By Lavanya Balasubramaniyan, Bangalore
Navaratri means nine nights for the Devi. It’s one of my favorite festivals from my childhood. My Mom used to keep golu. We would dress ourselves like Radha, Krishna, etc. and go to invite our neighbors. One new doll is bought every year. After marriage, I started keeping golu in Nashik where I was for 3 and a half years. My neighbors enjoy coming to my house and look for the sundal and the way the dolls are arranged. My husband and my son help me in building the steps and arranging the dolls. I invite my friends, neighbors and relatives for my golubommai. Every day morning some sweet dish is made. As I am a Srividya Upasakar, I perform navavarna pooja for all the 9 days during navaratri. In the evening, we chant Lalita Sahasranamam and make sundals. I plan to have our relatives, neighbors and friends over to our home one day during navaratri, so that I have enough time to spend with them. I give tamboolam to all the ladies, with manjakuttai, kumkum, betel leaves and nuts, fruits, sundal and a gift. Kanya girls are even more important as they are considered an incarnation of the Devi. One day, Suhasini Pooja is performed. After nine days, on Vijayadasami, the dolls are put to sleep. They packed safely for the next year.
The following video shows the chanting of Lalita Sahasranamam.