Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Navarathri Kolu 2012 - (Part 1 of 3)

This year's theme for Navarathri was BAVANI VARUM ARUVAR (பவனி வரும் அறுவர் ).

The traditional Kolu:

Sri Adi Shankara initiated 6 ways of worship, known as ‘Shanmatham’. The Shanmathams that he founded were Gaanapatyam (worship of Lord Ganesha), Shouram (worship of Surya), Vaishnavam (worship of Vishnu), Shaivam (worship of Shiva), Shaaktham (worship of Devi) and Kaumaram (worship of Muruga).
He has composed several prayers in praise of all the six gods for the benefit of devotees following the six ways of worship.

This year’s Kolu at our residence displayed the deities belonging to the 6 different forms of worship in procession and also on rare mounts! Each such display had a legend behind it and in the Kolu we presented salient features of Shanmatham with emphasis on the Bhavani (ulA) pertaining to the six deities Ganapathi, Siva, Vishnu, Devi, Muruga and Surya.

In our country several temples have been built for all six manifestations of the Lord and worship in these temples has become very popular. Temple worship is normally governed by Agamas and several functions and festivals have been prescribed.

Among the various events (festivals or utsavams) celebrated in a Hindu temple, Kaalotsavams (calendar events, seasonal celebrations) are celebrated in a grand manner, during which, the idol of the deity is taken in procession on gaily decorated mounts and worshipped on the festival days. Processions are of various kinds, like those on a palanquin, chariot, different vaahanaas like the horse, elephant, lion, tiger, peacock, swan and so on. Devotees from far and wide gather at the temples during these festivals to watch these celebrations and get the blessings of the Almighty.

The basic principle behind such processions (bavani or ulA) is that the Lord comes to us and blesses us, even if we are unable to go and get His Darshan. In the earlier days, towns were architected with such processions in mind where around temples roads were built to facilitate such festivals. People decorate their houses to receive the God in procession. When the idol of God is brought before the house, people come out, have darshan, perform Aarti and pray to God. Elders and physically challenged persons who are unable to visit temples get an opportunity to see God from wherever they are through these festivals.

It must be noted that these processions are social functions and not limited to any particular community. Anyone, for instance, can pull the chariots or come forward and offer their prayers. Also, such occasions provide opportunities for Indian arts and cultural forms, like music, dance, folk arts to be promoted and taken to the common man. Processions are preceded and followed by Nagaswaram Music, folk music and dance, Bhajans, recitation of Slokas, Vedas etc as well as decorative fireworks.

Float festival is also a part of this celebration, in which festival images of deities are led in procession in a float (Teppam), in the temple tank amidst the chanting of hymns and the playing of music.

We made an attempt and depicted all of the above in this year's display of dolls...

The different mounts for the 6 forms of worship :


This refers to the worship of Lord Ganesha.

The rat or the mouse is the usual mount of Lord Ganesha...

Lord Ganesha on the elephant mount:

Very exceptionally, the Ganesh mount may be the elephant, as mentioned in the Skanda Purâna:

Lord Ganesha on the elephant mount, at a place called "Seyyur" in Tamilnadu.

Lord Ganesha on the lion mount:
In tantric forms like Heramba Ganapati, Simha Ganapati, Pañchamukha Vinâyaka, Vakratunda, the Ganesh mount is the lion :

Lord Ganesha on the lion mount in Nagapattinam, Tamilnadu.

Lord Ganesha on the swan mount:

Lord Ganesha on the peacock mount:

Morgaum in Maharashtra:

Demon Sindhu, who was a very powerful devotee of Lord Surya (the Sun God),attacked the gods and trapped them.On request from the Gods,Lord Ganesha appeared on the Earth on a peacock and destroyed the Demon.This is the place where the head of Demon Sindhu fell down. Hence,Lord Ganesh assumed the name Mayureshwar or Moreshwar.


This refers to the worship of Lord Surya.

Lord Surya's mount is the chariot driven by seven horses:

(To be continued...)


Revanth said...

Wow! Year by year, It gets innovative and interesting. Beautiful theme Akka. Eagerly waiting for the next part

psprab said...

Visiting your home kolu was an intellectually spiritual exercise!