You must pass your days in song. Let your whole life be a song.
-Sai Baba

Dasara And Celebrating Chamundeshwari

Dasara is the festival of celebrating women power. Chamundeshwari is the personification of courage, strength and power. Praying to her is believed to help one to be blessed with all these qualities, especially during Dasara. When the male gods failed to destroy the demon, it was the Devi who stood up to the occasion.

When the demon Mahishasura asked for a boon – that his death should be at the hands of a woman, he believed that was so powerful that it was impossible for a mere woman to destroy him. He received the boon and used this to his advantage. When his cruelty became unbearable, Chamundeshwari (Durga) was called to slay the demon. The fight between Chamundeshwari and Mahishasura lasted for nine days and nights. These nine days came to be called Navaratri or Dasara.

Chamundeshwari is the personification of courage, strength, and power and praying to the her is believed to help one to be blessed with all these qualities, especially during Dasara.

Entire Mysore celebrates Dasara every year. The custom of worshipping dolls – Gombe Tottilu – is actually a symbolic representation of a darbar or a court. Not long back women made a huge fuss over the Gombe decoration and planned months ahead. For many women it was an opportunity to showcase their talent.  Singing, dancing and merry making along with showing off their skills at preparing the Gombe Bagina was all very important.

Woman is a synonym with womb and earth. The harvest season begins at this time and the earth is invoked to start afresh the new harvest season and to reactivate the vigour and fertility of the soil by performing religious rituals which is believed to invoke the cosmic forces. Hence the importance of Devi worship for women.

In West Bengal, Orissa and Assam, Durga Devi is worshipped as Kali. The whole essence of the navaraathri celebration is to remind all women that they are guardians of the family culture and national integrity, to take lead in times of crisis to guide the humanity towards the path of social justice, righteousness, equality, love and divinity.

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