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LAKSHMI

SARASWATHI

DURGA

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it celebrates the invocation 

and triumph of the 

goddess over evil, with the 

first three nights in praise of 

Durga (Shakti or power) next 

three in praise of Lakshmi ( 

prosperity, both material and 

spiritual) and the last three in 

praise of Saraswathi (learning/

knowledge).

During Navaratri (nine nights), we invoke the 

energy (Shakti) aspect of God in the form of 

Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. Durga grants 

us energy - physical, mental and spiritual. 

Lakshmi bestows on us wealth - not just 

material wealth but intellectual wealth, the 

wealth of character, goodness and health. 

Saraswati bestows on us intelligence, the 

capacity for intellectual enquiry and the power 

of discrimination. Hence, Navaratri (nine-nights, 

3 nights of worship for each deity) festival is 

celebrated in order to proclaim to the world 

the power of the Divine Mother. One's own 

mother is the combination of all these Divine 

beings. She provides you with energy, wealth 

and intelligence. She constantly desires your 

advancement in life and hence represents all 

the three Goddesses. Recognizing one's 

mother as the very embodiment of all divine 

forces, one must show reverence to her and 

treat her with love. This is the true underlying 

message that the Navaratri festival gives us. 

–Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Oct 14, 1988

Navarathri

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DURGA

• The word Durga literally means 

"impassable","inaccessible",

"invincible, unassailable"

• also known as Adi Parashakti, Devi, 

Shakti, Bhavani and by numerous other 

names

• She is energy or shakti, male cannot 

exist without energy.

• fearless warrior goddess depicted 

riding a lion or a tiger with numerous 

weapons and favors the color red.

•She is a central deity in Shaktism 

tradition of Hinduism, where she is 

equated with the concept of ultimate 

reality called Brahman.

•Any woman who takes up a cause to 

fight for goodness and justice is said to 

have the spirit of Durga in her. 

• As the mother goddess she is the

inspiration behind the song Vande 

Mataram, sung by Rabindranath Tagore 

during Indian independence movement, 

later the official national song of India. 

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DURGA

Immune from the holy trinity Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, didn’t say nothing if 

their forces were combined!  Shakti means power, Mahishasura Mardini.

& Mahishasura

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Paintings

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DURGA

In Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Durga Puja is also 

called Akalbodhan "awakening of Durga" In 

Bangladesh, Durga Puja used to be 

celebrated as Bhagabati Puja. Large statutes 

are erected made of clay with a distinctive

appearance natvie to North Eastern India.

in Bengal

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 Pala period 

12th century

Bangladesh or India

 last quarter of the 7th 

century–early 

8th century

pre-Angkor period

Cambodia

second half of the 9th 

century

Eastern India, Bihar, 

probably Gaya district 

14th–15th century

Nepal

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protective DEVI

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DURGA

MODERN

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OTHER 

NAMES 

fish eyed one (madhurai)

MEENAKSHI   

beautiful eyes (kanchipuram)

KAMAKSHI   

 androgynous part of God, half man/woman

ARDHANARISHWAR(I)    

giver of food

ANNAPOORNESHWARI   

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MOTHER GODDESS

PARVATHI

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• fiercest aspect of mother goddess

• grants freedom from fear (ghosts, demons, 

etc) makes her devotees fearless.

• Adi Shakti,the Primeval Force of the Universe, 

identical with the Ultimate Reality or Brahman

• Her all-embracing, comprehensive nature, 

because black is the color in which all the 

colors merge; black absorbs and dissolves 

them the one who destroys ignorance and 

removes darkness.

•This form of Goddess is believed to be the 

destroyer of all demon entities, ghosts, spirits 

and negative energies, who flee upon knowing 

of her arrival.

• name means time who is the one beyond the 

limitations of time and space, black one, death

• Hanuman stands as guard to her temples for 

killing Mahavira in Ramayana

• Kali destroyed the demons after coming out 

of Durga’s head in anger and began a 

terrific dance. At the request of all the gods, 

Shiva lay like a corpse among the slain demons 

in order to stop Maa Kali. When Kali eventually 

stepped upon Shiva, she realized she was 

trampling and hurting her husband and stuck 

her tongue out in shame.

• Kali’s nudity has powerful meaning. She is free 

from all covering of illusion. She is Nature 

(Prakriti), stripped of ‘clothes’. She is 

completely beyond name and form, completely 

beyond the effects of maya (illusion). Her 

nudity is said to represent totally illumined 

consciousness, unaffected by maya. Kali is the 

bright fire of truth, which cannot be hidden by 

the clothes of ignorance. 

MAHA KALI 

the ferocious one

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What’s with the dolls? 

GOLU

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GOLU

• Bommai Kolu/ Bomma Golu/ Bombe 

Habba is a doll and figurine display 

festival celebrated during the festival 

of Navratri in Southern India, it is 

customary in the states of Tamil Nadu, 

Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and parts 

of Kerala.

•The Kolu is predominantly displayed 

with depictions from scriptures such as 

Mahabaratha, Ramayana, court life, 

royal procession, weddings, everyday 

scenes, miniature kitchen utensils, 

anything a girl would have played with.

•Odd-numbered shelves (usually 3, 5, 

7, 9, or 11), are set up using wooden 

planks, covered with fabric with the 

deities at the top and other dolls 

below. 

•Modern Golus are elaborate 

including lego lands, fairy lands, etc.

and dolls from around the world. 

• It is a chance for women to socialize

by visiting each others homes and 

exchanging gifts and sweets. 

• It is a traditional practice to have 

wooden figurines of the bride and 

groom together, called 'Marapacchi 

Bommai' made of wood decorated 

with new clothes each year, 

symbolizing prosperity and fertility. 

The dolls represent the assembly of Durga Devi who killed the demon Mahishasura on Vijayadashami day.

Occasion that promotes creative expression for women and for the family to work together on an aesthetic 

aspect. It brings joy to a lot of people. ITS A LOT OF FUN! 

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GOLU

TRADITIONAL

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GOLU

TRADITIONAL

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GOLU

TRADITIONAL

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GOLU

TRADITIONAL

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GOLU

MARAPACHI

Modern

Traditional

Traditional

Traditional

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GOLU

MODERN

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GOLU

MODERN

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GOLU

MODERN

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GOLU

MODERN

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GOLU

MODERN

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GOLU

MODERN

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GOLU

NAILS

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GARBA &

RAS

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LAKSHMI

• The Goddess of wealth, fortune, and 

ros erit .  ersonifies  ealth  riches  

eaut  ha

iness  lo eliness  grace  char

 

and splendour.

• Consort of Lord Vishnu. She is born as his 

s ouse  hene er the  ord incarnates. 

hen 

ishnu a

eared as  a

ana   arasura

a  

a

a and  rishna

 she a

eared as  ad

a  

harani   ita and  u

ini.

  suall  descri ed as enchantingl   eauti-

ful and standing on a lotus. It is  ecause of 

this she is na

ed  ad

a or  a

ala.  a ors 

the color  in . 

he  oating lotus goes u  and do n de-

pending on the level of the water 

i

l ing that  ealth is unstead  it co

es 

and goes and not to get too attached to it.

he lotus  a  o er that  losso

s in clean 

or dirt   ater  also s

olises  urit  and 

eaut  regardless of the good or  ad cir-

cu

stances in  hich its gro s. It is a 

re

inder that good and  ros erit  can 

loo

 and not  e affected 

 e il in one s 

surrounding..

er iconogra h  sho s her  ith four 

hands   hich re resent the four goals of 

hu

an life considered i

ortant to the 

indu  a  of life  dhar

a  

ā a  artha  and 

o sha.

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Adi Lakshmi

 

he  irst 

anifestation of  a sh

i

Dhana Lakshmi

one

de icted as four ar

ed  in red gar

ents  and 

carr ing a cha ra  discus  shan ha  conch   alasha 

ater  itcher  ith 

ango lea es and a coconut on 

to

 or 

rita  u

ha  a  itcher containing the eli ir 

of life   o  and arro

 a lotus and her ar

 in a ha a 

udra  ith  ealth in the for

 of gold raining do n 

fro

 it.

Dhanya Lakshmi

 

agricultural  ealth  de icted as eight ar

ed  in green 

gar

ents  carr ing t o lotuses  gada 

ace   add  

cro  sugarcane   ananas  and her t o hands in a ha a 

udra and  arada 

udra.

Gaja Lakshmi

Elephants spraying water, wealth of fertility, rains 

and food. gi er of ani

al  ealth  such as cattle

Santhana Lakshmi

 

ealth of continuit   rogen .  e icted as si

ar

ed  

carr ing t o  alashas 

ater  itcher  ith 

ango lea es 

and a coconut on it  s ord  shield  a child on her la .

Veera/Dhairya Lakshmi

Valourous/Courage the goddess who bestows valour 

during  attle and courage  lus strength for o erco

ing 

difficulties in life.  he is de icted as eight ar

ed  in red 

gar

ents  carr ing a cha ra  shan h   o

 arro

 trishul 

or s ord  a  undle of  al

 leaf scri tures  other t o 

hands in a ha a 

udra and  arada 

udra.

Jaya/Vijaya Lakshmi

ictorious the goddess and the gi er of  ictor  not onl  

in  attles  ut also for con uering hurdles in order to 

achie e success.  e icted as eight ar

ed  in red gar

ents  

carr ing the cha ra  shan h  s ord  shield  lotus   asha  other 

t o hands in a ha a 

udra and  arada 

udra.

Vidya/Aishwarya Lakshmi 

he  esto er of  no ledge of arts and sciences.

LAKSHMI

8 FORMS OF

Ashta Lakshmi

LAKSHMI

Ashta 8 

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Goddess of Prosperity

LAKSHMI

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SREE &

V

ishnu

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Gaja Lakshmi, 

Goddess of Fortune\

8th century

India (Kashmir)

Standing Lakshmi, 

Goddess of Fortune\

13th century

Thailand

Lakshmi, Goddess of 

Prosperity

7th century

Himachal Pradesh

India

1800-1900

Tamil Nadu 

India 

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oddess  ishijoten of  a an corres onds 

to  a sh

i. ishijoten is the goddess of 

eaut  fortune  and  ros erit . ishijoten 

is considered the sister of the deit  

isha

on also  no n as  a

on or 

isha

on ten   isha

on  rotects hu

an 

life  fights e il  and  rings good fortune. 

In ancient and 

edie al  a an   ishijoten 

as the goddess  orshi ed for luc  and 

ros erit   articularl  on  ehalf of 

children.  ishijoten  as also the guardian 

goddess of  eishas. 

hile  isha

on and 

ishijoten are found in ancient  hinese 

and  a anese  uddhist literature  their 

roots ha e  een traced to deities in 

induis

Bali /Indonesia

oddess  a sh

i is 

closel  lin ed to t o 

goddesses wor

shipped in Bali – 

Dewi Sri, as the 

goddess of fertility & 

agriculture and

e i  a

i as the 

goddess 

of wealth.

KISHIJOTEN

Japan

DEWI SRI

Bali

THE WORLD

DEWI LAXMI

Indonesia

VASUDHARA

Tibet & Nepal

AROUND 

THE WORLD

AROUND 

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MODERN

LAKSHMI

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VARALAKSHMI 

Vratam

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SARASWATHI

• The Goddess of learning, knowledge,

isdo

 fine arts  

usic.  onsidered as the 

ersonification of all  no ledge   arts  

sciences  crafts   ainting  s ills.

  onsort of  ord  rah

a.  ressed in  hite 

and seated on  hite lotus re resents light  

no ledge and truth.

   rah

ani 

o er of  rah

a   rah

goddess of sciences   haradi  goddess of 

histor

  ani and  achi 

oth referring to 

the  o  of 

usic song  

elodious s eech  

elo uent s ea ing res ecti el

  arnes ari 

goddess of letters   a ijih agra asini  one 

ho d ells on the tongue of  oets . 

he is  orshi

ed  efore e a

s  jo  

inter ie s and all other e ents in ol ing 

acade

ics  studies  assess

ents and tests.

 goddess of elo uence  s eech and  ords

o  s eetl .

orn fro

  ord  rah

a s 

ind she  ould 

e ist in   for

s

.  i  of e er one s tongue as s eech

.  art of  rah

a s  eing

ist as a ri er on earth

a ors  hite clothing re resents  urit  of 

thought. 

isdo

 and  no ledge are 

e ond 

aterial  ealth.  ints of  lue re ect 

assoication  ith the ri er and  uidit . 

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GODDESS SARASWATI 

GODDESS BENZAITEN

JAPAN

he  a anese started  orshi ing  en aiten or 

oddess  aras ati fro

 so

eti

e   et een the 

th and  th centur .   his  as  ased on the 

hinese translations of the  utra of the  olden 

ight   hich is considered to  e a sacred te t 

de oted to  an aiten.

he  i a is the traditional lute of  a an   hich is 

er  si

ilar to the Indian  eena.

oddess  en aiten is re resentati e of all the 

ele

ents that  o

 in other  ords she is the 

goddess of ti

e   ater  

usic  s eech  elo uence 

and 

ost i

ortantl  of  no ledge.  hinese 

language she  as referred to as  iancaitian and in 

a anese she  as called  ensaite.  

er ti

e the 

na

e e ol ed into  en aiten. 

no n as the deit  of  rotection. 

aras ati is said to ha e  illed a 

three headed dragon called  ritra.  his 

creature is also  no n as  hi  the sna e or 

ser ent and is associated  ith  ater and 

ith ri ers.  en aiten is also associated 

ith sna es  dragons and  o ing  ater.

en aiten is a  er   o ular and res ected 

deit  in  a an.  he is 

entioned in 

an  of 

the  a anese scri tures.  o ei  a  uddhist 

on  had indicated that she  as the 

daughter of the dragon  ing  unetsuchi  

ho is also 

entioned in  indu scri tures 

as  na ata ta   hich is a la e at the centre 

of the  orld.

an  shrines all throughout  a an.

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BURMA Buddhist

THURATHADI

THAILAND

Devi of Arts, 

Emblem of 

Faculty of Arts, 

Chulalongkorn University

TIBET

YANG-CHEN-MA

A female buddha embodying 

creativity and wisdom

BALI 

INDONESIA

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SARASWATHI

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SARASWATHI

AS A RIVER

  aras ati  i er is one of the  ig edic 

ri ers 

entioned in the  ig  eda and later 

edic and  ost

edic te ts.   he first  art 

of the  ig  eda is  elie ed to ha e 

originated  hen the  edic  eo le li ed on 

its  an s  during the  nd 

illenniu

 

.

et een the  a

una in the east and the 

utlej  crossroads of  unja

a sistan  in 

the  est.

  ater te ts li e  aha harata  

ention that 

the  aras ati dried u  in a desert.  he 

dried u  seasonal  haggar  i er in 

ajasthan and  ar ana re ects the sa

geogra hical  ie  descri ed in the 

aha harata.

 

entioned so

e fift  ti

es in the h

ns 

of the  ig  eda.

ans rit s ras 

eans  ool   ond or la e

  for

ation in the  il

 

a

 theories suggests that the  el

and  i er 

of southern  fghanistan corres onds to the 

aras ati  i er.

the  haggar

a ra  i er s ste

  hich 

o s through north estern India and 

astern  a istan  onl  during 

onsoon

suggests that the  a

una itself  or a 

channel of the  a

una  

a  ha e  o ed 

est so

e ti

e  et een 

 

 and 

 

  ut  ell  efore the  eginnings 

of the Indus ci ili ation.

ri eni  anga

 hol  s ot in  ra ag 

llaha ad   anges

a

una and the 

in isi le  aras ati  i er said to  o  under.

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PEACOCK + SWAN

SARASWATHI

olds a  oo   re resents secular sciences  in her left 

hand and a rosar   re resents s iritual sciences  in 

her right hand.  eaches us that s iritual sciences are 

ore i

ortant than secular sciences. It is true that 

s iritual  no ledge gi es us li eration 

o sha   ut 

secular  no ledge  the sciences and arts of the  orld  

should not  e neglected either.  er es as a re

inder 

to tune one s heart and 

ind to li e in har

on   ith 

others and the  orld. 

ere intellectual learning   ithout the heart full of 

de otion  senti

ents and hu

ilit  is useless.  o  the 

eena re resents the need for culti ation of fine arts.  

THE SWAN,  hich is su

osed to  ossess the  o er 

to se arate 

il  fro

  ater  stands for discri

ination 

i e a  and  no ledge 

id a . 

hasi es the fact that one  ho  no s  oth  id a 

and 

id a attains i

ortalit .

oli es the a ilit  to discri

inate  et een good 

and e il  essence fro

 out ard a

earances and the 

truth fro

 the  eeting. 

THE PEACOCK re resents  eaut  and dance. 

eacoc s can also re resent  anit  and indecision. 

hus  its  resence is a re

inder to cur  these t o 

ualities.

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MODERN

SARASW

A

THI

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Knowledge

Wealth

Wisdom

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Y.G. Srimati

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TAMIL

BENGALI

SARI TIME

MARATI

GUJARATI

MALYALI

MODERN

RAJARANI

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––Ayush Kejriwal Designer 

HAPPY NAVRATRI!

This Navratri, lets pray that no 

Durga is aborted, no Saraswati is 

stopped from going to school, no 

Lakshmi has to beg for money from 

her husband, no Parvati is 

sacrificied for dowry and no Kali is 

given a tube of fairness cream!

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Devi, who in her later life takes the roles 

of 

Parvati as a wife and mother, 

Lakshmi as a housewife, Saraswati as 

the first guru of her children, 

Durga as 

the destroyer of all obstacles for her 

family, 

Annapurna as the food provider 

through her cooking, 

Kali as the 

punisher to bring the members of the 

family on the right track. 

JAI MA!