It certainly feels like winter has outstayed its visit. Take for instance our first ever crisp Holi or #Snoli…which, the GHS Preston celebrated grandly despite the icy floor. Thank you, to GHS Preston management committee for organising #Snoli2018! A Big thank you to the Hari-Bhakto/devotees, for embracing the chilly winds of the east and attending #PrestonSnoli.
But rest assured, the colorful fanfares and ringing bells have now commenced…..NavaDurga (Durga in nine forms) is here!
For Hinduism, the crisp spring welcomes celebration of Godess Durga for Chaitra Navratri (March-April).
As you know, the word “Navratri” is a conjunction of two words “nava” (meaning “nine”) and “ratri” (meaning “night”)..….but hang on a second…isn’t it abit early to get our Bangles, dangles and shimmery dresses out?
No! It certainly is not! Amongst the copious amounts of Easter eggs and the Easter bunnies we are also celebrating one of the most sacred festivals in Hinduism. Chaitra Navrati worships Goddess Durga or Shakti, which represents the feminine energy of the universe, in her 9 beautiful forms with great reverence.
That’s right, the main festival of Navratri occurs not once but twice every year!
The well-liked Ashwina Navratri falls in the month of Ashwina, (September – October). This one, is the most common and most popularly celebrated by the Hindus.
The other is named as Chaitra Navratri, observed in the month of Chaitra (March – April) not known to many.
Both Navratris occur during the interval of seasonal changes and the astronomical equinox. Throughout this period, our Durga Maa, (beautiful Mother-Nature), assumes a major change, shifting from one set of colours to another.
During both these Navratris, the length of the daytime is roughly equal to the length of the night-time, making it the perfect setting to embrace the festivities.
Chaitra Navratri is a lot quieter. Here, we crawl out of our winter cocoons and rejoice in the beauty of Spring, its fruits and colours.
In the UK, whilst the usual Navrati ‘dhoom-dham’ is not present at this time of year, being the quieter festival of the two, it gives us time to refresh, dust our minds and focus inward. A sort of spring-cleaning of the mind, ready for the festive season which will continue to roll forwards consecutively until the end of the year.
At the temple, there have been daily readings of the Ram-Charit Manas from 7pm – 9pm for the duration of the 9 days, which will conclude on Sunday with the epic birth of Shree Ram, Vishnus 7th Avatar, on Ramnavmi.
Ram + Charit (deeds or character) + Manas (Lake) =
The Lake of Deeds of Ram
It is said by mentally visiting this auspicious ‘Manas’ ‘Lake’ rids one of sins and inspires good deeds to be taken by the reader. At the time of writing this blog, we are at the grand wedding of Princess Sita and Ram, Prince of Ayodhya.
Quietly, celebrating this epic wedding, whilst the stream of ancient words flow into the devotees ears, is a complete contrast to the celebrations that occur during Ashwina Navrati.
According to the Hindu Puranas and scriptures, Chaitra Navratri was the most important Navratri in which Goddess Shakti was worshipped, until Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga in the ‘Ashwin’ month during the Ramayana war.
Ashwin Navrati celebrates the homecoming of our Lord from exile…
Chaitra Navarati celebrates the birth and appearance of our Dear Shree Ram.
On this holy occasion of Chaitra Navratri and Rama Navami, GHS Preston wishes the Blessings of Maa Durga and Shree Ram be with your and your family. May your heart and home be filled with happiness, peace and prosperity.
Jai Shree Ram
#Ramnavmi #ChaitraNavratri #GHSPreston #Preston
Guest Author- Jagrutee Patel