Devotees throng temples marking Navratras in Delhi

November 14th, 2007 - 2:07 am ICT by admin  
The festival is big occasion in all temples with a large number of devotees can be noticed waiting in queue, especially during early morning and evening hours.

At the famous Jandewalan Temple, about four kilometres from Connaught Place, a large number congregated to offer prayers.

“We are praying before the Goddess Vaishno, the mother of all Gods. We hope this will bring happiness and prosperity to our families with Mother’s blessings,” said Ambika Prasad Pant, a devotee.

Most of the Hindu families observe fasts during the nine-day festival, taking only fruits and milk.

“Devotees keep fasts and have only fruits during these nine days. We offer the special offerings of fruits and flowers, like lotus and roses, to the Goddess,” said Pandit Yuvraj Shastri, a priest, Jhandewalan temple.

Goddess Durga is worshipped in all parts of the country in different forms. The festival is celebrated as Durga Puja in the West Bengal while in the rest of the country, it is known as Navratras. In Gujarat and Maharastra, it is celebrated with Garba and Dandiya-raas or traditional dance functions.

Durga stands for “Shakti” or power. She is depicted as riding a raging lion, holding weapons in her ten hands.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened at the temples across the country following a bomb explosion at Ajmer Sharif shrine dedicated to Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti on Thursday, killing at least two people and wounding 17.

The Navratra commences on the first day (pratipada) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Ashwin.

The festival is celebrated for nine nights once every year during the beginning of October, although as the dates of the festival are determined according to the Hindu lunar calendar.

Navratras are segregated into sets of three days as per three different aspects of the supreme goddess and her nine forms or manifestations.

During first three days, the goddess is invoked as a spiritual force called Durga in order to destroy all the impurities, vices and defects. In the next three days, the mother Goddess is adored as “Lakshmi”, the Goddess of wealth.

And, the last three days of the Navaratras, are devoted to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom.

Believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of the divine femininity to have all-round success in life and hence the nine nights of worship. (ANI)

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