Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dazzling Dussehra

Times have changed to an extent that its a rare circumstance to see too many people aware of why festivals are celebrated or even devoting few minutes to God due to erratic lifestyles which result in ever increasing stress levels and leave them hard pressed for time for anything else. This mythological tribute is done from the bottom of my heart as over the past few years I have started to believe that the almighty walks with me in every step I take in life. This faith has done wonders for me personally and brought about a serene feeling. A celebration all over the country has inspired me to do this tribute to the mighty Goddess whom I believe in has brought in that inner strength and spirituality. Just wanted to share this feeling with all and include everyone in my prayers.

Dussehra or Navarathri....Is a ten day celebration of victory over the evil forces that engulfed our mother earth centuries ago ".Dus" means ten and depicts the 10 evil faces of the villain of Ramayana called Ravan.This popular festival is celebrated every year, with these 10 facets of evil destroyed for good, by our own hero Ram, who is believed to have been the ardent devotee and worshipper of Goddess Durga.This belief prevails the northern parts of India and is celebrated with great pomp and splendor.

The day is also attributed to the power of 'Shakti', a unified symbol of the divine forces, the incarnation of 'Devi', known as mother of Goddesses, is none other than "Durga"which means invincible. She is the destroyer of all sufferings and evil forces. A beautiful, yet powerful manifestation of this deity on a lion, occurred after obtaining numerous weapons from various Gods especially the 'chakra' (disc) from Vishnu and trident from Shiva, to fight the powerful and cruel demon called Mahish.

A small story precedes this creation by various Gods. Several centuries ago, there existed the much feared,deadly,powerful asura called Mahish,born out of a union of Rambha and a she buffalo(Mahishi) and was a consequently, a half man and half buffalo, who also attained a boon from Agni,(Fire) which predicted that he could only be killed by a woman. A boon, which created complacent and superior feelings within the Asura that, he was invincible. This made the demon create havoc in the heavenly lives, causing a rumble in the skies and making all the Devas panic and tremble with fear. Helplessness drove these devas to the Trinity, who were aware of the boon and decided to unite their collective powers to create a Goddess, the sight of whom would scare the demons away. A valiant and bloody battle raged for ten whole days, at the end of which the Goddess, managed to pin down the Asura and behead him. This mighty destruction caused the Gods to shower flowers from the skies and a feeling of joy engulfed the celestial beings. This victory is celebrated as "Dusshera"

This powerful Goddess, Known by several names such as Ambal,Katyani ,Maa sherawali,Mahishasura Mardhini,etc is worshipped with great devotion in our subcontinent, especially in West Bengal and southern regions. Temples have emerged in honor of this mighty Goddess, prayers and offerings are placed before the deity, pleasing her immensely, especially during this ten day festival.

This cult projects the woman to be powerful and strong; and a symbol of motherhood to the entire universe. Prayers to her help abolish the enemies within and around us. Recitation of the popular prayer "Mahishasura mardhini" is bound to give an inner strength that can encounter any battle.

Let us therefore bow our head to the supreme beauty, the creation of the Trinity and other divine forces and vow to eradicate evil forces such as deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy that brings about the birth of a demon in all of us. The triumph of good over evil, though a slow process, is inevitable and is sure to happen.

This is a tribute to Durga Ma and to make these 10 days special and continue to do so for the rest of the years to come.




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