Celebration of Nine Nights during Spring

Published: 04 May 2020 8 PM     Updated: 04 May 2020 8 PM

அம்பாளும் நானும்! - உலக நன்மைக்காக வசந்த நவராத்திரி!

பிரேமா நாராயணன்

Ambal and I! Spring Navaratri for world welfare!

Prema Narayanan       (Premā  Nārāyaṇaṉ)

வசந்த நவராத்திரி  Vasantha Navaratri
1. In the manner the shells are shaken and thrown, the world nations experienced a shaking unexpectedly on account of contagious Covid-19 virus.

2. The government's enforced lockdown, though causing a multitude of hardships, yielded a ton of benefits and rescued the people from the cruel clutch of the virus.

3. Our Vāsaki hailing from Chennai Kerukambakkam offered an answer to Kayilaimani Śiva Jeyajothi Jayakumar's spiritual pursuit during this curfew.

4. Jeyajothi exults in an exuberant celebration, with her husband Jayakumar and son Harisvaran, of Paṇguṉi's spring Navaratri with a huge Kolu. She narrates her experience vividly.

5. According to our Puranas, four Navarātris are important. They are Ādi month’s Āṣāda Navarātri. Puratāci’s Sārathā Navarātri, Māci’s Syāmaḻā Navarātri and Paṅguṉi’s Vasantha Navarātri.

6) In Āṣāda Navarātri, devotees worship Vārāhidēvi. We all know about Sārathā Navarātri: Durgai, Lakṣmi, and Sarasvathi are the objects of worship over nine-days. In Syāmaḻā Navarātri, Rājamāthaṅgi is the primary deity for celebration. The goddess of worship in Vasantha Navarātri is Śrīlalithāmbikai.

7) Vasantha Navarātri.

8) In our home, we have celebrated Purattṣi Sārathā Navarātri for 23 years. At that celebration, my husband, my son, and I are worshippers of Śrīvidyā. We have done chanting of Lalithā Sahasranāmam for hundreds of times. We had the luck and grace to perform millions of Lalithāmbikai Archaṉai. My long-held desire was to perform Pūjai at least once on Vasantha Navarātri with the central deity as Śrīlalithāmbikai. The desire found fulfillment this year.

9) I planned to arrange a small scale Svarṇa Kolu, perform a simple Navāvarṇa Pūjai, and conduct a grand Vasantha Navarātri. Vasantha Navarātri usually begins in Yugādhi and lasts until Vasantha Navarātri, lasting for nine days. It ends in Dasami. Some keep it longer: 15 days or 45 days. The more extended 45-day observation and worship are to bring fulfillment of your desires, according to the existing belief.

10) Since my husband and son were home, they helped bring my desires and plans to fruition. Deciding on a 15-day celebratory observation, I brought down from the loft the boxes, wiped all the Kolu icons, and arranged them on the steps. I completed the job and planned to send out invitations on WhatsApp. Precisely on that day, the city curfew ordinance was initially put in place for 21 days and later for an additional 20 days. Without a second thought, I changed my earlier plans and decided to perform Ambāḻ worship for 45 days.

11) On our way back from Thāmiraparaṇi Puṣkaram, we bought a bunch of large Kolu dolls. We always wentdirectly  to the doll manufacturer to buy our items.

12) The days I was alone with Ambāḻ were beautiful. The period I was absorbed into her and worshipped her was unforgettable.

13) When we went to Villiyaṉūr near Puducchēry, Cuddalore's Vaṇdippāḻaiyam and Madurai Viḻācchēri, we bought the Kolu dolls. Whenever we went on a trip, I buy Kolu dolls: In Kerala, Bhagavathy; in Kollū,r Mūkāmbikai; Lanka, Saṅkari; and Kolhāpūre, Mahālakṣmi. Such was the variety of Ambāḻ's analogs collection. This time I bought in Madurai' Dasama Vidyā' dolls.

14) The Kolu was a semicircle with 45 steps. All the dolls were in place on the Kolu steps. In the center, in the name of the theme 'Sāktham,' we arranged the various analog dolls. Dasamahā Vidyā was the special cynosural analog doll, which I presume, no house has it. Maybe one in 100,000 households. Here is the imagery: Lalitha, with her entourage in the Cinthāmaṇi Mandapam, perched on a swing. Besides, the other dolls I keep in safeguard are the dolls of Durgā, Lakṣmi, and Sarasvathi. These dolls were gifts from the friendly and loving Ananthalakshmi Aunty. They were the objects of worship in her house for a long time.

15) Kolu. I was not upset that the lockdown was in place with the advent of the Kolu arrangement. For a long time, I felt a severe and nagging deficiency. The Navaratri celebration and observation: Here, it comes and goes, with me under tension and without an opportunity for me to chant the slokas. That was my irritant. I think Ambāḻ herself has arranged a way to device my relief from that irritation.

17) I am on the run all the time: Unable to do Pūja to Ambāḻ in a proper manner during Navarātri.
Now, I have no responsibility or external job demands, other than cooking daily meals. Every morning, my husband brings home flowers from the backyard garden. Chanting Sahasranamam, I would make all the flower arrangements. Later, I sit relaxed and chant all slokas.

18) With Lalithāmbikai worship-lamp, I do Pūja to the deity of the day: Evening worship for Śiva, Kirutthikai for Muruga, Chathurthi for Vināyakar and other deities with Pūjais and recitation of Slokas, poems, and panegyrics. During the previous waxing moon, on the eighth day, I chanted the whole of Dēvi Mahātmyam, offered Naivēttiyam, thirteen in all, one for each chapter and worshipped her for my own sake. It was so fulfilling to my mind.

19) More or less, I spend four hours in worship. No tension. There is no demand or pressure to run here and there. To make up for the failure of visitors to come and see the Kolu, I take daily photos and send them by WhatsApp to my contacts.

20) From the first day onwards, I serve Thāmbūlam (Betel leaves with areca nuts) to Ambāḻ. Then I offer the same to nine people. To stop meddling with the Covid-19  Stay-At-Home order, I did not invite the neighbors.

21) This event is the 24th after 23 years of Sāradhā Navarātri (for the author of this article). This Vasantha Navarātri Pūjai turned out to be exclusive for Ambāḻ and me ( a sort of tête-à-tête). These were the beautiful days of our private togetherness. I merged into the Lōkamāthā (World Mother) chanted, sang, and worshipped. This Lockdown Navarātri is unforgettable in my life.
22) "The Vasantha Navarātri Pūjai, concurrent with the present Covid-19 lockdown, appears designed by divine intent to alleviate the suffering of the people from Coronavirus,  for the welfare of the world and suppression of the demoniacal Coronavirus." I pray that this Vasantha (spring) Navarātri Pūjai brings spring into the lives of all people," Jeyajothi's voice and eyes light up with bhakti and ecstasy, as she wishes the best for all of us.