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Navratri

 

Ever since I was a little girl, one of my favourite festivals was always Navrartri.  I was born and grew up in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Garba festivals were not really on our doorstep.  Mum and dad would drive every night to Manchester, (which took nearly one hour) with my brother and I…even on school nights…. we would get home late but for some reason, by the grace of worshipping the Goddesses we were never tired to get up for school in the morning!

I loved dressing up in my Chunya Choris, seeing all my friends we would dance the night away, loved Dhandiya the Indian folk stick dance, loving learning the steps and copying my mum, she always looked so graceful. 

We always knew it was Navratri mum would not cook meet in the house.  We would do Pooja and aarti daily in the temple at home and when we went to Garba.

I know the “Jai Jagdambe” Aarti from when I was little. We would sing it but did not know what it all meant.  I never really questioned it as a child we just sung away happily with our family and friends, it always felt special”.

The end of the pooja ritual is known as “Aarti”. What does “Aarti” mean? It means complete

happiness. “Rati” means divine joy. ‘Aarti’ means complete divine joy, which does not have sadness.

The aarti is an important part of worshipping Goddess Durga. Here is the English translated meaning of the Aarti:

Jai Ambe Gauri lyrics
(reference Insight state editorial)

Verse 1

Jai Ambe Gauri, Maiya Jai Shyama Gauri.

Tumako Nishadin Dhyavat, Hari Bramha Shivari.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

Hail Mother Ambe, Hail Mother Parvati

You are so rich in beauty and purity, you are the focus of Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva

Hail Mother Ambe.

Verse 2

Mang Sindur Virajat, Tiko Mrigamad Ko.

Ujjval Se Dou Naina, Chandravadan Niko.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

On your forehead is a mark of vermilion, with a mark of musk.

Your eyes are bright and brilliant, your face is as beautiful as the moon.

Verse 3

Kanak Saman Kalevar, Raktambar Raje,

Raktpushp Gal Mala, Kanthan Par Saje.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

Your body with a golden tinge is splendidly dressed in red.

A garland of red flowers around your neck look beautiful in full bloom.

Verse 4

Kehari Vahan Rajat, Khadag Khappar Dhari,

Sur-Nar-Munijan Sevat, Tinake Dukhahari.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

Your chariot is a lion, keeping in line with your regal aspect

You carry a sword and a skull,  and defend your followers from harm.

Verse 5

Kaanan Kundal Shobhit, Nasagre Moti,

Kotik Chandr Divakar, Rajat Sam Jyoti.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

You are decorated with earrings and pearls on your nose,

You look as beautiful as many moons and suns.

Verse 6

Shumbh-Nishumbh Bidare, Mahishasur Ghati,

Dhumr Vilochan Naina, Nishadin Madamati.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

Oh slayer of the demon Mahishasura, You destroyed Nishumbha, Shumbha

And Dhumrvilochan, your eyes showing frenzy and fury.

Verse 7

Chand-Mund Sanhare, Shonit Bij Hare,

Madhu-Kaitabh Dou Mare, Sur Bhayahin Kare.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

Munda and Chanda lost to you, so did Shonit

Kaitabh and Madhu were killed by you, the demi-gods concerns were removed by you.

Verse 8

Bramhani, Rudrani,Tum Kamala Rani,

Agam Nigam Bakhani,Tum Shiv Patarani.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

You are the consort of Lord Brahma, Lord Rudra and Lord Shiva

The vedas and shastras describe you as Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva.

Verse 9

Chausath Yogini Mangal Gavat,Nritya Karat Bhairu,

Bajat Tal Mridanga,Aru Baajat Damaru.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

64 yogis praise and glorify you.

While Bhairava dances to the sound of the Mridanga and Damaru.

Verse 10

Tum Hi Jag Ki Mata, Tum Hi Ho Bharata,

Bhaktan Ki Dukh Harta, Sukh Sampati Karta.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

You are the mother of the creation, and the one who sustains it

You take away your devotees’ sadness and grants prosperity and happiness.

Verse 11

Bhuja Char Ati Shobhi,Varamudra Dhari,

Manvanchhit Fal Pavat,Sevat Nar Nari.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

Your 4 arms disclose your power, and one of your hands blesses us

Those women and men who worship you will have their wishes fulfilled.

Verse 12

Kanchan Thal Virajat, Agar Kapur Bati,

Shrimalaketu Mein Rajat, Koti Ratan Jyoti.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

Aloe and camphor have been lit and placed in a golden platter before you.

The flame echoes off you and looks like a million gems.

Verse 13

Shri Ambeji Ki Arati, Jo Koi Nar Gave,

Kahat Shivanand Svami, Sukh-Sampatti Pave.

Om Jai Ambe Gauri.

Those who sing Ambeji’s aarti with devotion

According to the sage Shivanand, will be blessed with prosperity and happiness.

Navaratri Puja Vidhi

Take a bath in the morning and wear clean clothes. Seat the idol or a framed picture of Ma Durga in your temple or pooja room. Place a fresh marigold (flower) garland around the goddess and offer rice covered in turmeric, 'sindoor', 'belpatra’ bay leaves and red flowers ceremoniously. First, sow ‘jowar’ sorghum seeds in a clay pot with mud taken from an auspicious place. Next bless the kalash, fill the 'kalash' with water from a pure water source, put coins and betel nuts, add place mango leaves along with a coconut wrapped in red cloth on top. Tie a 'moli' red thread around the kalash. The coconut should be placed on the kalash. Next, pray to Goddess Durga to be present for nine days. Light a ‘diva’ oil lamp.  Next, incense sticks. Say the Goddesses' name by reciting 'Durga Stuti' and 'Durga Kavach'. Perform 'aarti' with songs glorifying Maa Durga, Maa Laxmi and Maa Saraswati. Next, offer 'prasad', along with fruits and sweets. Distribute it among the family members and those present during the pooja.

  • The kalash should not be touched for the entire nine day period.
  • Divas should be lit through the entire pooja ritual.
  • Sanskrit hymns should be recited with the right pronunciation and intonation.
  • The garland placed around the goddess should be changed every day. 

There are so many wonderful traditions and festivals during Navratri, all so beautiful and colourful.  The underlying meaning of it all is just fascinating, and I have still more to uncover.”

 

 


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