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Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has emphasised to such an extent the motherhood of God. Nava-ratri” literally means “nine nights.” This festival is observed twice a year, once in the beginning of summer and again at the onset of winter. During Navaratri, we invoke the energy aspect of God in the form of the universal mother, commonly referred to as “Durga,” which literally means the remover of miseries of life. She is also referred to as “Devi” (goddess) or “Shakti” (energy or power). It is this energy, which helps God to proceed with the work of creation, preservation and destruction. In other words, you can say that God is motionless, absolutely changeless, and the Divine Mother Durga, does everything. Truly speaking, our worship of Shakti re-confirms the scientific theory that energy is imperishable. It cannot be created or destroyed. It is always there.
The Navarthri is celebrated all over India. In some places it is called Dussehra, in some other places `Kalipuja‘ or `Saraswathi Puja‘ and in still others, `Ayudha Puja‘. The festival is celebrated during September-October. The last three days of the Navarathri are called Durgashtami, Mahanavami and Vijayadasami, and they are considered more sacred than the other days for Devi worship.
Navarathri festival in honour of Devi the Divine mother is celebrated across the nation in September-October. The most auspecious days of the festival are Durgashtami (October 5) Mahanavami (October 6) and Vijayadasami (October 8). On Durgashtami day Poojavaipu (the ritual offering) is performed in the evening in temples and houses. Books and other tools of education are offered to the goddess to tbe blessed. According to Hindu Mythology Saraswathi is the goddess of learning and this annual offering will invoke blessings for ones progress. It involves decorating a room superbly, with illuminating lights, flower pots and idols neatly arranged over a multi-tiered platform raised at the centre of the hall. Musical and percussion instruments and other learning tools are also displayed at the venue. Lamps are lit and prayers are offered on all the three days, and all sorts of learning and transactions come to a standstill until the last day of Saraswathy Puja when the formal ritual of learning begins anew. On Mahanavami day all work and learning are suspended. On Vijayadasami day the books and tools are taken back by a ceremony called Poojayeduppu. Vijayadasami day is considered to be most auspecious for new beginnings. Little children are initiated into the world of letters by elderly persons on this day. In most of the temples dedicated to Devi the Divine mother cultural programmes and Navarathri pooja are conducted during these days.