The Goddess is Shakti, meaning power, the resort to all transformative and Cataclysmic force that mere human mind’s logic can not comprehend.SHE possesses martial and regal form that all must bow down in awe, holding all majesty, wisdom and grace.
The approach of autumn is felt with not only change in weather, mild chilly mornings but also the divine energy, the aroma of festivity, fun frolic gripping everyone. There is a feel of positivity in the air.
Nine days of Navratri or Durga Puja signifies sacredness, purity and mirth all around.
Maa Durga comes for everyone, to bless everyone with her bountiness ,SHE is mother of all even to outcasted ones from “Nishiddho Pallis” or forbidden territories(Brothels).
Today in this materialistic and virtual world we visualise festivals as a time of merry making, fashion, food delicacies , an opportunity for brands to thrive and make the most profit out of it. Everybody forgets the real essence of a festival, the significance and true meaning of it.
We seldom dive deep into our inner selves,trying to lift up our souls , invoking the inner energy ,cleanse our selves.
The revered rituals as per the sacred scriptures have a deep connection for the betterment of society, that we seldom understand.Here are few less revealing rituals of Durga Puja and it’s significance.
1.Making of Idol
An age old practise, which most of us are unaware of, except for Bengalis and potters of Kumortuli, is the making of Druga idol needs clay from brothels apart from Ganges mud, cow urine, cow dung without which the idol is not complete, rendering them respect atleast during Navratris, who lead a very disrespectful life throughout.
The sex workers are the most inhumanely treated, shunned away section of society that are given polite smile and are welcomed in Durga Puja with reverence . This ancient practice is especially a revered ritual in kolkata or West Bengal.
The sex trade being one of the oldest profession since historic times , is the most disgraceful one also. We, the society, forgets their contribution who quenches the lustful desires of men protecting the sanctity of other women, they are the victims of Men’s sexual desires shielding other women from being victimization . Thus, the clay outside brothel is considered most sacred as man leaves all his virtues and purity at the doorstep of a brothel. The pureness accumulates to make it “Punya mati” an utmost component in making of Druga idols.
The Chandi Paath is also called the Durga Saptsati.It comprises of the 13 chapters of the Markandeya Purana.It describes the story between Good and Evil, and how Goddess Durga destroys Demon Mahisasura.The 700 sacred verses of the Chandi Paath are recited with concentration and utmost devotion,then the reader will gain the energy to overcome all the obstacles in life.
These mantras if recited in particular swar it sends waves in the air creating a shield not only around the reader but also around the surroundings, to protect from all negative energies and provides courage and fearlessness to the reader.
The nine days shows us the 9 shades of womanhood or nine aspects of power, each one being associated with a particular colour .Each day a particular form of goddess is worshipped.Durga Puja is celebration of womanhood, empowering woman in both social and political world.
Sanskrit etymology is very important to understand the real essence of this festival.
DUR-GA means “Inaccessible” or “Invincible” – She represents our higher selves.The mythological story is well know so highlighting some aspects to engender insight.
Mahisasura means the buffalo-demon and the buffalo is a proverbial symbol of ignorance (agyana) and inertia/sloth(tamas).He kept on changing his shape while battling Durga.So, he is representative of the dark mind lacking in insight and wisdom – he repesents the demons which are sneaking in the hidden recesses of all our minds.We are all capable of wickedness.
When our egos or assumed-identity games are challenged we find infinite ways for self-justification and rationalization to preserve our fictitious egos and maintain our psycho-dramas we inhabit.But eventually with perseverance and supreme effort we can and must confront our demons and destroy them.
Durga Puja basically symbolizes the war or conflict that constantly is going on in our thoughts, in our mundane lives, between good and evil. That’s the reason Goddess Durga is not worshipped alone but with other Gods and Goddesses .Ganesha or Vighnaharta, removal of all obstacles, initiating smooth beginning. Kartikeya , representing commander in chief, to strategies war, directing for victory of good over the evil. Every war needs wealth even the war between good and evil,so Goddesses Lakshmi is being worshipped. The knowledge of weapons in war is of utmost importance thus Goddesses Saraswati bestows us with the knowledge to use weapons and attain victory.
The ignorant mind ,with its infinite afflictions, passion and evils, is rooted in three poisons .Greed, anger, and delusion .
The Upanishad loudly declares “nāyam ātma balahīnena labhya” — the realization of the Self cannot be obtained by the weak!
The power of Durga is required to break through our delusion and cut ourselves free from attachments.Mahisasura represents greed,anger and delusion who is being slained by epitome of spiritual energy, Durga.
To awaken the self spirited Durga in ourselves ,we need to challenge fearlessly and relentlessly the forces of darkness, including our own weaknesses that allow us to tolerate or excuse negativity and corruption.
Ma Durga, the eternal Shakti and supreme mother ascends to remove the shadows of falsehood on our struggling earthly realm, blessing our planet with light and bliss for all of its myriad creatures.
Jai Maa Durga