Ratri means “night” and Nava means “nine”. At Navaratri (“nine nights”), the Lord in the form of the Mother Goddess is worshipped in Her various forms as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Though the Goddess is one, She is represented and worshipped in three different aspects. On the first three nights of the festival, Durga is worshipped. On the following three, Lakshmi and then Saraswati Devi on the last three nights. The following tenth day is called Vijayadasami. Vijaya means “victory”, the victory over our own minds that can come only when we have worshipped these three: Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.
At Navaratri time, the Rasa dance (dance of joy) of Sri Krishna and the gopis is also performed. As the mind becomes purer, calmer quieter, and more cheerful and greater understanding is gained, do we not feel happier? Similarly, the Rasa dance is the dance of joy and realization. But, nowadays, the theme of Sri Krishna and the gopis dancing around the Rasa seems to have been lost in our society. The true meaning and purpose of the ritual is often forgotten, as more importance is given to other types of dancing.
Navrathri is a festival that brings color to our homes in these forms. Though we are not celebrating the 9 nights this year, it was quite a compulsion for me to capture these beautiful creations during the festival.
This is the current years addition – “Meenakshi Kalyanam”. The wedding of the Goddess Parvathi (“Meenakshi”) to the Lord Shiva(Right). Lord Vishnu(Left) is the bride’s brother.