Oct
22
2012

Navarathri and its significance

 

Come Navarathri and it’s that time of the year to bring out the ‘golu’ dolls in the house, in most Tamil homes. During Navarathri, most traditional Tamil households arrange and display dolls of Gods and Goddesses, celestial beings, martyrs, saints, mortals, animals, and other such dolls on successive steps, (to a maximum of nine steps) in a sequential order.

From the top, on the first step, idols of God's are placed. The arrangement of idols continues for the next three successive steps. On the fourth, fifth and sixth steps are placed saints, siddhars and dolls of holy men or women who have dedicated their lives to the service of God or people who have led exemplary lives in their devotion to God. This also includes dolls of noble men like freedom fighters, philanthropists' and social workers who have led a significant life. On the seventh, eighth and ninth steps are placed dolls of ordinary human beings playing their role in everyday life, like vendors, fruit sellers and farmers. Then the last steps are for the animals and crawling creatures that are also a part of life.

The above is the general order of arrangement. Beside the steps, an arrangement of events like marriage ceremony or a display of a game of cricket are also present on the area marked for golu. This is the general order, though many people deviate from it to display the dolls in their own creative way, but the underlying concept remains the same.

 
There are many interpretations of ‘Golu,’ the most common being, symbolising the evolution of life and so the creators or Gods are placed on the topmost step. The arrangement is a representation of the hierarchy in life – starting from insects, then animals and then holy men right upto the creators or Gods.

It is also believed that the underlying idea behind ‘Golu’ or the sequence of arranging dolls in a particular order is a reminder to humankind to reach the pinnacle of truth - which is God. It is seen as a symbolic representation of the fact that ordinary human beings, through their good deeds can raise themselves to the level of saints and then merge with god.

Golu is a time to celebrate and reinforce religious sentiments in a simple yet creative fashion. It is also the time to invite and meet near and dear ones - strengthening family ties.

Navarathri celebrations last nine days and nights. Besides the Golu arrangement, all nine days are devoted to the worship of the Goddesses – Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. The first three days are set aside for the worship of Goddess Durga to help us destroy all our vices and defects. The next three days are devoted to Goddess Lakshmi to whom we plead for material and spiritual wealth, while the last three days are dedicated to the worship of Goddess Saraswathi, to whom we pray for wisdom.

The goal of human beings is demonstrated through Golu in a simple yet effective way, of merging with God, whatever may be our circumstances.
 
Oct
9
2012

Colourful Life

There seems to be a link between colours and our moods. It’s amazing how colours fill our lives with so many emotions. Feeling blue, green with envy, having a green thumb, being a black sheep, uttering a white lie, in a grey mood, once in a blue moon, being in the pink of health, bruised black and blue, are all common terms used in everyday life denoting colour as a means to convey an emotion and express feelings.

Research reveals that a subconscious judgment about a person on initial viewing is based mostly on colour. Colour can provoke a positive or negative emotion depending upon the state of mind or mood of the person. Striking colours worn by one can lead us to qualify a person as exhuberant while one dressed in dull can lead us to imagine the individual to be rather uninteresting.
 
 
Red for example creates feelings of warmth. Green is a healing colour- the colour of nature representing harmony and hope. Purple is a royal color. Wearing Purple robes by the emperors was once considered an emblem of authority and rank. Yellow is considered a harbinger of the spring season. It signifies a celebration of nature. White denotes purity and pristineness. Black on the other hand can denote something sinister while it is also attributed with elegance and sophistication.

Besides the above, there are a series, ranging from the darkest colours to the lightest hues. There are colours that are rather dull and listless, but are uplifted when used in combination with brighter ones.

Nature has provided us with an abundance of colours, right from the blue skies, the green fields, the rainbow with its range of colours, the hues set by the sun in the sky when it rises and sets, the myriad colours of flowers, the various green shades of leaves and many more.

Colour preference is rather subjective. A colour which is liked by one may seem jarring to another. Therefore choosing the right colours for ourselves can create within us emotions that can be inspiring, stimulating and help raise our energy levels.

Colour is therefore a noticeable attribute of the world around us, without which life would be dull.

The RmKV 50,000 colour saree is a speciality that is imbued with almost all the colours under the sun.

So is the Hamsa Varna saree, which is the latest from RmKV.

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