Friday, November 02, 2007

#062, Did Rama worship Durga during Dusshara

The blog mentioned as under:--
"... As per epic Ramayana, Ram worshipped Durga and invoked blessings to kill Ravana, the 10-headed king of Lanka. Ravana had abducted Sita, Rama's wife earlier. It is believed that Ram, Sita and Laxman returned victorious to Ayodhya on this day. Hence Dassera is celebrated in honor of Ram in some places of India. ..."

The FlowergirlIndia blogsite does not provide for readers' comments. Hence, I have no alternative, except to write a post here.

Valmiki Ramayana (Sanskrit), the first Ramayana in India as per the current research observations, does not make any mention anything about Rama worshipping Durga and invoking her blessings. Book 6, (Yuddha Kaand`a, Book of War) deals with it. Chapters 1 to 41 (Sargas 1 to 41) are connected with construction of bridge, crossing it and preparing for war. I am unable to trace even a single verse which shows Rama praying to Goddess Durga. I invite readers to write a comment here, quoting any verse of that type, if they come across.

According to Valmiki Ramayana, Chapter 41, there are Suvela Mountains outside Ravana's fort's gateway. There is a moat and some vacant space between the wall of the fort and the Suvela Mountains. Rama and Vanaras assemble there.

First Sugriiva, on seeing the gateway, finds Ravana sitting on his throne (probably in open space). Sugriiva without permission of Rama approaches Ravana and enters into a wrestling bout with him. After exhausting Ravana, Sugriiva returns back. Thereafter, first Rama orders the battle. Ravana too orders demons to fight.

Building festival pendals and decorations is a big business in India. From time immemorial, organisers of temples and festivals, created stories and circulated them among illiterate persons to justify the fanfare and glittering decoration.

Normally, Vaishn`ava books do not mention Vaishn`ava Gods worshipping other Gods, because Vishn`u is regarded as the Supreme. Some books have insertions and interpolations of subsequent periods, in order to bring harmony among six sub-religions of Hinduism (shan` - matams). Showing Goddess Lakshmi w/o Vishn`u and Saraswati w/o Creator Four-headed Brahma, as incarnations of the Mother Goddess Parvati is a part of that effort only.

Same way, the scripture on the Mother Goddess "Devi Bhagavatam" shows Brahma, Vishn`u and S`iva as minor Gods. Siva, the husband of the Mother Goddess, is shown as lying flat under her feet.

There are three types of practices of Mother Goddess worship in India, at present.

1. Samayacharam : A gentle, mild, soft approach. Now-a-days, we see all over the country. The emphasis is more on rituals. This brand is Temple brand, with chanting of Sanskrit verses, aarti, colorful sarees, gold, glitter, etc.

2. Vaamacaaram : Some say that it is practised at temples like Kali ghat, Kolkata Animal sacrifices too take place. This brand is Tantrik brand.

3. "Unlearned" worship. Animal sacrifices. Flow of liquor. The object of this festival is 10% worship, 90% noise and binje of liquor.

Every method has its own merits and demerits. Pl. do not regard this blog post as a praise of, or criticism against any of the three. Just info. only on what is happening.

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