PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD/TOBAGO, October 7, 2019 (HPI by Paras Ramoutar): Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago observed Nau Raatri with great enthusiasm and devotion which lasted for nine days as mandirs, homes and other public places of worship were packed signalling again that Hinduism is strong and vibrant. The nine days of worship ended on Sunday night (Oct. 6) amidst the chanting of bhajans and offerings to Mothers Durga, Lakshmi and Sarsawati. In Hinduism, devotees revere the female embodiment of God seeking their blessings for health, wealth, wisdom, peace and to ward off any problems and issues that will confront them in their lives. There are over 400 Hindu mandirs scattered across the land.
Hindus were well poised and spiritually charged to observe Nau Raatri, as they had just observed Pitri Paksh and Ganesh Chaturthi. The radio stations carried live broadcasts of the pujas celebrated in the nation. Hindus fasted and kept vigils both in homes and in the mandirs maintaining self-abstinence from meat or alcoholic beverages. One of the highlights of Nau Raatri was the holding of Kanya Pujas, honoring nine young girls, showering them with gold, clothing, and gifts. Nau Raatri is considered a solemn and moving religious event. What is noteworthy of this year's observance is the participation of young people.
This twin-state nation has a population of 25 percent Hindus out of population of 1.4 million people.
Pundit Gijander Kumar, spiritual leader of the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, formerly from UP, India, spoke glowingly of the deep spiritual and religious significance of Nau Raatri. "The observance of Nau Raatri brings us closer to motherhood both on this earthly and spiritual abode. But, we must not wait on the twice yearly observance of Nau Raatri to observe and pay homage to our mothers. By, observing and paying due respects to Mothers Durga, Lakshmi and Sarsawati, we can be well-poised on the pathway to deep spirituality and away from this world of spiritual decay,"