North Shore Indians plan Navaratri Festival

Venkat Raman

Aucklanders in general and residents of North Shore and beyond in particular, will have an opportunity to watch Navaratri celebrations and perhaps participate in the proceedings as a two-day festival gets ahead later month.

North Shore Indian Association is organising the Festival on October 12 and October 13, 2018 at the North Shore Event Centre, Silverfield, Off Porana Road in Glenfield.

Association Treasurer Mayank Patel said that the Festival, ninth in an annual series, brings together not only Hindu women and families but also people from other ethnic groups.

Invoking Blessings of Durga

“During Navaratri, we invoke the energy aspect of God in the form of the Universal Mother, commonly referred as ‘Durga.’ The name means ‘Remover of Miseries of Life.’ She is also referred to as ‘Devi’ (Goddess) or ‘Shakti’ (Energy or Power),” he said.

Mr Patel said that this energy helps God to create and protect the Universe and destroy evil.

“It can be said that God is motionless, absolutely changeless, and the Divine Mother Durga, does everything. Our worship of Shakti re-confirms the scientific theory that energy is imperishable. It cannot be created or destroyed,” he said.

Mr Patel said that the two-day Festival is being supported by a number of commercial organisations and volunteers.

“We thank them for their patronage. Visitors to the two-day Festival will have access to free parking of their vehicles,” he said.

“North Shore Indian Association is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to community services. We keep alive our great Indian culture and tradition and teach our children the intrinsic traditional values and our Heritage,” Mr Patel added.

Extolling the Power of Women

Hindu women mark nine nights to worship Goddess Shakti or Durga once a year, preceding Diwali. Also known as ‘Dassera,’ the nine nights are spent in dancing, prayer and companionship, emphasising the importance of womanhood.

The killing of a demon by a Deity is not mere physical annihilation, but liberation, a manifestation of divine grace.

Rama liberated Ravana, and Krishna did the same with the vile Kansa.

This is however the maximum they could give to the villains.

These demons were rarely shown in any of the worshipped images.

Compassionate Durga

It is only the supremely compassionate Goddess Durga who gives space in Her image to the principal demon she killed, thus ensuring that he too is worshipped along with Her.

If this is the grace that the Goddess showers on a villain, then, can there be a measure of the blessings She bestows on her loving devotees.

The Navaratri (nine nights) Festival is a celebration of this Great Goddess, in which the actual worship is divided into three parts, where She is worshipped in her three essential forms.

The two principal scriptures of the Goddess – The Devi Mahatmya and the Devi Bhagavad Purana, highlight these aspects with highly instructive and symbolic stories.

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