Good over evil, love over hate: these are universal messages understood by any person of any religion and race. Navratri has just passed, the celebration of how the almighty Maa Durga defeated all the evil in the universe when Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Mahesh (the destroyer) could not. An alternate shakti (power) was formed by the Trimurti (three forms) to kill the demon Mahishasura. She battled him for nine days and on the ninth night she managed to kill him. Maa Durga used all her weapons and divine shakti (feminine energy) to bring peace and righteousness upon the Earth again.
There are various things about Navratri that hold different meanings to me. Firstly, as a young female who is currently at university, from a religion that has not always recognised and appreciated the power of women in countries such as India, the festival of Navratri empowers me and motivates me to strive for the best and fight anyone who tells me that a ‘woman cannot do anything’. The fact that a female power had to be created to save this universe during a war against evil reminds me that we are a form of divine shakti, and just like Maa Durga we represent all forms of positive vibes and energies.
Secondly, as a university student, the festival of Navratri motivates me to tackle any task, assignment or exam that I must face. Just as Maa Durga had to study Mahishasura and understand his traits and mannerisms before she could destroy him, students such as myself must process and handle anything that is given to them. This understanding does not just apply to students but also anyone that is facing a tough time in their working environment or generally in their life, as sometimes we must face difficulties before we can triumph.
‘Garba’ is the traditional Gujarati folk dance that is celebrated during Navratri in honour of Maa Durga defeating the demon Mahishasura. It is said that garba creates a higher form of positive energy as more and more people perform it and the faster the music booms. Garba is also performed as a representation of the ‘divine energy’ of Maa Durga amongst us. It is also the idea that life changes and we experience both life and death in an ongoing circle of life, but the one thing that remains constant is Maa Durga, the mother of our universe who will forever protect her children.
So on Wednesday 25th October 2017, come and celebrate the joyous occasion of Navratri at London Zone Navratri, where people from all backgrounds, races and religions can meet and celebrate the victory of Maa Durga and the defeat of hate and evil. It will be held at Byron Hall, Harrow Leisure Centre from 6.00-11.00pm, and is not to be missed!
Tickets are running out fast, so remember to contact your Chapter Committee members for a guaranteed entry to one of NHSF (UK)’s biggest events of the year! Wear your best traditional clothes, bring your dandiyas and your garba dance moves!
— Nikisha Galoria (NHSF (UK) Roehampton, President )