shakti [strength]

Happy Navratri everyone! The festival season is finally upon us, and we are now into day 5 of Navratri. Garba season is probably one of my favorite times of the year. It is such a colorful and joyous time, bringing hundreds and thousands of people together. It is a symbol of victory over evil and truly shows strength in numbers. There are many stories behind the origin of garba. One of them goes like this: there was a raakshas named Mahisaasur (monster; essentially, an individual who is adharmic, against good, against culture, etc.) ravaging a town. The people of the town eventually were helpless and they prayed to Maha Kaali (she has many forms, but is a representation of strength) for so many days and she heard their prayers and came and killed Mahisaasur so they could live peacefully. Another story dates back to the times of Lord Ram. It was during the war between Ram and Raavan (here’s a quick synopsis), again, it was a fight between dharma and adharma. The war lasted 9 days, and on the 10th day, called Dashera, was the day Lord Ram defeated Raavan.

amazing costumes adorn each person

The traditional Gujurati folk dance of garba can be found all over the U.S. In India, it is quite a spectacle to say the least. Literally thousands upon thousands of people pile in to huge grounds and dance for 3-5 hours each of the 9 days, late into the night. Not only that, but there are groups that come with all sorts of props like decorated umbrellas, dandiyaas, ribbons, fire, and all sorts of things. The first day I went, I didn’t

look at the colors

even dance (despite my love for garba). I just roamed the fields to watch all the different groups with their props and everything. You just become so entranced by the colors, the music, and the joy that is enclosed in that one space, it’s impossible to not soak in the positivity around you.

There are so many great examples like this from the Indian culture that show that good always victors over evil. When I read stories like this, I’m reminded of how even the bad qualities in myself, my laziness, jealousy, anger, whatever, can be overpowered by positive attributes internally and externally. Not only that, but it shows that consistency in your life and directing yourself and your life to the Ultimate, can definitely bring your life fulfillment and you can truly be considered a child of God. The road you take depends on what works for you, but there are millions to choose from.

Today, let good victor over the bad in your life. Embrace the positive you have in your life and let it overpower the bad, and choose to be on the path of strength and optimism.

Mosquito Bite Count: 7 | Serious Craving: Onion Rings

a picture of how many people come to just one day of garba

people on people

just cute live, traditional musicians grace you as you enter the field

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