Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Significance of Golu - " Display of Dolls"

Bommai Golu (Kolu) in Tamil and  Bommala Koluvu in Telugu, translates as “ Display of Dolls “.It is celebrated during Navratri which commences on Sept 28th this year. This fun filled Hindu festival, is celebrated predominantly by South Indians all over the world .Traditionally, the dolls collection that is displayed is passed on from one generation to the next, a very emotional and sentimental aspect for the women. Also it is customary to include a new doll in the collection every year.This religious and social festival truly kindles the artistic skills of the women folk. Here is the story as to why Dolls play such an important part in this celebration 

The great Demon Mahisha gained extraordinary powers by performing several penances. There came a time when he became so powerful even the Gods were unable to defeat him. Several battles resulted in the Gods losing the three worlds (Earth, Heaven and Hell) to the demon. The Cosmos was in danger!

To defeat this demon that was now mightier than the Gods, a super power (Shakti) was needed. The Gods create a single form by offering their individual powers simultaneously Thus is born Maha Devi - from the bodies and power of all Gods.

Maha Devi takes the warrior form , Durga, and riding her Vahana, the Lion, battles Mahishasura and his army .Nine days and nights later, Mahishasura’s army is entirely destroyed and Mahishasura is alone on the battlefield. Mahishasura keeps changing his form and the Maha Shakti is unable to destroy the demon .She requires extra power to slay him.

It is at that point of time that all the Gods and celestial beings stand still and transfer their energy to her. That historic moment is when the Devi slays the Asura who is the midst of transforming from a buffalo back to his form. The Cosmos is restored, and that great triumphal victory of the good over the evil is frozen in time .This moment is what is recreated in the present time through Golu/Kolu – Display of Dolls.

Navaratri celebrates the victory of the good over the evil ,for nine auspicious nights. Shakti has three main manifestations .Maha – Saraswati ( Goddess of Knowledge ) , Mahalakshmi ( Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity ) and Durga  (Goddess of Courage and Bravery ).The first three days Durga is worshipped , the next three days Lakshmi and the last three days is dedicated to the worship of Saraswati. These nine days of prayers , chanting mantras and performing pujas invokes the energies of the gods and goddesses filling the atmosphere with so much of positive energy .The tenth day Vijaya Dasami marks the final victory of Durga , when evil is destroyed and only goodness prevails