Apr 13, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – As the Hindu Community commenced the observance of Chaitra Navratri yesterday, the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, in a statement, not only extended greetings but warned of the importance of adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines.
In the statement, it noted that during the sacred nine-night period, devotees worship the principal forms of Shakti Ma as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati seeking to dispel darkness and negative energies to be illuminated with spiritual wisdom and knowledge. “It is a disciplined period of fasting, prayers and introspection. The transformative period of Navratri allows the seeker to surmount difficulties in life,” the statement added.
The Dharmic Sabha, in its statement too, advised all mandirs to adhere to strict COVID-19 prevention guidelines, pointing to the fact that our society is faced with a variant of COVID-19 that is deadly and easily transmissible and “we are deeply concerned by the escalating numbers of positive cases and deaths across the country.” As such, it has recommended the following:
• Virtual Navratri satsanghs on social media.
• When having satsanghs at mandir, do NOT exceed the 40 percent capacity. We suggest smaller numbers within the mandirs and adherence to the six feet distancing rules at all times.
• All devotees, singers, musicians and pandits MUST wear their masks at all times in mandir.
• Bhojan/food/Prasad must be served in boxes/bags for take-away and not be eaten at mandir.
• Mandirs can also encourage staggering of attendance to prevent crowds. Persons can attend services on alternate days to allow for smaller numbers.
• That there are hand washing facilities or sanitisers available.
Meanwhile, President of the Dharmic Sabha, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, said she is cognisant of the difficulties the world is facing through the COVID-19 pandemic and recently our neighbours through natural disaster. Moreover, she urged the Hindu community to offer prayers for all the people of the world to be blessed by Aad Shakti Ma with resilience, health and faith to surmount these adversities and challenges. She also encouraged persons to use this period to extend support and kindness to those in need by sharing hampers and meals. Dr. Persaud exhorted all to recognise this as “a period when we worship the feminine aspect of the divine, to continue to be staunch advocates against violence and abuse meted out to women and girls.”
The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, the statement added, will be bringing the mandir to homes through programmes, chanting, bhajans, kirtan and online satsanghs on Facebook throughout the period in an effort to keep persons safe. “We encourage prayer at home, fasting and disciplined observance of the period, which dedicates nine nights to the worship of Aad Shakti Durga Ma,” the statement outlined.
It added, “We know that the Hindu community looks forward to this sacred period for collective worship or satsangh, but we are in a period that threatens health and life with the increasing transmissibility of this deadly variant of COVID-19, so it is important for all to stay safe.”
Noting that this period of Navratri is one designed to herald inner peace, positivity and spiritual upliftment, the statement added, “As you worship Durga Ma to dispel negativity, Lakshmi Mata to usher in abundance and light, and finally, Saraswati Mata for knowledge and wisdom, it is our fervent hope that you will all be safe and enjoy good health.”
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