This essay discusses my site visit to a Hindu Service. Navaratri is the devotion of the three divine goddesses, Saraswati—goddess of learning and speech, Lakshmi—goddess of wealth and prosperity, and Durga—goddess of strength and courage.
Structure and Format of the Religious Service
Navaratri is the devotion of the three divine goddesses, Saraswati—goddess of learning and speech, Lakshmi—goddess of wealth and prosperity, and Durga—goddess of strength and courage. It is also said to be the encounter that occurred between Goddess Chaamundeshwari and the asura (demon), Mahishaasura. The fight lasted 9 days and 9 nights. At last, on the tenth day, Goddess Chaamundeshwari killed Mahishaasura. This day is known as Vijayadasami. Vijayadasami means the 10th day of victory. (Navaratri: the Nine Devine Nights) Last year I had an opportunity to attend one of the 10th days of prayers at Hindu Temple of Florida.
Number of People
The ceremony I attended was a public affair and there were almost three hundred people were there, most of the attendees were married women between the age of 25 and 60. There were only very few men, not more than 15 %. There were a few children but the main prayer event was for women.
Physical Characteristics of the Service
The festival culminates on the tenth day and this was the day I attended the ceremony. Vijayadasami or the tenth day is e most auspicious days in the Hindu year. Since this was the most special day of Navaratri, the local community had invited a visiting swami who, when he arrived was welcomed by the people very graciously, and after welcoming the gathered people he sang the melodious bhajan – or a religious song to invoke Devi Durga Parameshwari.
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