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Shakti and Navaratri Traditions

Navaratri 2002

The Indian system of beliefs refers to the female aspect of divinity as Shakti - or the manifestation of energy.   Worship of the mother Goddess is prevalent throughout India. The nine day festival of Navaratri is a season of rejoicing and celebration. This Templenet feature is a pointer to various Shakta traditions.

All about Shakti: The Indian system of beliefs worships the primeval source of energy Shakti - in the form of the mother Goddess Devi. Variations of this worship are seen throughout the subcontinent.

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The Navaratri festival season is associated with the worship of the mother Goddess conceived in the form of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
Durga symbolizes nature in all its might. Durga is central to the legend of the destruction of the demon Mahishasura. Durga is enshrined in almost all Saivite temples in South India.

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Lakshmi symbolizes the benevolent aspect of nature. Worshipped as the consort of Vishnu, Lakshmi is the symbol of prosperity and well being.
Saraswati symbolizes knowledge and wisdom. Saraswati is regarded as the consort of the creator Bhrahma. All forms of art are said to originate from Saraswati.

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Shakti or cosmic energy is worshipped as the consort of Shiva -  Parvati. Several temples dedicated to Parvati - Shakti are seen all over the land.
Kaali is regarded as the destroyer of evil. The fearful form of Kaali represents inevitablity of death and decay.

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Several non-aagamic shrines dedicated to the worship of the mother Goddess (village deities - graama devataas) abound all over the land with regional variations and local worship traditions.

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