PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD/TOBAGO, October 20, 2020 (HPI by Paras Ramoutar): Amid the dreaded Covid-19 Pandemic, Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago, as indeed, the world over, are observing the Hindu religious of observance of Navaratri, Saturday Oct 17 to October 24. indoors or in their homes. Navaratri holds deep spiritual and cultural significance to Hindus. Hindus always pray for their fellowmen regardless of their ethnic or cultural or economic status. We pray and seek the blessings and guidance of Mother Durga, Mother Lakshmi and Mother Saraswati to bestow blessings that would bring peace, progress, health, wisdom and prosperity to all of us.
Navaratri has been, and continues to be one of the most regarded and followed in our country. Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago always remember and focus on our forefathers who brought with them religious traditions like the Gita, the Ramayana, the Upanishads, the Durga Chaleesa and the Hanuman Chalessa, among several other religious texts which continue to provide spiritual guidance and solace to a tortured and weak humanity. As we observe these nine days of benediction to Mother Durga, Mother Lakshmi and Mother Saraswati, let us always be minded of our presence to Mother Earth, and that is to do good, speak good and to pray for all mankind. We pray that Mother Durga, Mother Lakshmi and Mother Saraswati continue to bless us all, and our nation and our leaders be guided to lead our land from knowledge to wisdom, from untruth to truth, and from darkness to light.
Pundit Ramesh Tiwari, spiritual leader of the Edinburgh Hindu Temple, pointed out that, "Covid-19, or not, Hindus must observe Navaratri with the usual vigor, enthusiasm and spirituality". "Let us use our prayers and devotion to fight Covid-19 and to ensure that it withers away", he said. According to Pundit Gajindra Kumar of the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Navaratri remains one of the foremost observances in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and the entire Indian diaspora which spread over to over 60 countries with a stock of over 33 million people. For the past nine days, there were hundreds of yagnas, special pujas at public places and at homes, as devout Hindus have been maintaining strict discipline against using meats, alcoholic beverages and other worldly activities.