Nava rathiri is just around the corner. We put Kumbham, a pot filled with water, with a coconut on top surrounded by mango leaves. This is also called Kalasam. The Kalasam is set up to invite and evoke the presence of the Devi. This is done in every festivals and functions such as weddings, House warming, Puberty ceremonies, arangEttram etc as it shows a physical embodiment of the Devi, a form of blessing and auspiciousness. In Nava Ratri the Devi is looked up on three forms on one Kumbam which is decorated and worshiped.
The mother figure represents power or potency. It is referred to as Shakthi in Hinduism, who cares for us, the endless number of her children. We know that in our religion, the goddess mother figure is very significant. This goddess is worshiped in three forms. The mother figure, also called Devi, is prayed for 9 successive nights known as NAVARATHIRI, celebrating the divine mother. This will start from the first lunar day of the brighter half of the Tamil month of Puraddaathi (corresponding to mid September to mid October). These nine days are sub-divided into three groups of three successive nights.
First 3 nights- Durga-Godess of Valour
This goddess protects us from the impurities which we carry internally, while having a ferocious appearance. She is depicted as riding on a lion or tiger with her hair out. She helps us clear our impurities to make ourselves humble towards God.
Second 3 nights- Luxshmi- Godess of wealth
She is depicted us being seated on the Red Lotus flower. This goddess provides prosperity including money, wealth, food etc.
Last 3 nightss-Saraswathy- Godess of knowledge
She is depicted as being seated on a white lotus flower and having VeeNa, a guitar like Indian musical instrument in her hands. This goddess provides education, while aiding one in excellence towards academics in terms of language, speech, and the arts.
The 10th day is dedicated to all these Shakthi’s, where we make offerings to thank the Godess. This is called VIJAYA DASAMI. This is the remembrance of the victorious day of Devi over the evil forces like Makisha asura, a buffalo headed demon.
It is important to have courage, wealth and knowledge, all three to lead an integrated balanced life. The praying for these 9 successive days – significance of Nava Raatri is for all our necessities are able to be fulfilled. The Devi is the embodiment of knowledge, beauty, wealth and all the other goods one desires can be attained through our prayers to her. Therefore pray to Devi during these 9 nights of Navarathiri to fulfill all your needs. Usually during the prayer try to put forth offerings like, sweet milk, sweet rice, sundal and other freshly prepared food items and fresh fruits together with flowers and garlands. Also recite prayers for Devi. Treat the Devi with the respect and responsibility as you would to someone you love and cherish.
With that said, we wish you and your family a wonderful prosperous start on Navarathiri.
சகலகலாவல்லி மாலை
Sakala Kalā valli Mālai
Saint Kumaraguruparar was born in 1625 AD. As a child he didn’t start talking until the age of five. Worried parents took him to the Murugan Temple in ThiruchchenthUr. He was graced by Lord Muruga there and immediately started singing in praise of Him. This very first song is called Kanthar Kali VeNpa. There after he travelled to many places and embraced Saiva ascetic order – sanyAsa. Finally he came to Benares (KAsi) which was already destroyed by the Muslim rulers. He wanted to re-establish the temple in KEtar-gutt, KAsi and to establish a Mutt for the cosmic truth of Saiva Siddhanta there . Here Saint Kumara Guru Parar addressed to Saraswathi, the goddess of learning and composed a great prayer called Sakala-kala-valli-maalai in praise of her.
He became fluent in Hindi language to converse with the then Muslim Prince and persuaded him to grant the land and permission for his mission. The KEtarnath Temple re-established by him and the KAsi Mutt established by him still remain to speak his glories. The Head office of KAsi Mutt was transferred to ThirupananthaaL in Tamil Nadu later on under the Guru lineage from him is running these establishments today.
வெண் தாமரைக்கு அன்றி நின்பதம் தாங்க என்வெள்ளை உள்ளத்
தண் தாமரைக்குத் தகாது கொலோ சகம் ஏழும்அளித்து
உண்டான் உறங்க ஒழித்தான் பித்தாக உண்டாக்கும் வண்ணம்
கண்டான் சுவைகொள் கரும்பே சகல கலாவல்லியே
VeN thāmaraiku andri nin patham thānga, en veLLai uLLath,
ThaN thāmaraikkth thakāthu kolō, sakam ēzhum aLiththu,
UNdān uRanga, ozhiththān piththāka, undākkum vaNNam,
KaNdān Chuvai koL karumbē, sakala kalā valliyē .., 1
Oh Goddess The expert in all the arts and sciences!
Oh sweet like sugarcane to the four faced God Brahma!
You as his consort, he functions as the Lord of creation of everything
As Lord Vishnu is sleeping, and Lord Shiva is dancing like crazy,
Can my heart which is like the cool white lotus not support your feet,
Instead of the white lotus on which it usually rests?
நாடும் பொருட்சுவை சொற்சுவை தோய்தர நாற்கவியும்
பாடும் பணியில் பணித்தருள் வாய் பங்கயாசனத்தில்
கூடும் பசும்பொற் கொடியே கனதனக் குன்றும் ஐம்பால்
காடும் சுமக்கும் கரும்பே சகல கலாவல்லியே
Nādum porud chuvai, chot chuvai thōy thara nāt kaviyum,
Pādum paNiyil paNiththu aruL vāy, panga yāsanathil,
Kūdum pasum pot kodiyē, kana thana kundrum aimpāl,
Kādum sumakkum karumbē, sakala kalā valliyē.., 2
Oh tender golden climber resting on a seat of lotus!
Oh Goddess! The expert in all the arts and sciences!
Oh sweet like sugarcane, who has breasts like hills,
And hair like a forest made up of five pleats,
Please shower your grace to empower me in composing songs,
In four types of poems rich in meaningful words.
அளிக்குஞ் செழுந்தமிழ்த் தெள்அமுது ஆர்ந்துஉன் அருள்கடலில்
குளிக்கும் படிக்குஎன்று கூடும்கொ லோஉளம் கொண்டுதெள்ளித்
தெளிக்கும் பனுவல் புலவோர் கவிமழை சிந்தக்கண்டு
களிக்கும் கலாப மயிலே சகல கலாவல்லியே
ALikkum chezhunthamizh theL amuthu ārnthu, un arud kadalil,
KuLikkum padikku, endru kūdum kolō, uLam koNdu theLLi,
TheLikkum panuval pulavōr kavi mazhai chinthak kaNdu,
KaLikkum kalāpa mayilē, Sakala kalā valliyē.., 3
Oh Goddess the expert in all the arts and sciences!
Oh like the peacock who dances with fully open feathers! (on seeing the rain)
You rejoice seeing the great poets sprinkling the rain of poems with their heart,
When I would be able to plunge in the sea of your Grace?
and drink it like the nectar of supreme Tamil?
தூக்கும் பனுவல் துறைதோய்ந்த கல்வியும் சொற்சுவைதோய்
வாக்கும் பெருகப் பணித்து அருள்வாய் வடநூல் கடலும்
தேக்கும் செழுந்தமிழ்ச் செல்வமும் தொண்டர் செந்நாவில் நின்று
காக்கும் கருணைக் கடலே சகல கலாவல்லியே
Thūkkum panuval thurai thōyntha kalviyum, chot chuvai thōy,
Vākkum peruka paNithu arulvāy, vada nūl kadalum,
Thēkkum chezhun thamizh chelvamum thoNdar chennāvil nindru,
KākKum karuNaik kadalē, sakala kalā valliyē.., 4
Oh Goddess! The expert in all the arts and sciences!
Oh ocean of mercy who resides on the roseate tongue of the devotees!
And restrain the ocean of Sanskrit texts and the wealth of the great Tamil there,
Please grant me the words tinged with taste and knowledge, and
Study of great books from different subjects.
பஞ்சுஅப்பு இதம்தரு செய்ய பொற்பாத பங்கேருகம் என்
நெஞ்சத் தடத்து அலராதது என்னே நெடுந் தாள் கமலத்து
அஞ்சத்துவசம் உயர்த்தோன் செந்நாவும் அகமும் வெள்ளைக்
கஞ்சத்து அவிசு ஒத்து இருந்தாய் சகல கலாவல்லியே
Panjappu itham tharu cheyya potpātha pangēruham en,
Nenja thadaththu alarāthathu ennē? nedunthāL kamalathu,
Anja thuvasam uyarnthōn chennāuvum, ahamum veLLai,
Kanja thavisu oththirundhāy, sakala kalā valliyē.., 5
Oh Goddess! The expert in all the arts and sciences!
Oh Goddess who resides in the heart and tongue of the Lord Brahma,
Who himself having the flag of swan, residing on the lotus flower with a long stalk,
Why is it that the lotus of your golden feet, pretty in the redness like the red cotton
Does not blossom in my heart?
பண்ணும் பரதமும் கல்வியும் தீஞ்சொல் பனுவலும் யான்
எண்ணும் பொழுது எளிதுஎய்த நல்காய்! எழுதா மறையும்
விண்ணும் புவியும் புனலும் கனலும் வெங்காலும் அன்பர்
கண்ணும் கருத்தும் நிறைந்தாய்! சகலகலாவல்லியே!
PaNNum bharathamum kalviyum, thīnchol panuvalum, yān,
ENNum pozhuthu eLithu eydhanalkāy, ezhuthā maRaiyum,
ViNNum puviyum punalum kanalum venkālum anpar,
KaNNum karuththum niRainthāy, sakala kalā valliyē.., 6
Oh Goddess! The expert in all the arts and sciences!
Who is all pervasive and beyond the sky, earth, water, fire, wind,
Vedas, the sacred scriptures, as well as in the eyes and thoughts of your devotees,
Please confer me the skills of music, dance, education,
and sweet poems come to me swiftly when I wish.
பாட்டும் பொருளும் பொருளால்பொருந்தும் பயனும் என்பால்
கூட்டும்படி நின்கடைக்கண் நல்காய்! உளம்கொண்டு தொண்டர்
தீட்டும் கலைத்தமிழ்த் தீம்பால் அமுதம் தெளிக்கும் வண்ணம்
காட்டும் வெள் ஓதிமப் பேடே! சகலகலாவல்லியே!
Pāddum poruLum poruLāl porunthum payanum en pāl,
Kūtom padi nin kadaikkaN nalkāy, uLam koNdu thoNdar,
Thīddum kalaith thamizh thēmpāl amutham theLikkum vaNNam,
Kāttum veL ōthimap pēdē, sakala kalā valliyē.., 7
Oh Goddess! The expert in all the arts and sciences!
Oh white swan, which gently shows me
The sweet Tamil art creations of your devotees keeping You in their hearts;
Please give me your side glance
So all the songs, their meaning,
and their applications all comes to me.
சொல் விற்பனமும் அவதானமும் கவி சொல்லவல்ல
நல்வித்தையும் தந்து அடிமை கொள்வாய் நளின ஆசனம்சேர்
செல்விக்கு அரிதுஎன்று ஒருகாலமும் சிதையாமை நல்கும்
கல்விப் பெருஞ்செல்வப் பேறே சகல கலாவல்லியே.
Cholvit panamum, avathānamum kalvi solla valla,
Nal viththaiyum thanthu adimai koLvāy, naLinā sanam chēr,
Chelvikku arithu endru oru kālamum chithaiyāmai nalKum,
Kalvip peRum chelvap pērē, sakala kalā valliyē.., 8
Oh Goddess! The expert in all the arts and sciences!
Oh treasure of the gift of imperishable knowledge!
Which is impossible even for the Goddess Lakshmi of red lotus to bestow,
Confer me with expertise in words, focus, and art of teaching
In multitude of knowledge, and make me as your own slave.
சொற்கும் பொருட்கும் உயிராம் மெய்ஞ்ஞானத்தின் தோற்றம்என்ன
நிற்கின்ற நின்னை நினைப்பவர் யார்? நிலம்தோய் புழைக்கை
நற்குஞ்சரத்தின் பிடியோடு அரசன்னம் நாண நடை
கற்கும் பதாம்புயத் தாயே! சகலகலா வல்லியே!
Chotkkum porutkkum uyirām mey jnānaththin thōttam enna,
NitkindRa ninnai ninaippavar yār, nīlam thōy puzhaik kai,
Natkunj charaththin pidiyōdu arasu annam nāNa nadai,
Katkkum pathāmbuya thāyē, sakala kalā valliyē.., 9
Oh Goddess! The expert in all the arts and sciences!
Oh goddess with lotus like feet! You learn to walk,
Along with the she elephant which has a long trunk touching the earth,
And the royal swan and make both of them became ashamed,
Which person is that intelligent so that he can think about your form,
Which is the soul of the words and meaning of the True gnosis.
மண்கண்ட வெண்குடைக் கீழாக மேற்பட்ட மன்னரும் என்
பண்கண்ட அளவில் பணியச் செய்வாய்! படைப்போன் முதலாம்
விண்கண்ட தெய்வம் பல்கோடி உண்டேனும் விளம்பில் உன்போல்
கண்கண்ட தெய்வம் உளதோ? சகலகலாவல்லியே!
MaN kaNda veN kudaik kīzhāka, mēt padda mannarum en,
PaN kaNda aLavil paNiyach cheyvay, padaippōn muthalām,
ViN kaNda theivam pal kōdi uNdēnum, viLampil un pōl,
KaN kaNda theivam uLathō, sakala kalā valliyē.., 10
Oh Goddess! The expert in all the arts and sciences!
Though we have millions of gods of the heavens like Brahma,
Is there any other proven God like you?
So please make all the kings who rule this earth under their white umbrella,
Bow before me, as soon as they hear my melodious poems.