Tuesday, October 11, 2005

happy sarasvathi pooja!

today is the last day of navrathri, and it is a day in celebration of the goddess sarasvathi, who is the goddess of education, music, the arts and literature. when we were young, my mum would have a pooja in the house, and all of us would arrange our schoolbooks (and story books), my music books and my veenai before the altar , and we would pray for blessings on them (my mum used to sambrani-fy it, but how do you say this in english? what is sambrani in english anyway? incense? must find out...). shall go and do it with gitanjali this year. actually did it last year, but she kept grabbing her books and running away. prob. a tad bit too young then. we've been lighting tea lights everyday for the last eight days for navrathri, and she really enjoys herself. tulsi and sangeetha (her 2 current favourite dolls) join us during prayers and have learned to sit properly and pay attention during prayers (like gitanjali)

i guess this is my philosophy. religion should be fun. traditional customs and festivals should be enjoyed, not endured. now that i too am a parent, i realise that if i screw up the way my child perceives her religion, she will always have a distorted vision of her culture and her personal god.

i guess i have been lucky in the sense that i was never brought up to do something purely because my ancestors had been doing it for umpteen years. my mum believed that if we were doing something, we should understand the reason why we were doing it, so i always grew up in an enlightened environment where even the meanings of bhajan songs were explained to us, and everything about us was logicked to make us understand that although hinduism has a thousand gods, there is only one god, and that god is shared by us all...

for those among you, who don't believe in god, here's a photo to prove you wrong...

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