Sunday, October 05, 2008
Durga Puja in the Tea Garden - 2
Puja Arrives - Shortly after the images were installed on Shashti evening,5 October 2008, Moraghat Tea Estate
Legend connects Durga Puja to Dusshera, when Rama killed Ravana. It is said that before leaving for Lanka to fight Ravana, Rama felt he needed the blessings of the Goddess, who is the embodiment of Shakti, the powerful female principle. He performed Durga Puja.
It was,the legend goes, the first time that Durga Puja was performed in the 'sharad' or autumn season, and ever since that time, Durga Puja has become a 'sharad utsav' - an autumn festival. Another little story is connected to the puja performed by Rama. One hundred and eight lotuses are needed for Durga Puja. Rama searched high and low and got the lotuses with some difficulty. The Goddess decided to test his faith. When he counted the flowers, it always appeared that he was one short. Rama took out his bow and arrow and prepared to shoot out one of his eyes to make up the number. The Goddess relented, and accepting that his faith was true, she appeared before him and blessed him.
The 'Dhak' Player Wecomes the Goddess
Ma Durga arrives on different forms of transport every year.This year, we are told, she arrives on an elephant - an auspicious omen, but departs in a palanquin, which symbolises conflict and unrest everywhere. That's nothing new in these troubled times.