Indians all over the world celebrate Navratri and Durga Puja this time of the year with nine days of music and dance (Traditional Garba and Raas) I think, Religion is the faith which inspires one to be truthful, to believe in God and do what is right and minimize the sins. Faith in a lifetime makes you disciplined, build the courage, confidence and gives the strength. Religion grew as codes of conduct, as rules to keep society functioning with minimum chaos and this is quite obvious – all religions speak of what to do and what not! Humans makes the classifications of religion, Hinduism, muslim, christainity and all. Do loud aartis amplified by loudspeakers and all kinds of religious rally help anyone follow faith better during Navratri? Navratri festival, a traditional and cultural entertainment but how many know the faith behind it? So, why pretend its about religion? Its also a meeting ground, meeting people, an excuse for a social do and many pretends to be devout, then comes out and gossips! Religion begins at home and shifts to public place of worship. Adam and Eve were not born with religion and so, religion should not be a private or particular but faith, strong as a mountain to understand the responsibilities as a human being – to do what is right and when bad things happen to good people, just realize, they make better persons because experiences in life always gives you the extra boost and so, there is this faith that makes you stand in front of god and pray!
Navratri tale says Shakti, goddess Durga is Shiv’s consort Parvati, daughter of Menaka and the Himalayas. Shakti, the female energy of Shiv, she is mild and fierce too with names like Uma (light), Gauri (brilliant), Kali (chandi), Jagaddhatri as Amba, Bhadrakali and Bhairavi (terrible). When the gods after a long war were defeated by the demons headed by Mahishasura, the buffalo demon, were driven away from heaven, they approached Brahma who took them to Vishnu and Siva. Durga took the task of ridding the world of oppression and in the fierce combat, she killed the powerful demons and then came to face with their kind Mahishasura, who was considered invincible. Mahishasura changed his form from buffalo to a lion. When she chopped him, he turned to human form and when he was struck with her sword, he became an elephant, again to resume his buffalo form. Finally, trapped under her foot as her spear pierced his chest. This Mahishasura represents the animal instinct in man which is sometimes too powerful to control but must be controlled by supreme god. Greed, temptation, gossip, bickerings, self centeredness and any evil disguises are to be overcome otherwise it is the end like Mahishasura. The goddess reflects the noble intentions and kind deeds, determination to end exploitation and stand by the righteousness. This is the faith that is built in the human heart, a message of Navratri, the killing of evil thoughts, Mahishasura. Rama is said to have performed Durga Puja to invoke the blessings of the goddess before he left for Lanka to fight for Ravana. Hence, Dussehra, the winning of ‘Good over Evil’
Hence, religion is a holistic approach. Significance of the deities pointing the need for deriving solutions to problems and as believed, Durga triumphs over evil, Saraswati removes ignorance and Lakshmi brings prosperity. And then, there is this Faith – Spread the love, banish hate, shrug off the black seeds of anger, selfishness and malicious ways and Faith makes you perform the right deeds. Keep the Faith.