The Amrita fraternity at the Amritapuri campus celebrated the Navaratri Festival with great enthusiasm during October 15-24, 2011. The atrium at the entrance of the institution building underwent a beautiful transformation as it became adorned with vividly coloured flowers and lights.
The nine forms of Goddess Durga were majestically depicted on a large poster.
Sampoojya Swami Turiyamritananda Puri inaugurated the celebrations by lighting a lamp. After performing the Ashtothara Sata Namavali Archana, he distributed sweets to the gathering.
Dr. Balakrishna Shankar, Associate Dean, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, addressed the students, faculty and staff members, elaborating on the significance of the Navaratri Festival.
“The Sanskrit word Navaratri means Nine Nights. The festival is dedicated to worship of Goddess Durga. Nine forms of Shakti or Devi are worshiped during this festival that spans nine nights. The tenth day is popularly known as Dussehra or Vijayadashami; it symbolizes the triumph of good over evil,” he said.
According to the Hindu Puranas, Navaratri Festival celebrates Goddess Durga’s victory over the powerful demon named Mahishasura.
All days of the celebration saw the chanting of Akanda Lalitha Sahsranama. It is believed that the Sanskrit mantras that are recited help to not only cleanse one’s mind but also the atmosphere.
Daily evening pujas with bhajans and satsangs saw active participation from all. As students and faculty members sang and chanted with devotion, a spiritual aura descended on the premises. Prasadam was distributed after the pujas on all days.
The celebrations also saw students from different states in India evoke their regional traditions. The Bommai Kolu observed in Tamil Nadu was recreated here, wherein marvelous wooden and clay dolls depicting gods and goddesses and village scenes were displayed on wooden steps.
The Dandiya dance so popular in Gujarat during Navaratri was also played here, making the evening of October 22, an unforgettable one.
On Vijayadashami day, a new dawn of knowledge was welcomed, as participating students traced these letters in rice-filled brass platters – Hari Sree Ganapathaye Namah.
“These nine days were so special for us. We took part in the celebrations with fervor and devotion. I felt so relaxed and uplifted. The celebrations opened our hearts,” shared Neha Tadimeti, third-year BTech student of Electronics and Communication Engineering.
“I have never been in such vibes. It was something astonishing. Prayers, bhajans and arati continuously for nine days; it was really wonderful. I can’t express adequately in words,” commented Neha’s classmate, Goutham P.
October 31, 2012