Nine nights of prayer and festivities
West Bengal has Pujo. Gujarat has Garba. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have
Golu. The nine nights devoted to the Mother Goddess holds the entire
nation in thrall. Durga, the Supreme Mother, is regarded as the essence
of all creation.
There are nine appellations of Durga -
Shailaputri (daughter of the mountains), Brahmacharini (the austere
one), Chandraghanta (the brave one), Kushmanda (creator of the
universe), Skanda Mata (Mother of the infant Lord Kartikeya, commander
of the divine army), Katyayani (the divine daughter of Sage Kata), the
fierce Kaal Ratri (the violet one who is the death of time), Maha Gauri
(the pure, fair one) and Siddhidhatri (the blissful one).
are four Navratris -- one for each season. But the Sharad Navratri, or
Maha Navratri, is the most auspicious. Over the first three days, the
goddess is worshipped as Durga, the vanquisher of evil in the universe.
Over the next three days, she is worshipped as Lakshmi, the
benefactress, the bringer of wealth and prosperity in the universe. On
the last three days, the most sacred days -- Durgashtami, Mahanavami and
Vijay Dashami -- the goddess is worshipped as Saraswati, the bestower
These images from our Flickr community depict the
various moods and aspects of Durga Puja, Navratri and Golu, the various
customs and rituals associated with Navratri, and the celebrations and