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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

Table of Contents
Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 3
Details of our key contributors ..................................................................................................................... 4
Painting of Periva & Ambal ........................................................................................................................... 5
Sri Maha Perivas discourses on Ambal ........................................................................................................ 6
Hear Sri Maha Perivas discourse about Ambal .......................................................................................... 11
Sri Durga Pancharatna Stotram .................................................................................................................. 12
The Philosophy of Navaratri Golu ............................................................................................................... 13
Significance of Navaratri ............................................................................................................................. 14
The South Indian Way of Observing Navaratri ........................................................................................... 15
Navaratri Puja ............................................................................................................................................. 18
Navaratri Songs ........................................................................................................................................... 19
Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar .................................................................................................................... 19
Dikshitars Kritis .................................................................................................................................... 20
Maharaja Swati Tirunal ......................................................................................................................... 20
Swati Tirunal Kritis ............................................................................................................................... 20
Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi ..................................................................................................................... 21
Oottukkadu Navavarana Kritis ............................................................................................................. 21
Navaratri Naivedhyam Recipes ................................................................................................................... 23
Recipe # 1 Ven Pongal and Peanut Sundal ....................................................................................... 23
Recipe # 2 - Moong Dal Sundal ............................................................................................................. 24
Recipe # 3 - Arachu Vitta Sundal .......................................................................................................... 24
Recipe # 4 - Yellow Peas Sundal........................................................................................................... 25
Recipe # 5 Kadambam Sundal ........................................................................................................... 26
Recipe # 6 Sweet Green Gram Sundal .............................................................................................. 26
Recipe # 7 - Sweet Black Eyed Beans Sundal (Vellai Karamani Vella Sundal) ................................. 27
Recipe # 8 - Black Channa Sundal garnished with sliced coconut pieces ......................................... 27
Recipe # 9 Bengal Gram Sweet Sundal ............................................................................................. 28
Tamboolam Offerings ................................................................................................................................. 28
Ebook on 51 Shakti Peethas ........................................................................................................................ 29
Ambal Darshan - Painting by Sri B.Narayanan ............................................................................................ 31

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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

Shri Kanchi Maha Periva Thiruvadigal Saranam


Introduction
Hari Om!
We are pleased to bring you the Sixth edition of the e-book series from the Kanchi Periva Forum.
Like the last edition which was a special edition release for Sri Vinayaaka Chaturthi, this time also
we have a special edition to mark the occasion of Navaratri Festival which is celebrated from16th
October to 24th October 2012.
This ebook is compiled with a view to present our readers a treasure of sorts. Among many other
things, this contains excerpts from Sri Maha Perivas enchanting discourses on Ambaal, a beautiful
compilation of Perivas sweet audio discourse on Ambaal, the significance of Navaratri, some
information on Navaratri Puja, the Philosophy behind Navaratri Golu, the procedure of arranging
the same and some common recipes for making Prasadam during the Navaratri festival.
In addition, we have also included the Durga Pancharatna Stotram composed by Maha Periva in
praise of Ambaal, along with links to its meaning. We have also included the link to hearing this
wonderful stotram online, as rendered by MS Amma such that you can listen, practice and recite
this on every single day of Navaratri.
Some devotees of our Forum have come together to make this special edition ebook a visual delight.
Here is a brief note about these contributors who deserve our profound thanks and gratitude. A
more detailed note about them appears elsewhere in this ebook.
Sri B.Narayanan, who has provided us his beautiful painting of Sri Akilandeswari Amman.
Sri Sankar C.S, who has helped with all the musical features associated with Navaratri, and
by providing the songs and appropriate links.
Sri Senthil Kumar.P, who has designed the cover page and page layout for this ebook.
We are sure that this special edition of our Ebook will be a feast to your eyes and we request you to
forward this to all your friends and relatives to enjoy. We would like to record our sincere gratitude
to Artist Sri Ma. Se. (Maniyam Selvam), who is an extremely popular artist, and who has kindly
shared a beautiful painting done by his father late Sri Maniyam for our use.
For those who are not familiar about our website and forum, we welcome you to visit
www.periva.org for a collection of rare videos and complete online library of upanyasams of Sri
Maha Periva. Please also register on the forum www.periva.proboards.com to stay updated on
devotees experiences and to receive our regular newsletters. We humbly submit this sixth e-book
at the lotus feet of Shri Maha Periva. Feedback may be shared with us at kanchiperiva@gmail.com.
Administrator - Kanchi Periva Forum
kanchiperiva@gmail.com

Jaya Jaya Shankara, Hara Hara Shankara!


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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

Details of our key contributors


Sri B. Narayanan
Sri Narayanan Bala is very well known amongst all Periva devotees for his immaculate paintings on
His Holiness, Sri Maha Periva. Sri Narayanan Bala, now 71 years, has had a successful career at HAL
and BPL.
Sri Narayanan has so far created over 40 masterpiece paintings and sketches of Sri Maha Periva, all
with the blessings of His Holiness. He intends to complete 108 paintings of Maha Periva, and we
pray to Periva to bless him, and give him the strength and resilience to realize his dream.
An ardent devotee of Sri Maha Periva, Sri Narayanan is also one of the moderators in the Kanchi
Periva Forum, and has been contributing articles and his paintings/illustrations for use in the
Forum publications.
He lives with his family in Palakkad and can be reached on beeyen.bala@gmail.com.

Sri Sankara Narayanan C S


Sri Sankara Narayanan, now 56 years, works at a Nationalised bank in Chennai. He is well versed in
Sanskrit.
He had compiled Sri Adi Shankaras slokams for publication of a book on the eve of the centenary
celebrations of Kalady mutt.
He lives with his family in Chennai and can be reached on sankarcs56@gmail.com.

Sri P. Senthil Kumar


Sri P. Senthil Kumar is quite popular in the Kanchi Periva Forum for his wonderful creations for the
Divine Thoughts of Periva posters. With an MBA to his credit, he is a young HR professional
currently employed with a software company in Chennai.
With a passion for Graphics and Web Design which he learnt using online tutorials and e-books
when he was at college, Senthil has created few short 3D animation movies, web pages and logos
for a few of companies. Senthil also enjoys playing the guitar.
Senthil lives with his family in Chennai and can be reached on senzkumar82@gmail.com.

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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

Painting of Periva & Ambal


This beautiful painting depicts clearly that when Periva walks in to your home (or heart),
automatically Lalitha Tripurasundari follows Him and enters your home to bless you. What a
wonderful depiction!! Stunning blend done by the late artist Sri Maniyam, and this has been
preserved so nicely and handed to us by Sri Ma.Se, his son and a very popular artist himself. We
bring this painting to you with special credits and thanks to Sri Ma. Se.

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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

Sri Maha Perivas discourses on Ambal


Goddesses of Navaratri
During Navaratri, we pray to Durga Parameswari,
Maha Lakshmi and Saraswathi Devi. Whether we
consider them as three Goddesses or 33 Crore
Devatas, all that is One only, the One Parasakthi.
Lalitha Sahasranamam makes this succinctly clear. It
says:- " She is the Creator. 'Srushti Karthri - Brhma
rupa.' She is the Protector. 'Gopthri - Govinda
Rupini.' She is the Annihilator too. 'Samharini Rudra Rupa.' "Lalitha who is Durga, is also
Parasakthi, Mahalakshmi and Saraswathi.
In Lakshmi Ashtothram, there is a mantra, 'Brhma
Vishnu Sivathmikayai Namaha'. In Saraswathi
Ashtothram too, the same mantra occurs, 'Brhma
Vishnu Sivathmikayai Namaha'! Thus it is being
made clear beyond doubt that, it is one and the same
power that does the three main tasks of Creation,
Protection and Annihilation.
The One Parasakthi, in different garbs, functions multivariously. As Durga, She imparts courage and
power. As Mahalakshmi, She grants wealth. As Saraswathi, She gives Knowledge, Awareness and
Gnana!
Adi Parasakthi Durga, can be considered as Parvathi. As She is the daughter of Himawan, She is
'Malaimagal', (hill's daughter). Mahalakshmi came in to being in the Ocean of Milk and so She is
'Alaimagal', (wave's daughter). Saraswathi endows all knowledge, arts, science and Gnana and so
She is 'Kalaimagal'. The daughter of the parvatha Raja Himawan, Ambal and the daughter of Kshira
Sagara, Mahalakshmi; have both taken birth as the daughters of two Maharishis.
Brugu Rishi did tapasya (austerities), so as to beget Mahalakshmi as his daughter. Willingly She
took life as his daughter. As Brugu's offspring She got a name of Bhargavi. Amarakosam, the
Sanskrit dictionary says, 'Bhargavi loka janani ksheerasagara kanyaka', (to mean, 'Bhargavi, worlds
mother is the daughter of milky ocean'). Similarly, Kathyayana Maharishi, did tapasya, for the
purpose of getting the Parameswari Herself as his daughter. She consented to be born accordingly.
As Kathyayana's daughter, She got the name, Kathyayani. The Gayathri mantra by which Durga is
prayed to says, 'that we meditate on Her as Kathyayani'.
If we sincerely bow down to Sakshat Parasakthi as Kathyayani and Mahalakshmi as Bhargavi, we
will also become child-like, devoid of deceit and skull-duggery. As now-a-days, wrist watches are
made water proof, we will become passion proof and anger proof. She will grant us this.

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It is my guess that, Kathyayani the child God, is the one referred to as 'Kaththayi', in the villages of
South India. Similarly, the villagers have long been referring to one 'Pechchayi', who is none other
than Saraswathi, the Goddess of speech. Speech in English is 'pechchu' in Tamil.
Let us pray to Ambal Parameswari, for strength and courage, let us pray to Lakshmi for wealth and
materials and let us pray to Vagdevi Saraswathi, for power of speech, clear thinking and Gnana,
knowing fully well that all these Gods are one and the same!
For me, Ambal is the most important
It is not enough, if the house, dress and body are clean. It
is most important that, the mind should be clean without a
blemish! For this the only help is to meditate on Sakshat
Parasakthi, the consort of Parameswara. We will be
cleansed of all dirt and become complete without a want
or flaw. The fact that we are born as human beings with
incapacity, inefficiency and insufficiency, is her play only.
To make us complete is also Her responsibility only.
Instead of living and dying like animals and so many life
forms; so as to enable us to get out of this cycle of repeated
births and deaths, all the religions of this world have
evolved. There is no religion required, other than devotion
to Mother. This meditation on Parasakthi is good enough
to, give us contentment and completeness. For me She is important. My mind is intermittently,
constantly and continuously, in Her Dhyana, for the sake of World Peace, understanding and wellbeing. You all should be doing that. You all should be meditating on Her.
It is enough to practice Karma Anushtana and spend some time in Dhyana or meditation of
Mother's feet as often as possible. A person who does meditation like this, will never face
unsurmountable difficulties. He will have the power and strength of mind to face problems of life.
We have the key for happy living. We do not have to do very big things.
We do not have to climb Mount Everest! First of all try and live by some moral standards. The very
decision not to be sinful, takes you far. When we do a mistake, sincerely pray to Mother, to save you
from repetition. Progress with clarity individually. As we progress with contentment in our hearts,
by Her grace, we will automatically influence others without trying. That will benefit this religion.
Since this religion believes in the common welfare of the whole world, all people of all the countries
will benefit.
All religions aim at Nirvana or Moksham as the end mission. To realize the essential truth in
personal experience is Moksham. That Parma Sathyam is Brhma, says our religion. The Brhma's
Chith Sakthi is Ambal. By Her Grace we will be experiencing the Truth to be inclusive of ourselves
too, says Vedantam. Ambal who sanctions much in this world, finally sanctions this knowledge, this
Gnana! By Her Grace, we can realize that, 'even when involved, we are apart'. By being devoted to
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Her, this Awareness becomes apparent and all doubts vanish in to nothingness, say all Vedas,
Granthas, Upanishads, Slokas and Sthuthis. We have also come across scores of great gnanis who
have tread this path before us.
What we have to do to start with, is to do Dhyana on Her feet. A little bit initially. Slowly but
steadily, initially we will start getting a taste of it. Then we will come to realize that nothing else is
worthy of effort and attention. Then as you carry on, death of the body will be of no consequence.
'mrutyor ma amrutam gamaya.' You will know that death cannot kill you, because you are forever!
Before advising and correcting others, it is enough, if we abstain from immorality and sin. For this
itself, surrender to Her is required. Easily she will guard us from temptation and errant behaviour.
We have the key for the gates of 'Shangri La' in our hands, that is Dhyanam. You should all pray to
Her for your and everybody elses well-being. This itself is sufficient. The worlds and the universe
will all flourish and thrive.
Ambal, as shown by Acharyal
Our Acharyal has written many works in praise of Ambal. Other
than, 'Soundarya Lahiri', 'Ananda Lahiri', 'Devi Bujangam',
'Thripura Sundari Manasa Pooja Stotram' and 'Thripura Sundari
Veda Pada Sthavam', are big ones. The smaller ones are like,
'Annapoorna Ashtakam' and 'Ambashtakam'. It is enough, if we
just keep chanting them.
We can be floating in Mothers 'Anugraha Vatsalya'. These are all
in wonderous language. With no tinge of pride, Acharyal praises
Ambal, who is the source and depository of all power, in true
sincere devotion, in them. On many occassions, in them, Acharyal
in all humbleness indicates that, He is the recipient of Her Grace, despite being undeserving.
Especially in 'Soundarya Lahiri', in two places, His humility melts our hearts. In one sloka, starting
with the words, 'drucha thrageeyasya', He is requesting Her to turn Her 'side long glance' on
Himself. He does not say, 'turn your kataksham towards me', but, '....towards me also'!
In another sloka, He asks Her to touch Him with Her 'two lotus feet'. This sloka is the one starting
with the words, 'drutheena murdhano'. Here too He does not say, 'give me your Pada deeksha'.
Instead He says, 'touch my head too','....mam api sirasi....'. It is clear, that He thinks of Himself a very
undeserving case.
Whether in devotion, or brains, in speech or writing, in capability or humaneness, in humility or
compassion and sinlessness, there was no one to match Acharyal in the past nor is going to be
anyone there, in the future. Then what can be the reason for His assumed undeservedness?
The only logic I can think of is that, He is talking on our behalf. When we read the sloka, we should
feel humble enough. He is saying so, without saying it in words. When He says, 'mam api, mam api',
('direct Your side long glance towards me too; touch me too with Your lotus feet'), He is indicating
to us, the humbleness with which, we should be making such a request!
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In the very first sloka of 'Soundarya Lahiri', starting with the words, 'Siva saktya yukto yadi
bhavathi sakta :', He says, "Amma Sakthi! Parameswara Siva Himself, is capable of any movement,
only when He is with You! Without You He is incapable." Since it is everything, Brhmam is not
capable of knowing anything. Still, in this world, there is so much knowledge and movement. In the
entire cosmos, starting from the movement of stars and galaxies, down to the oscillations of the
electrons, everything is ever moving!
Not to talk of our minds, which is forever oscillating. All this knowledge and movements seems to
have come into Brhmam somehow. When we separately identify Brhmam as Sivam and Sakthi, then
Acharyal's statement, "Amma, it is You who is making Siva move", becomes meaningful. The world
that is not there, is from Her only. "YA MA", what is not, is "MA YA", that is 'maya'. It is again She
who can remove 'maya', from our minds!
For common people like us, She is in 'Sthula Roopa' or gross forms as, Lalitha, Durga, Bhuvaneswari
and so on. These forms, visible to our eyes, in many sacred temples and holy places, as the ever
beneficient 'Vigraha Moorthys', are energising and ennobling millions of devotees.
In North Himachal, born as the Parvatha Raja Kumari, She is showering Her largesse as Kanya
Kumari in deep South.
Known as Baghawathi in Kerala, Chamundeswari in Karnataka, Kamakshi in Kanchipuram,
Meenakshi in Madurai, Gnanambal in Kalahasthi, Bramarmbika in Sri Sailam, Tulja Bhavani in
Maharashtra, Ambaji in Gujarat, Jwala Mukhi in Punjab, Vindya Vasini in Uttar Pradesh, Vaishnavi in
Katra,Jammu; Kshira Bhavani in Kashmir, Kali in Bengal, Maihar Devi in Madya Pradesh, Kamakya
in Assam;
She has taken many shapes and forms, for sake of the common folks, (the list being evidently
incomplete), She is forever showering Her blessings on all of us, in the entire length and breadth of
what is India!

Gnaanaambikai
'Sri Vidya' is the name for paying special attention to Ambal in
devotion. 'Vidya', means knowledge. 'Avidya' is ignorance or
absence of Gnanam. Ambal is the Mother who nurtures Her
children with the milk of human kindness, awareness and
knowledge. So She is also the first teacher and Guru. Keno
Upanishad from the Sama Veda says that, She imparted knowledge
to all the Devatas too.
Like the fragrance and flower, milk and its taste, word and its
meaning, She is the inseparable Gnana Shakthi of God Parameswara
Himself. Similarly, She is the inseparable Sister of Sriman Narayana
too.

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She is the Vaishnavi, when she disposes off the Asuras. At the time of Krishna's Janma, She took
birth as Yasoda's child, Vishnu Maya Sri Durga. We celebrate Her in the Autumnal Navarathri. She is
the destroyer of all evil. As Durga came in to being with Krishna Ashtami, She appeared with the
birth of Sri Rama too in the Spring season. This is called Vasantha Navarathri. This time She comes
in the most comely roopa as Gnanmbikai. As Chandika She eradicates Evil and as Gnanambika, She
imparts the highest Knowledge.
Uma is the Pranava Swaroopa. Music is Her body. However much we may be proud of our body, the
slightest scratch will make it ugly. Our skin hides much non-displayables. Probably that is why, it is
called 'hide'. But inside all this, there is a cherishable element. But Her very being is, 'nada mayam,
shabda mayam, vaang mayam'. The 51 Matruka Aksharas are Her being. All the Knowables are
totally in those Aksharas. That is Gnanambikai.
All that changes ever is not Truth. The only constancy of this world and worldly life is, change. But
there is something, which is not a thing, which is ever unchanging and constant despite changes. To
know this in experience, is real Knowledge. Gnanmbikai parasakthi gives this Awareness. She is the
Divya Mangala Swaroopini.
Let us know Her or try to know Her, through constant meditation / dhyana.

Jaya Jaya Shankara, Hara Hara Shankara!

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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

Hear Sri Maha Perivas discourse about Ambal


We are glad to present to you a special page containing Perivas discourses on Ambal alone.
This sweet collection runs to almost 75 minutes and would be a real treat for every Periva devotee.
Click on this link to start listening: http://www.periva.org/ambal/

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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

Sri Durga Pancharatna Stotram


Durga Pancharatna Stotram, composed by Sri Maha Periva is the devotional sloka addressed to
Goddess Durga.
Here are the lyrics in English. The Translation of this great stotra in English and Tamil and
Devanagari script is available on this link:
http://periva.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=slokams&action=display&thread=2392
Durga Pancharatna Stotram Lyrics
They Dyana Yoganu Gatha apasyan
Thwameva Devim swagunir nekutam
Thwameva Sakthi Parameshwarisya
Mam pahi sarveshwari Moksha datri.

Devatma sakthi sruthivakya gita


maharshilokasya pura prasanna
Guha param vyoma sada prathista
Mam pahi sarveshwari Moksha datri.

Paraasyasakthi vividaiga sruyasay


Swethashwa vakyothitha devi durge
Swabavikii gyana palakriya
Mam pahi sarveshwari Moksha datri.

Devatma Sapdena shivatma putha


Yathkoorma vayavya vacho vivruthya
Thwam pasa vichhethakari prasidda
Mam pahi sarveshwari Moksha datri.

Thwam brahmma puchha vivetha mayuri


Brahmma prathishtasupathishta gita
Gyna swarupatmathaya kilanaam
Mam pahi sarveshwari moksha datri.

Click on the below link for an excellent rendering on this stotram by Smt. M S Subbulakshmi:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axMIZXTtWlM

Jaya Jaya Shankara, Hara Hara Shankara!

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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

The Philosophy of Navaratri Golu


In the doll arrangements done for Navaratri, we can see Gods, saints and great men above the ordinary
human beings, and animals below them. If human beings have good thoughts and do good to others,
they will be raised to great men, then to saints and finally merge with God.
On the other hand, if they tend to have bad thoughts and do evil to others he will go down to the animal
level step by step.
The goal of human beings and the reason why we born on earth are evinced in this wonderful festival
Navaratri Golu. Whatever situations we are born in, our prime aim should be to merge with God.
This is the philosophy that the Navaratri Golu conveys to us. Mind wanders if it is untamed. Through this
festival, we can tame our minds by devotion to God.

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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

Significance of Navaratri
Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of Goddess Sakthi.
The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit; nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights.
During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The 10th day is
commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or Dussera.
The festival commences on the first day of the bright fortnight of the month of Puratasi. Navaratri is
celebrated all over India in different ways.
In Gujarat people celebrate the festival with garba and dandiya. In West Bengal they make pandals, and
worship idols of Goddess Durga. Exquisitely crafted and decorated clay idols and set up and they are
immersed in the river on the fifth day.
In Tamil Nadu, people set up steps and place idols on them. It is called the Golu. The first three days
goddess Durga is worshipped, in order to destroy all our impurities. The second three days Goddess
Lakshmi is worshipped, who bestows her devotees with wealth and abundance. And the final three days
Goddess of Wisdom, Saraswati is worshipped.
On the 9th day, Saraswati pooja is performed, all books are stacked along with an idol of the
goddess. Ayudha Pooja is also performed on this day. All kinds of tools and equipments are cleaned and
worshipped . Even vehicles, shops are decorated and pooja is perfomed.
They distribute sweets and flattened rice mixed with peanuts, fried gram, jaggery. The 10th day, Vijaya
Dasami - Its the day when evil is destroyed by good and a new prosperous beginning is made.
All new ventures started on this day is believed to flourish. All kids read a book from the stack of books
kept along with the idol on Saraswati pooja. Many parents admit their children to play school or other
arts courses on this day.

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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

The South Indian Way of Observing Navaratri


The main event during Navrathri in South India is the display of dolls and idols Golu and the
placing of Kalasam, which represents Goddess.
Navaratri puja might seem a huge complicated event for many. You can always perform a simple
puja by worshipping the Goddess on nine days by lighting a lamp and offering a fruit as prasadam.
Rituals are important but the devotion is certainly more important.
Here is a step by step method on how to perform Navaratri Puja.

Getting Ready

Get the house cleaned and ready. You are inviting Goddess into the home. Usually this is
done on the Amavasai day, a day before the beginning of Navaratri.
Mango leaf festoons are installed on doors, windows and in puja room. Fresh Kolams are
drawn.
If you are keeping Golu, get all the Golu dolls ready.
Decide upon the Bommai Golu Theme.
Plan early about the pooja prasadam (neivedya) and also about the gifts that you plan to
give to women guests.

Requirements for Navaratri Puja

If you are keeping Kolu dolls, purchase new dolls at least a couple of new ones. The most
important doll needed is the Marapachi dolls (Male and Female pair of dolls).
A pot for Kalasha or Kumbha (brass pot)
Face of Goddess to be stuck on Kalasha. It is fine if you do not opt for this.
Sweets
Ingredients of the Prasadam to be prepared (this depends on what neivediya you are
preparing)
Betel leaves
Betel nuts
Bananas
Coconut
Usual fruits
Usual pooja items like lamp, incense, agarbathis etc.
Lotus flower for Goddess Saraswathi and Goddess Lakshmi. Jasmine for Durga. Avoid wild
flowers.

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Kanchi Periva Forum Navaratri Special Edition Ebook October 2012

A day before Navaratri Puja


Navaratri Puja begins on the Puratasi Amavasai day, a day before Navaratri begins. All
arrangements are done on this day.

In the evening, Kalasha or Purna Kumbha is prepared. This is an invitation to Goddess to


enter your home.
Purna Kumba or Kalash is kept on a kolam in such a place that there is space behind to keep
the Bommai Kolu. You can attach a face of Goddess to the Purna Kumbha and decorate the
Kumbha with jewelry, turmeric, sandal paste, flowers etc.
Those who do not keep Kolu, keep the Kalash in the Pooja room.
Betel leaves, Betel nuts, a coconut is placed in front of the Kalasha. Cooked rice or boiled and
sweetened milk is kept as prasadam or neivedya in front of the Kalasha.
This Kalasha is to be kept for next nine days it symbolizes Goddess.
A lamp is lit every evening and morning for nine days.
Normal puja is performed.

Arranging the Golu


The golu stand is assembled on the Puratasi Amavasai day, the day before the Navaratri festival
commences. There is an ethics in constructing steps or Padi for Golu. The Golu consist nine steps or
Padi in Tamil. These steps or Padi should not exceed nine. If you wish to keep less than nine steps it
should be in odd numbers like 3, 5, and 7.
The philosophy behind the nine steps or Padis for Golu is said as: To worship Devi Durga goddesses,
there are nine ways of worship. They are swarnam, kirthanam, smaranam, paadasevanam,
archanam, vandhanam, dasyam, sakyam, atmasevadhanam. This concept is represented in nine
steps or Padis. The nine steps or Padis in Golu represent nine planets or Navagrahas.
From the bottom to top, the length of the steps should reduce. For instance, from the bottom, if you
keep five feet length for the first step or Padi, then the second step or Padi length should be short
than the first one and the third step or Padi length should be shorter than the second one and so on
and so forth.
The stair is usually covered with a cloth and dolls are placed neatly and as per the theme.

Arrangement of dolls in Golu Padi

Dolls of animals, birds and insects should be kept in last row, the base.
Dolls of farmers, householders, vendors, etc should be in the next step.
Dolls of saints, and mahans should be kept next
Dolls of incarnations such as Dasavathara, Krishna, Rama should be kept next.
Dolls of Ambal, Shivan, Vishnu, Lakshmi should be kept on the uppermost step.

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Some themes for consideration


Majority of the Bommai Golu displayed in homes opt for the traditional method of display.
The most important dolls in the kolu arrangement are the Raja-rani or the marapaachi
bommais. These are expensive dolls and a set of them is found in all traditional households.
Another important idol is that of Goddess Saraswati.
Park, cricket ground are created with the help of sprouted mustard seeds etc on sand.
Forest, trees, ponds, paddy field etc can also be created easily at home.
For paddy field, take a flat basin fill it with some mud and sow wheat. Wheat grows quickly.
While placing the tray in Golu hide the tray cleverly, so that only the green part is seen.
Ponds too can be created in similar fashion.
Trees can be done on cardboards and thermocole.
If you are interested in vegetable carving, depending upon your theme you can make
carvings using melon, carrot and other such vegetables.
Decorations and lightings are done to beautify the golu.

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Navaratri Puja
Generally, the women perform all the pujas during Navaratri. That does not stop the male members
doing their share of pujas, just goes to add that women get a special preference and rights for doing
their puja around this festival.

You have already installed the Goddess in the form of Purna Kumbha. Light a lamp morning
and evening on all nine days.
Elaborate pujas are conducted in the evening.
Other women (relatives, friends and neighbours) are invited for the puja in the evening.
The first three days is dedicated to Goddess Durga.
The next three days is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.
The final three days is dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi.
Fresh kolams are drawn on all nine days.
Shlokas that are recited on nine days include Durga Ashtotaram, Devi Mahatmiyam,
Shyamala Dhandakam, Lakshmi Sahasranama, Lakshmi Ashototaram, Lalitha Sahasranama,
Saraswathi Stotram, Saraswathi Ashototaram.

Daily Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam is chanted in the morning and a neivedhyam generally
payasam/pongal made with jaggery is offered in the morning. To appease the navagraha deities,
sundal is offered as neivedhyam in the evening.
Friends and relatives are invited home and offered haldi, kum kum and ravikkai thuni(blouse bits)
along with sundal and other snacks. Children & women also exercise their vocal chords by
rendering devotional songs . Daily aarthi is performed to the deity at the end of the day.
On Saraswathi puja day, all books and tools( ayudha) are placed in front of Goddess Saraswathi and
Saraswathi puja is performed.
The tenth day is Vijayadashmi day an auspicious day for starting good tasks and initiating
children into education called Akshara abhysam. After the prayers and puja, one doll in the golu
padi is made to sleep on the rack perhaps symbolizing the end of the festival.

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Navaratri Songs
One of the other things that is very unique and special for the Navaratri festival is the rendering of
songs every evening for the Golu and the deities. Devotional songs of all types ranging from the
most classical (full of swarajatis) to the simplest ones are sung by women folk both at their own
homes and in front of the Golu at other homes, which they visit regularly.
In this section, we shall specifically focus on the Nava-Avarana-Kritis, which are unique, very rich in
tantric content, and extremely pleasing to the listener as well. There are three broad categories of
navavarana kritis penned by Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar, Maharaja Sri Swati Tirunal and by
Oothukkadu Kavi.

Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar


The Kamalamba Navavarana Kritis by Shri Muthuswami Dikshitar (1776-1836) are some of the
most famous pieces of music in the Carnatic system of Indian classical music. They are treasures
which embody not only the technical brilliance of the composer but also offer a peep into the
advaitic school of Hindu philosophy and elements of Tantric rituals. They are very elaborate
compositions which may be well compared with major symphonies in the Western system.
These songs are set in praise of the Goddess Kamalamba who is enshrined in Tiruvarur in the
Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu in South India. The Goddess is the reference to the Divine Mother of
the universe, or the Supreme Consciousness.
The lyrics and the descriptive details are loaded with the mystical symbolism of the Vedantic
(advaita) tradition and the chakras of the human system are closely linked to the evolutionary
aspects described in the compositions that reflect the scholarly reach, musical depth and mystical
significance of the composer.
Musically, they are par excellence and the majestic sweep of well known ragas (melodic forms) like
Todi, Kalyani, Kambhoji, Sankarabharanam, Sahana, Anandabhairavi and Bhairavi are offset against
haunting melodies in lesser known ragas like Punnagavarali, Ghanta and Ahiri.
Dikshitar uses several talas (time measures) although Rupakam (3 beats) seems to be his favourite.
Ata talam (14 beats) and Misra Jampa (10 beats) in the Kambhoji and Bhairavi pieces are rarely
used because of the technical difficulty in executing these. An added element is the use of different
case endings (which Dikshitar uses in his other group krities, like the Abhayamba and Nilotpalamba
set). The Dhyana (invocatory) kriti in Todi is in the vocative case, followed by the Anandabhairavi
in the nominative, Kalyani in the accusative, Sankarabharanam in the instrumental, Kambhoji in the
dative, Bhairavi in the ablative and so on.
The ninth avarana kriti in Ahiri has all the cases; interestingly the raga itself has all the 22 Sruti
(notes) in the octave. It is believed that such a fusion of all melodic and temporal elements in the
same kriti is a musical way of expressing the advaitic ideal of "aham Brahmasmi" or complete union
with the Absolute. Indeed the Ahiri composition is very unusual musically especially the pallavi
which has a repeating and distinctive prose sections, are seamlessly put together.
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The set concludes with a short and sweet mangalam (auspicious conclusion) in Sri ragam set in
Khanda Ekam (5 beat talam). The entire set consists therefore of the dhyanam (invocation), the
nine avaranas, and the mangalam (conclusion), a total of 11 pieces.

Dikshitars Kritis
The 9 kritis are as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Kamalamba Samrakshathu - Anandabhairavi - Misra Chapu


Kamalambaam Bhajare - Kalyani - Adi
Sri Kamalambikaya Katakshitoham - Shankarabharanam - Rupakam
Kamalambikayai - Kambhoji - (Khanda) Ata
Sri Kamalamba param - Bhairavi - Misra Jampa
Kamalambikayaastava - Punnagavarali - Rupakam
Sri Kamalambikayam - Sahana - Tisra Triputa
Sri Kamalambike - Ghanta - Adi
Sri Kamalamba Jayati - Ahiri - Rupakam

The rendering of these Kritis are considered to be extremely challenging owing to the complexity of
the words and the notations. The D.K. Pattamal and D.K. Jayaraman school are considered to be
specialists in the rendering of these compositions. It requires years of training to render them to
perfection.
You can listen to the Kritis online by clicking on the below link:
http://www.raaga.com/player4/?id=268147,268148,268149,268150,268151,268152,268153,268
154,268155,268156,268157

Maharaja Swati Tirunal


Maharaja Swati Tirunal, one is invariably reminded of Lord Padmanabhaswami of
Thiruvananthapuram.
The Maharaja used the various paryayam-s (equivalent phrases) of the proper noun "Padmanabha"
as the mudra (author's signature) in most of his musical compositions. He has also composed kritis
on various other deities in and around the courtyard of the temple. Among these, the nine kritis he
composed, for singing the praise of Goddess during the Navaratri festival stand out as a distinct and
precious collection.
The first six songs in the series are addressed to Saraswati, and the last three to Parvati. The
composer bows to the Goddess, seeking Her blessings, with an earnest appeal to protect him and
save him from sins and torments.

Swati Tirunal Kritis


The nine Devi Kritis to be sung on each Navarathri day as follows:
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Navarathri day

Kriti (with clickable links to view Raga


lyrics and listen online)

Tala

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9

Devi jagat Janani


Pahimam Sri Vageeswari
Devi pavane
Bharati mamava
Janani mamavameye
Saroruhasana jaye
Janani pahi
Pahijanani santatam
Pahi Parvatanandini

Adi
Adi
Adi
Adi
Misra Chapu
Adi
Misra Chapu
Misra Chapu
Adi

Sankarabharanam
Kalyani
Saveri
Todi
Bhairavi
Pantuvarali
Shudha Saveri
Natta Kurinji
Arabhi

Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi


Ootthukkadu Venkata Kavi The Great!! (c.1700 - 1765 CE) was a prominent composer of Carnatic
music. He lived in South India in the present-day state of Tamil Nadu. Also known by the name
Oothukkadu Venkatasubba Iyer, he is attributed to over 400 compositions. These were handed
down from generation to generation by the descendants of the composer's brother's family.
Venkata Kavi's compositions reveal that he was a complete master of the science and art of music in
all senses of the term melody, rhythm or lyrics and was eloquent in Sanskrit and Tamil. He was
proficient in a variety of musical forms such as the kriti, tillana and kavadichindu. He used talas and
themes that not many other Carnatic composers have preferred to handle.
His compositions are a blend of a high degree of scholarship on a variety of subjects and inspired
expression. Several pieces also reveal his humility, reverence for the great personalities before his
times and the high state of bliss that he probably experienced almost ceaselessly.
His works scarcely contain autobiographical notes and show that he had reached great spiritual and
philosophical heights. His works also reveal the proximity he felt towards God and show his deep
devotion.

Oottukkadu Navavarana Kritis


Venkata Kavi also composed Navavarnams (nine varnams) on the goddess Srividya to be sung
during Dasara popularly called Kamakshi Navavarana Kritis. Apart from the main nine songs for
the nine nights, he has also composed Vinayaka stuti, Dhyana stuti and a Phala stuti.
There are several similarities (and differences) between his Navavaranams and that of
Muthuswami Dikshitar but both reveal the composers scholarship in the various aspects of Devi
worship. These are:
1. Sri Ganeshwara Shanmukhapriya Adi Vinayaka stuti
2. Vanchayati yadi kushalam Kalyani Adi Dhyana stuti
3. Santatam aham seve Deshakshi Adi - (1st avaranam)

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4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

Bhajaswa shree Nadanamakriya Adi - (2nd avaranam)


Sarvajeeva dayapari Shuddha Saveri Mishra Chapu - (3rd avaranam)
Yoga yogeshwari Anandabhairavi Khanda Triputa (2 kalais) - (4th avaranam)
Neelalohita ramani Balahamsa Khanda Dhruvam (2 kalais) - (5th avaranam)
Sadanandamayi Hindolam Sankeerna Matyam - (6th avaranam)
Sakalaloka nayika Arabhi Adi - (7th avaranam)
Shankari Shri Rajarajeshwari Madhyamavathi Adi - (8th avaranam)
Natajana kalpavalli Punnagavarali Adi - (9th avaranam)
Haladharanujam praptum - Manirangu - Adi - Phala stuti

You can listen to the Kamakshi Navavarana Kritis, by downloading the audio files. Click the below
link to download:
http://www.mediafire.com/?x69c9e880l61i65

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Navaratri Naivedhyam Recipes


Recipe # 1 Ven Pongal and Peanut Sundal
Ven Pongal
Ingredients
1 cup rice
1/2 cup split moong dal
4 6 cups water
1 table spn fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tspn whole black pepper corns
1/5 tspn cumin seeds
4 5 curry leaves
2 tblspn raw cashew nuts, unsalted
2 tblspn ghee
salt to taste
Preparation
Cook the rice and dal together in the water until very very soft. Perhaps use 4 cups to begin with
and add more if required. It will take 20 30 minutes to cook.
While the rice and dal is cooking, finely chop the ginger and roast it in 1Tblspn ghee.
Add the cumin, whole black pepper and curry leaves. Saut a little without burning to
release the flavours. Set aside.
Roast the cashews in the remaining ghee until golden brown but not burnt.
When the rice and dal mixture is cooked, mix vigorously, mashing the dal and rice together.
You want a buttery texture. Mix in the spices with the ghee that they were sauted in.
Top with the roasted cashews.
Peanut Sundal
This variety of Sundal made of raw peanuts does not need any soaking.
Ingredients
2 cups of Raw Peanuts
Salt
Hing
1/3 cup of fresh coconut grated.
4 Green Chillies.
Curry Leaves.
A few drops of coconut oil.
Preparation

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Place the peanuts in a cooking vessel, inside the pressure cooker and add sufficient salt. Add
enough water.
Cook for at least 2-3 whistles.
Drain all the water
Take a kadai or wok and add a spoon of coconut oil.
When the oil is hot, add mustard, curry leaves, hing and immediately the cooked peanuts.
Allow to saute for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, grind the coconut and green chillies without adding any water in the mixer for a
few seconds. Set aside.
When the contents of the kadai are well mixed and sauted, add the ground coconut mix.
Add a little more salt only if needed.

Recipe # 2 - Moong Dal Sundal


Ingredients
2 cups of Moong Dal.
Water to cook the dal.
Salt
Hing.
Pinch of red chilli powder.
1/3 cup of fresh grated coconut.
5-6 green chillies or according to taste.
Seasoning: Mustard, Curry Leaves.
Oil.
Preparation
Moong Dal cooks very easily so there is no need to soak ahead.
Take a vessel and put in the moong dal. Then add water to just cover the moong, salt and a
pinch of red chilli powder.
Allow it to cook on medium flame for about 6-7 minutes. You will see that the moong with
absorb the water and slightly grow in size.
It is important that you do not overcook the moong as it tends to get mushy.
Drain out the water and set aside to cool down for 10 minutes or so. If needed, spread it out
on a plate so it dries out the water a little.
Meanwhile grind the coconut and green chillies in a mixer to a rough mix.
Take a kadai, add 2 spoons of gingely/coconut oil and allow to heat.
Season with mustard, hing, curry leaves and then add the cooked moong dal.
Immediately add the pulsed coconut-chilli mix and give it a slow mix.
Use your ladle to carefully mix in the ingredients and flavouring. Too much handling could
again break the moong and make it mushy.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Recipe # 3 - Arachu Vitta Sundal

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Ingredients
White Channa 2 cups.
Water just enough to cover and cook.
Salt
Hing
Roast
4 spoons Channa Dal.
2 spoons Dhania.
8 red chillies
1 spoon of urad dhal.
1/3 cup of coconut.
Mustard, Curry Leaves, Oil & Hing for seasoning.
Preparation
Soak the white channa for at least 6-8 hours prior to preparation of neivedhyam. Cook in
the pressure cooking adding water, salt and turmeric for 3 whistles.
Drain the water
In a kadai, add a spoon of oil and when it is hot, add all the ingredients specified for
roasting. Roast on a medium flame until they get brown and you get a gentle aroma.
Pop in the mini mixer jar, add fresh grated coconut and using a little of the cooked channa
water, grind to a very smooth paste.
Take your kadai/wok and add 2 spoons of oil. Season with mustard, curry leaves and hing
and add the cooked white channa beans.
Stir them gently and now add the ground masala from the mixer jar.
Mix well and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until all the water is absorbed.
You can also make this sundal out of Mochai or Field Beans

Recipe # 4 - Yellow Peas Sundal


Ingredients
1 cup Yellow Peas.
1/4 cup of dessicated coconut.
3 green chillies.
Salt.
Hing.
Seasoning
Mustard, Curry Leaves
Preparation
Soak the yellow peas for about 6-8 hours.
Drain all the water and pressure cook with a little salt and just enough water.
Switch off after 2 whistles.
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Grind the coconut and green chillies without any water in to a coarse mix. Set aside.
In a kadai, add a spoon of coconut oil and when it is hot, add mustard, curry leaves and a
dash of hing.
Immediately add the cooked yellow peas and a little salt and hing as required.
Garnish with the coconut-chilli mix and incorporate it well in to the peas.

Recipe # 5 Kadambam Sundal


Ingredients
Channa /Chickpea - 1/2 cup
Brown Channa - 1/2 cup
Dried Peas, Mochai, Peanuts, Moong dal, Black eyed pea - fistful
Blanced Almonds - 5
Seasonings
Mustard seeds, Urad dal - 1 tsp
Channa dal - 1/2 tsp
Green Chilis - 1
Red Chilis - 2
Curry leaves - 5 - 6
Coriander leaves for garnish
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Preparation
Since the cooking time is different for each lentil, pressure cook each of them separately. Let it
drain. Chop the blanched almonds, keep aside.
Heat a pan with oil, season it with mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal, chopped green
chilies and red chilies. Saute for 2 mins.
Then add the drained legumes to the pan and season it with salt. Simmer for 2 mins and
remove.
Recipe # 6 Sweet Green Gram Sundal
Ingredients
1 cup Green Gram Dal.
3/4 cup grated Jaggery or soft brown sugar.
Water to cook.
1 tsp of Cardamom Powder.
1 spoon of ghee.
Preparation
Take the cup of green gram dal and roast it dry in the kadai for a few minutes. You will
slowly get the aroma of the roasted green gram dal. This should suffice. It is not required to
soak the green gram dal.
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Always roast on a medium flame. Set aside.


When the dal cools considerably, put in a vessel and pour water to cover the beans. Cook it
without adding salt.
Switch off after ten minutes, and set aside.
In a kadai, add spoon of ghee, and the cooked green gram dhal.
Now add the 3/4 spoon of jaggery and mix well. The jaggery will melt and coat the cooked
green gram dhal.
Immediately switch off the stove and add the crushed cardamom.
Stir in immediately and mix well.

Recipe # 7 - Sweet Black Eyed Beans Sundal (Vellai Karamani Vella Sundal)

Ingredients
1 cup Black Eyed Beans (Vella Karamani)
3/4 cup grated Jaggery or soft brown sugar.
Water to cook.
1 tsp of Cardamom Powder.
1 spoon of ghee.
Preparation
Soak the Black Eyed Beans in water for at least 4-5 hours prior to preparation of Sundal.
Cook in the pressure cooker until you get one whistle and then reduce the heat and cook in
low for ten minutes and then switch off.
Drain the water
Rest of the procedure is the same as in Green Gram Sundal given above
Recipe # 8 - Black Channa Sundal garnished with sliced coconut pieces
Ingredients
1 cup Black Channa.
Water to cook
Salt
Oil
Mustard
Curry Leaves
4 dry red chillies
1/4 cup of finely slit coconut pieces.

Preparation
Soak the black channa for at least 6 hours prior to cooking.

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Put in a wide mouthed container, add salt, turmeric and add just enough water to cover the
channa.
Cook in a pressure cooker. Wait for one whistle and then reduce the flame and keep for ten
minutes and then switch off.
Drain the water
Take a kadai, add 2 spoons of coconut oil. When the oil is hot add mustard, curry leaves,
hing, dry red chillies and then the cooked channa.
Mix well and wait until the seasoning ingredients are mixed well in to the legumes.
Garnish with finely sliced coconuts

Recipe # 9 Bengal Gram Sweet Sundal

Ingredients
Bengal gram dal - 2 cups
Salt - 1/2 a pinch
Ghee - 2 tsps
Sugar - 6 tbsps
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Fresh coconut gratings - 6 tbsps
Preparation
1.Dry roast bengal gram dal on low flame till it gives out a pleasant aroma.
2. Switch off flame and add 4 cups of water and allow the roasted dal to soak in it for half an hour.
3. After half an hour switch on flame and cook the dal in the same water adding the salt till it
becomes soft but not mushy.
4. Drain the dal and keep aside.
5. Heat ghee in a pan and add the cooked and drained dal and saute till dry.
6. Add 3 tbsps of sugar and stir till it melts and becomes dry again.
7. Allow to cool and then mix in the remaining sugar and cardamom powder.
8.Garnish with fresh coconut gratings.

Tamboolam Offerings
If you are giving gifts to women invited for Navaratri Pooja, then the tamboolam plate will typically
consists of the following

Betel Leaves
Betel Nuts
Areca Nuts
Kumkum

Turmeri
Small Mirror
Comb
Bangles

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Fruits Bananas, Apples, Oranges etc.
Prasadam like Sundal, Chakkara
Pongal etc.

Small gifts for kanya girls like Chains,


Bracelets, Earrings etc.
Blouse Bits for married women.

Ebook on 51 Shakti Peethas


When Sati, the wife of Shiva and the first incarnation of Parvati, sacrificed herself at a yagna being
performed by her father the King Daksha; a very distraught Shiva started dancing with her body.
The world was terrorized from this Tandava Nritya and to stop the devastating penance, Vishnu
used his Sudarshan chakra (the whirling knife on his finger tip) and completely cut up Sati's body in
several pieces.
Wherever her body parts fell, a temple was erected to commemorate different manifestations of
Shiva and Parvati and became a Hindu pilgrimage. They are called Pitha or Sakti Pithas.
These temples are scattered from present day Pakistan to India to Sri Lanka to Bangladesh. Sati is
also called Devi or Shakti (Strength).
Click on this link to download a free Ebook on the 51 Shakti Peethas. The information contained in
this book will be immensely useful if you are planning a tour to these pilgrim centres.
http://vedarahasya.net/shakti.htm

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Acknowledgements
We gratefully acknowledge the following blogs and websites which contained a treasure of
information for compiling this Ebook on Navaratri Festival.

http://vegeyum.wordpress.com
http://anubhavati.wordpress.com
http://www.hindu-blog.com
http://www.padhuskitchen.com
http://momscorner.blogspot.in
http://advaitham.blogspot.in

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Ambal Darshan - Painting by Sri B.Narayanan


Sri Akilandeswari, Thiruvanaikoil

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