It’s probably difficult for people from other cultures to think of a festival that goes on for ten days…but that’s Navarathri (literally, nine nights.) Today is the ninth day, which is dedicated to Saraswathi, the goddess of learning, and is also Ayudha pujA day, where the implements and gadgets of everyday use are worshipped.
Here’s the traditional doll display in a friend’s home:
You can see the eight forms of Lakshmi, the ten avatArs (real avatArs, not the recent movie!) of VishNu....and to the right, you can see the recently acquired set of the Madurai "kallazhagar" (Vishnu's procession on the way to the wedding of his sister, Meenakshi, to Sundareswarar!).
The silver lamps have been lit, and several books, and a "sruthi box" have been kept for worship. And don't miss the herd of elephants to the right, too! See the beautiful rangoli between the lamps.
Here's the rangoli one of the employees in their office had done, in the office premises (about 2 roads away):
To come back to their home, here's the top part of the display...there are the ten avatArs of Vishnu as ThanjAvUr paintings (done with gold leaf), all around:
Everywhere, pumpkins are smeared with sindoor, and then smashed, in a symbol of sacrifice (once upon a time, it was animal sacrifice, now the red is just a token!)
Here's the puja in our little small-scale unit in Hosur:
The priest is showing the flame of the Arathi in front of GaNEshA, Saraswathi, and Lakshmi.
Here are the staff of the unit, listening to the annual address:
All gadgets (including computers!) are worshipped:
I loved the ornament and the rose in one young woman's hair:
Here's a nice scene of the Shiva temple atop the hillock in Hosur, as we passed it:
Here's the little puja I did at home; you can see the picture of Saraswathi with the veeNA in her hand:
Let me end at the beginning, with an picture of the sunrise as we left home early in the morning (the unit in Hosur is about 50 km from our home.)