Sunday, 26 October 2014

Goddess Durga!

Well, here comes a post after a long time. I'll keep it relatively short as I hardly have much to write. However, the length does not imply importance; a one line post in this blog is also of utmost significance in my heart.

Now, this is the time of the year we Bengalis celebrate the most - Durga Pujo time! :D

Now while this time is a time to celebrate, rejoice and relax for all, it carries along with a great significance and a message from time immemorial. This time is the time of Goddess Durga. Durga has been described as  the Annihilator of all evil, the slayer of 'Mahishashur', the king of the Asuras. Durga is the 'Mahishashurmardini', 'Viswavinodini', 'Paramashakti' - the greatest of all goddesses. Now what do even all these mean? Well, straight to the point, the day of Vijayadashami celebrates Durga Maa's victory over Mahishashur, firmly advocating that no matter how much evil prevails, good has the last laugh.

Well, leaving the mythology associated aside, let us notice, Bengal mainly worships women goddesses - Durga, who is the main goddess and hence has the biggest festival of the year as her puja, Lakshmi, Saraswati and the like. What the Durga Pujo tradition implies is that women are supreme and the pillars of justice, conscience and good morality. It establishes the concept of 'Eternal Feminism' [1]. It speaks out loudly that the power of women cannot be altered by a group of men - no man, no government, and no system can suppress women. No matter how much valor a man has, or how much strength he has, a woman will always have to be his moral guardian. Women are the idols of modesty, purity, morality, delicacy, compliance and reticence - and this is the eternal truth. It is to be noted that while the virtues of men are public - strength, valor and the like, the virtues of women are private, and they serve as a moral guardian to ensure peace and security; to stand as the guardian angels of the city looking from way above what any man can - from a societal, moral and spiritual perspective.

I shall talk about one more thing here - Mahalaya. This is the reading of the 'Chandi' when Maa Durga descends to Earth. The Chandi is a very powerful and deep scripture and goes on to tell the story of Durga. The Chandi states about the two aspects of the feminine - a seductive aspect, and a motherly aspect. The latter is glorified in the scripture as depicting Durga as the mother goddess of all - the savior of mankind, the destroyer of all evil. She governs the cosmos and protects her children from evil just like a mother would. Coming to think of it, evil is everywhere - from the streets to the tall posh buildings one can see around. There is no place left for evil to spread. The promise of a world without evil is far from possible, and that is precisely what the scripture states. Durga Maa will be there watching you, like a guardian angel who will not let one small scratch fall on her little baby.

So, talk about women empowerment and Bengal is right there staring at you since mankind learnt to write. The reading of the Chandi reminds Bengal, and the world of that. Women are to be respected, if not because I tell you to, then because Durga Maa will be really really angry on you. And what does she do when she's angry? Yes, she kills evil emperors.

[1] Frances Nesbitt Oppel, Nietzsche On Gender: Beyond Man And Woman


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