wisdom.

Ninth Day Puja

On the ninth day, Goddess Durga is worshipped as ‘Siddhidaatri’. It is believed she consists of all the eight siddhis. She lives on lotus and is worshipped by all the Rishis-Munis, Siddhas, Sadhakas and Yogis.

Prominent Places for Navratri Celebrations

1. Gujarat

Experience the festivities and traditions of the Indian culture during Navratri in Gujarat. Navratri is devoted to celebrating Goddess Durga. You will see people dancing to garba tunes with a lamp in the hand.

Spread across Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Gandhinagar and even the smallest villages, the state comes alive with gusto for celebration through music, dance and food. Relish authentic Gujarati food like dhokla, thepla, khakra and much more at the time of the festival.

2. West Bengal

The state comes to life and streets are bright with lanterns and on the ninth day, married women bid farewell by splashing colour (sindoor) on each other. The idol of Goddess Durga is immersed in water. Durga Puja ends with thousands of devotes bidding farewell to Goddess Durga marking the beginning ofVijayadashami.

3. Varanasi

Navratri brings out the triumph of good over evil, celebrated over 10 days in a form of dance-drama called Ramlila- a traditional play that enacts scenes from the epic of Ramyana.

The ghats of Varanasi come alive with beautiful hymns of Ramcharitmanas sung over the 10 days. Varanasi reverberates rituals, traditions and holiness in the ten-day fest. The temples are thronged by pilgrims from all over the world and lights illuminate the city.

4. Himachal Pradesh

Dhalpur Maidan in Kullu Valley, where Lord Raghunath is worshipped is the epicentre of this festival. The idols of the local Gods and Goddess are brought to the ground by a procession. The end of the festivity is marked by burning a piece of wood and grass at the banks of river Beas. The ritual symbolises the burning of Lanka as occuring in holy Ramayana, denoting the triumph of good over evil.

5. Karnataka

Dussehra festival is celebrated over 10 days in the Karnataka. The celebration is royal and grand, marking the victory of truth over evil. The festival has been celebrated for over 400 years; lights illuminate the complete city. The famous Mysore Palace is decorated with more than 1,00,000 lights on the festival of Dussehra, giving you a chance to en is a rare visual treat that no other city offers. Don’t miss the procession of beautifully adorned elephants on the decorated streets of Mysore, which displays city’s royalty and ethnic culture. The procession is held to celebrate Goddess Durga killing the demon Mahishasura on Dussehra day.

6. Chattisgarh

The tribal area of Bastar celebrates Dussehra like none of the other states does. Spread over a span of 75 days, Bastar celebrates the festive season by worshiping Devi Maoli, a local Goddess and her sisters during Navratri.

Thousands of devotees and priests gather to bring the local deities to Danteshwari Temple inJagdalpur. The idols are bought using chariots in a holy procession. The chariot is prepared by the local artisan’s using traditional tools. The procession is held between Bastar and Jagdalpur.

7. Jammu

The oldest and one of the most visited shrines in the country of Vashno Devi is located at Katra inJammu. If you are looking for a spiritual experience, visit Katra during the Navratri festival. Thousands of devotees from across the nation arrive here to offer their prayers. Dazzling lights beautifully decorate the city for nine days of Navaratri. Listen to the chants of Jai Mata Di filling the air.

8. Delhi

Delhi, the heart of India celebrates Dussehra with all the joy, marking the victory of good over evil. There are number of grounds where you will find small Ravana, Megnath and Kumbkaran statues. Ramlila is performed around this area. The most famous in Delhi is the Ramlila Maidan.

9. Maharashtra

In Mumbai, the nights are musical, grounds are flanked with people clad in colourful dresses and the streets come alive with the sound of music. On Vijaydashmi, effigies of ten-headed demon Ravana are burnt marking the end of evil and beginning of good.

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Shakti Peetha

Shakti peetha temples are seats of adi shakti energy. so they are specially charged spots for shakti worshippers or people devoted to feminine energy or ma parvati. There are total 51 shakti peetha temples in indian sub continent. out of them three and half Shakti Peethas are in Maharashtra.

Significance of Shakti peethas:

What does four Shakti peethas resemble? We can’t tell why Jaganmata categorized these four shaktipeethas into a group. But many devotees gave explanations for this number four. The number four resembles the four parts of holy AUM. A kara, U kara, Ma kara and Mmm kara (Ardha matra). That is why they are also called as “Three and half Shakti peethas”.

Shakti

Part of AUM

Guna

Resembling God

Tulja bhavani

A kara

Rajas

Brahma

Maha lakshmi

U kara

Satwa

Vishnu

Renuka mata

Ma kara

Tamas

Maheshwara

Saptashringi mata

Ardha matra

Trigunateeta

Adi Shakti

Any other explanations?
Yes. There are many.
According to Yoga shastras and Tantra shastras, Shakti is present in our body in the form of 
Kundalini. It is described as a female serpent which is sleeping inMuladhara Chakra turning it’s body into three and half (3 1/2) circles. If it is activated with the help of Spiritual practices, it raises and passes to Sahasrara throughSushumna, a small passage in Spinal cord. The three and half folds of Kundalini are compared with the four forms of Shakti present in this list of Four Shakti peethas of Maharashtra.

I heard another important explanation from a devotee of Shakti. These four Shakti peethas are worshiped in Chandi UpasanaNavakshara Mantra and Chandi Yantraare important for Chandi. In that worship, we come across NandaShakambari and Bheema Shaktis. The physical resemblances for them are:
Nanda : Tulja bhavani : Maya

  • Shakambari: Maha lakshmi : Shakti

  • Bheema : Renuka : Jnana and

  • Saptashringi mata is considered as the combined power for these three.


Disclaimer:
The above information is gathered from various sites and put together only for the sake of sharing. We as company do not own   this content or claim any right on it. All the rights of the content remain with the respective authors and websites. 

Sources: Walkthrough India, My Kundali 

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