Hindu Gods
Dear Children,

The great God that has created us and all the lives as well as of this universe is also protects all.
There is no place without the God and he is inside as well as outside of all.

We worship the almighty God in various forms; Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, Goddess Durga, the Goddess Kali, the Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Lakshmi Devi, Lord Muruga, the Lord Ganesha are to name a few.

You may wonder why so many various forms of God are there.
Let us consider water as an example. When it is in liquid form we use it for drinking, cleaning, cooking and generating electricity etc.

When it is frozen, the ice is utilized for a variety of purposes and also for preserving food products. Yet when it boiling, the stream will power engines and also used in many other ways.

One material, different forms and different usages. Right?
Likewise the great God has taken various forms to fulfil different duties and reasons.

NAVRATRI – from Sep 24 – Oct 2, 2015

(‘Nava’ means Nine and ‘Ratri’ means Night time, thus The Nine divine nights)
Navaratri is also a very popular Hindu festival which is celebrated to signify the victory of Godly rightness over the evil. The Navaratri festival is celebrated to glorify and worship the Devi Shakti in three different forms, Saraswati Devi, Lakshmi Devi and Durga Devi.

There are four kinds of Navaratri festivals celebrated in four relevant periods.
1. Nine days coming after the new moon day in the month of June – July. This is called ‘Ashada Navaratri’.
2. Nine days coming after the new moon day in the months of September – October. This is called ‘Sharad navaratri’.
3. Nine days coming after the new moon day in the months of January – February . This is called ‘Maha Navaratri’.
4. Nine days coming after the new moon day in the months March – April . This is called ‘Vasant Navaratri’.

However the ‘Sharad Navaratri’ of the months of September – October is very special and it is widely celebrated by Hindus living all over the world and so Navaratri always refer this particular one.

(Note that Hindu calender month starts around the middle of the gregorian Calendar month and thus involves two gregorian months as indicated above)

Let’s now see the background to this.
Once, there lived a wicked demon called Mahisha who had performed extremely tough penance for many years and obtained the boon that he might be killed only by a virgin.

Because of that powerful boon, no one in the three worlds could battle against him.
So, he conquered all the three worlds and harassed Devas and Humans. In order to eradicate him and save all, the divine mother Devi Sakthi borned on the the ‘Krishna paksha Saturtasi’ ({refers to an auspicious time) in the month of September – October and performed tough penance for nine days and nine nights.

Thus, she empowered as Devi Durga and destroyed the demon on the ninth day. On the tenth day, devas and all humans on the earth rejoiced her victory over the demon and celebrated that day as ‘Vijayadashmi’.

The tenth day which is significant to Devi Durga’s victory over the terrific demon is celebrated as ‘Vijaya-dashmi day’. The nine days prior to the Vijaya dashmi are celebrated as Navarathri festival of nine divine nights.

Throughout these nine days of Navaratri festival, the first three days are dedicated to Devi Durga, next three days to Devi Lakshmi and the last three days to Devi Saraswati. This way three forms of Devi Shakti are being worshipped.

For a successful and prosperous life, one needs to have the blessing with good education, wealth and bravery. All are important and time and time again it was shown that one without the other is unsustainable. For example one requires wealth(money) to acquire education and in turn education is needed to acquire serious wealth and also a coward can not look after earned wealth.
For that reason, we pray to the three Devis for their blessings on all aspects.

On the tenth day of Navaratri celebration, which is called ‘Vijayadashmi’.

This day, which is called ‘Vidyarambham’ (start-off of education and learning processes) is an important day in the life of the children. The children at the age of three will start writing writing up the first letter using the index finger on the white rice spread on a tray. A priest or an educated relative in the family would keep the child in their lap and holding their fingers in their hand and write the very first letter and also make them to say the letter three times. Hindu children start their nursery or school after this religious function.

The Brahman and the three rogues

One day a Brahman received a goat as a gift. He picked up the goat and set out for home, carrying it on his shoulders.

Three rogues saw the Brahman carrying the goat. They were hungry. They wished they could get the goat for a meal.

“That’s a nice plump goat,” said one of them.

“Yes,” said another,”It would make a good meal for the three of us. But how can we get the goat? The Brahman will not give it to us.”

“Listen,” said the third rogue, “I have a plan.” The third rogue then whispered into the ears of the other two.

The other two rogues laughed. Then all three jumped up and hurried away.

The Brahman walked on.

Now one of the rogues suddenly came along and stood in front of the Brahman.

“Oh, holy sir,” said the rogue very politely, “Why are you carrying that dog on your shoulders? Isn’t a dog too unholy and unclean for a Brahman. I am very surprised to see a you carrying a dog.”
“Dog?” exclaimed the Brahman. “What are you talking about? Are you blind? This is a goat. I just received it as a gift.”

“Now, don’t be angry, sir,” the rogue said in a calm voice. “I am only telling you what I see. But I’ll say nothing more. I’m sorry,sir.”

The rogue quickly went away.

The Brahman walked on, muttering angrily to himself. A little further along the road the Brahman met the second rogue.

The second rogue looked at the goat and then looked at the Brahman.

“Oh, holy sir,” said the second rogue in a sad voice, “You should not carry a dead calf on your shoulders. You know, it is disgraceful for a Brahman to carry a dead animal.”

“Dead animal? Dead calf?” shouted the Brahman.

“What nonsense are you talking? Are you blind? Don’t you know a live goat when you see one? This is a goat I have just received as a gift.”

“Please don’t get angry with me, sir,” replied the second rogue in a very humble voice. “Carry a calf, if you want to, a dead one or a living one. It does not matter to me. I’ll say no more. Please yourself.”
On walked the Brahman. He felt little worried. From time to time he glanced at the goat. It was a goat all right.

But very soon he met the third rogue.

“Pardon me , sir,” said the third rogue, “but I must tell you that what you are doing is most improper.”
“Improper?” asked the Brahman. “What is improper?”

“It is not proper for a holy man to carry a donkey . A Brahman should not even touch such an unclean animal. You must know that yourself. Put it down, sir, before anyone sees what you are doing.”
The Brahman was very puzzled . However he was just too worried to be angry. This was the third man he had met. First a dog, then a dead calf, and now a donkey!

Was this a goat, then, a goblin or was it some sort of demon? Could itself into something different every few minutes? Perhaps theses men were right, after all.

Greatly frightened, the Brahman flung down the goat and ran home as fast a he could.

The rogue picked up the goat and hurried back to his friends. They were happy at the success of their plan. They had a great meal that evening.