Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

This is a broad, catch-all category of works that fit best here and not elsewhere. If you haven't found it someplace else, you might want to look here.

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:52 am

William Amherst, 1st Earl Amherst
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/2/21



Image
The Right Honourable The Earl Amherst, GCH PC
Lord Amherst in the uniform of the St James's [Westminster] Loyal Volunteer Regiment. Arthur William Devis, 1803.
Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William
In office: 1 August 1823 – 13 March 1828
Monarch: George IV
Prime Minister: The Earl of Liverpool; George Canning; The Viscount Goderich; The Duke of Wellington
Preceded by: John Adam (Acting Governor-General)
Succeeded by: William Butterworth Bayley (Acting Governor-General)
Personal details
Born: 14 January 1773, Bath, Somerset
Died: 13 March 1857 (aged 84), Knole House, Kent
Nationality: British
Spouse(s): Sarah Archer ​(m. 1800; died 1838)​; Lady Mary Sackville ​(m. 1839)​
Alma mater: Christ Church, Oxford

William Pitt Amherst, 1st Earl Amherst, GCH, PC (14 January 1773 – 13 March 1857) was a British diplomat and colonial administrator. He was Governor-General of India between 1823 and 1828.

Background and education

Born at Bath, Somerset, Amherst was the son of William Amherst and Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Paterson. He was the grand-nephew of Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, and succeeded to his title in 1797 according to a special remainder in the letters patent. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford.[1]

Ambassador extraordinary to China

Image
Lord Amherst wearing the parliamentary robes of a baron.
Portrait by Thomas Lawrence, 1821.


In 1816 he was sent as ambassador extraordinary to the court of China's Qing dynasty, with a view of establishing more satisfactory commercial relations between China and Great Britain. On arriving at Pei Ho (Baihe, today's Haihe), he was given to understand that he could only be admitted to the Jiaqing Emperor's presence on condition of performing the kowtow. To this, Amherst, following the advice of Sir George Thomas Staunton, who accompanied him as second commissioner, refused to consent, as Macartney had done in 1793, unless the admission was made that his sovereign was entitled to the same show of reverence from a mandarin of his rank. In consequence of this, he was refused entry into Peking (Beijing), and the object of his mission was frustrated.[2]

His ship, the Alceste, after a cruise along the coast of Korea and to the Ryukyu Islands on proceeding homewards, was totally wrecked on a submerged rock in Gaspar Strait. Amherst and part of his shipwrecked companions escaped in the ship's boats to Batavia, whence relief was sent to the rest. The ship in which he returned to England in 1817 touched at St Helena and, as a consequence, he had several interviews with the emperor Napoleon (see Ellis's Proceedings of the Late Embassy to China, 1817; McLeod's Narrative of a Voyage in H.M.S. Alceste, 1817).[2] There is undocumented speculation that in one of the interviews, Napoleon said, "China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep. For when she wakes, she will shake the world."[3]

Governor-General in India

Amherst was Governor-General of India from August 1823 to February 1828. The principal events of his government were annexation of Assam leading to the first Burmese war of 1824, resulting in the cession of Arakan and Tenasserim to the British Empire.[2][4]

Amherst's appointment came on the heels of the removal of Governor-General Lord Hastings in 1823. Hastings had clashed with London over the issue of lowering the field pay of officers in the Bengal Army, a measure that he was able to avoid through successive wars against Nepal and the Marathan Confederacy. However, his refusal in the early 1820s during peacetime to lower field pay, resulted in the appointment of Amherst, who was expected to carry out the demands from London.

However, Amherst was an inexperienced governor who was, at least in the early days of his tenure in Calcutta, influenced heavily by senior military officers in Bengal such as Sir Edward Paget. He inherited a territorial dispute from John Adam, the acting Governor-General prior to his arrival, which involved the Anglo-Burmese border on the Naaf River and this spilled over into violence on 24 September 1823. Unwilling to lose face in a time of Burmese territorial aggression, Amherst ordered the troops in.

The war was to last two years, with a price tag of 13 million pounds, contributing to an economic crisis in India. It was only due to the efforts of powerful friends such as George Canning and the Duke of Wellington that Amherst was not recalled in disgrace at the end of the war.


The war significantly changed Amherst's stance on Burma, and he now adamantly refused to annexe Lower Burma, but he did not succeed in repairing his reputation entirely, and he was replaced in 1828. He was created Earl Amherst, of Arracan in the East Indies, and Viscount Holmesdale, in the County of Kent, in 1826. On his return to England he lived in retirement till his death in March 1857.[2]

Family

Lord Amherst married twice, and remarkably, both his wives were dowager countesses of Plymouth. His first wife was Sarah, Dowager Countess of Plymouth (1762–1838), daughter of Andrew Archer, 2nd Baron Archer and widow of Other Windsor, 5th Earl of Plymouth (died 1799). She was more than ten years older than him, and the mother of several children. They were married in 1800 and were blessed with two sons as well as a daughter Lady Sarah Elizabeth Pitt Amherst. Sarah died in May 1838, aged 76, after about 38 years of marriage. Lady Amherst's pheasant was named after Sarah; it was at her instigation that the species was introduced from Asia to Bedfordshire. The genus Amherstia, a Burmese flowering tree, is also named after her.

In 1839, a year after the death of his first wife, Lord Amherst, aged 66, married the widowed daughter-in-law of his first wife. This was Mary, Dowager Countess of Plymouth (1792–1864), elder daughter and co-heiress of John Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset, and widow of his stepson Other Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth (1789–1833). Although this was an unusual marriage, it was not forbidden by either Church law or civil law. His second wife had no children, from either of her marriages.

Lord Amherst died in March 1857, aged 84 at Knole House in Kent, the seat of the Dukes of Dorset, a property which his second wife had inherited. He was survived by his second wife, Lady Amherst, heiress of Knole, who died in July 1864, aged 71.[5] Lord Amherst was succeeded in his titles by his second and only surviving son, William.

See also

• Barrackpore mutiny of 1824

Notes

1. Lundy, Darryl. "Peerage.com". The Peerage.[unreliable source]
2. Chisholm 1911.
3. Reported as "unverified" except for publication in The Mind of Napoleon, ed. and trans. J. Christopher Herold (1955), p. 249. Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989), p. 43.
4. Karl Marx, "War in Burma—The Russian Question—Curious Diplomatic Correspondence" contained in the Collected Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Volume 12 (International Publishers: New York, 1979) p. 202.
5. Lundy, Darryl. "p. 2803 § 28026". The Peerage.

References

• "Amherst, William Pitt". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/445. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
• A. Thackeray and R. Evans, Amherst (Rulers of India series), 1894.
• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Amherst, William Pitt Amherst, Earl". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 852.
• Webster, Anthony. (1998) Gentlemen Capitalists: British Imperialism in Southeast Asia, Tauris Academic Studies, New York, ISBN 1-86064-171-7.

External links

• "Archival material relating to William Amherst, 1st Earl Amherst". UK National Archives.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33222
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:09 am

William Hunter (publisher)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/2/21

Ram Comul Sen [Ramkamal Sen] (1783–1844) was born in Hooghly district and was the son of a Persian scholar. Famous as a scholar, writer and lexicographer, Ram Comul Sen [Ramkamal Sen] worked in Dr William Hunter’s Hindustanee Printing Press as a compositor in 1804 before becoming its manager in 1811. He was also an accountant at both the Asiatic Society and the Sanskrit College. Ram Comul [Ramkamal Sen] became the secretary of the Asiatic Society and also held the post of superintendent of the Sanskrit College in 1835. Amongst his other illustrious posts, he was the principal of the Hindu College in 1821 and a dewan at the Royal Calcutta Mint in 1828. He was one of the founders of the Calcutta Medical College, the only Bengali on the committee and he was the president and founding father of the Zamindar Sabha [Landholders' Association] in 1838. With the permission of Dr William Carey, Ram Comul set up the Agricultural and Horticultural Centre and was influential in setting up the Calcutta Museum with the help of Dr Wallich, a Danish botanist. Apart from these, Ram Comul Sen was instrumental in the systematic eradication of social traditions like drowning dying people in the Ganges and impaling others during Chadak. He made significant contributions to the Bengali language with his compilation of a dictionary from English to Bengali working for over one and a half decades on its two volumes. His grandson, Keshav Chandra Sen, was one of the leaders of the Brahmo Samaj.

-- Calcutta School-Book Society [Calcutta Book Society], by Wikipedia


Image
William Hunter
Colonial Williamsburg shop sign
Born: early 1700s, Yorktown, Virginia
Died: August 14, 1761, Resting place Williamsburg, Virginia
Occupation: printer
Known for: publisher in the Colony of Virginia
Children: William Hunter Jr.
Parent(s): William Hunter (Sr.); Mary Ann Hunter

William Hunter (died August 14, 1761) was a colonial American newspaper publisher, book publisher, and printer for the colony of Virginia.

Biography

Hunter was born in Yorktown, Virginia at an unknown date in the early eighteenth century.[1] His parents were William Hunter Sr. (d. 1742), a merchant of Elizabeth City County, and Mary Ann Hunter (d. 1743). Shortly after the deaths of Hunter's parents, his sister Elizabeth married John Holt, a merchant, printer, and the mayor of Williamsburg (1752—1753).[2] Since all of Hunter's sisters were minor children and had no parents, they moved in with Elizabeth and her new husband at his house.[2] Hunter and his sisters lived in the large house of the "Ravenscroft property" (two half-acre lots) owned by Holt from 1745 to 1754 at the corner of Nicholson and Botetourt Streets in Williamsburg. Hunter was then the owner of the property after Holt's death in 1754, until his death in 1761.[3]

Hunter was a journeyman apprentice under Virginia's first "public printer" ("printer to the public") William Parks.[1] He was an adult in 1749 and was the foreman of Parks' print shop.[4] Upon Parks’ death in 1750, Hunter took over his position as the official government "public printer" for the colony of Virginia.[5] He was the "public printer" for the House of Burgesses in the colony of Virginia from 1751 to 1761.[1][6]

The House of Burgesses was the elected representative element of the Virginia General Assembly, the legislative body of the Colony of Virginia. With the creation of the House of Burgesses in 1642, the General Assembly, which had been established in 1619, became a bicameral institution.

From 1642 to 1776, the House of Burgesses was an instrument of government alongside the royally-appointed colonial governor and the upper-house Council of State in the General House.

When the Virginia colony declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain at the Fifth Virginia Convention in 1776 and became the independent Commonwealth of Virginia, the House of Burgesses became the House of Delegates, which continues to serve as the lower house of the General Assembly....

In 1652, the parliamentary forces of Oliver Cromwell forced the colony to submit to being taken over by the English government. Again, the colonists were able to retain the General Assembly as their governing body. Only taxes agreed to by the assembly were to be levied. Still, most Virginia colonists were loyal to Prince Charles and were pleased with his restoration as King Charles II in 1660. He went on directly or indirectly to restrict some of the liberties of the colonists, such as requiring tobacco to be shipped only to England, only on English ships, with the price set by the English merchant buyers; but the General Assembly remained.


-- House of Burgesses, by Wikipedia


Hunter's salary was increased from Parks' last salary of £280 per year to a yearly salary of £300 when he became the official "public printer" for Virginia in 1751. His salary was increased to £350 per year in 1759.[6] Hunter's print shop foreman was Joseph Royle.[7]

The print shop where Hunter did his daily work for Parks on Duke of Gloucester Street was only about a block away from where he lived at the "Ravenscroft property" at the time he was an apprentice working for Parks.[3] Hunter did the printing of the Virginia Gazette and took over the newspaper upon Parks' death on April 1, 1750.[8] He remained publisher of the Virginia Gazette from January 3, 1751 until his death in April 1761.[1] Hunter started his own identity of the Gazette with "no. 1" in February 1751.[9] It contained news of the Virginia colony, neighboring colonies, and news from England and parts of Europe. Hunter bought out Parks' print shop in 1753 for £288 for the printing presses and associated equipment.[10]

Hunter was a close friend of Benjamin Franklin.[1] In 1753, he and Franklin were appointed deputy postmaster general as co-directors of the colonies.[1][11] Franklin was responsible for the northern areas and Hunter was responsible for areas south of Annapolis, Maryland, a position Hunter held until his death.[11]

Image
print shop reconstructed

Image
Printing press

Image
Printing press set-up

Image
Printer demonstration

Image
Printing work replicated

Works

Image
Hunter's store next door to print shop

Hunter's main work consisted of printing the laws of Virginia, the publication of the Virginia Gazette newspaper, and maintaining a bookstore.[1] In 1754, Hunter printed George Washington's first official report, The Journal of Major George Washington: An Account of His First Official Mission, Made as Emissary from the Governor of Virginia to the Commandant of the French Forces on the Ohio, October 1753-January 1754.[12][13][14]

Printed cover page samples of Hunter's publications:

Image
The Virginia Gazette, February 14, 1751

Image
1754 Journal of Major George Washington

Some additional publications credited to Hunter are:

• 10 editions of The journal of the House of Burgesses from 1752 into 1761.[15]
• 5 editions of The speech of the Honorable Robert Dinwiddie, Esq; His Majesty's lieutenant-governor, and commander in chief, of the colony and dominion of Virginia; to the General Assembly. from 1755 into 1757.[16]
• 4 editions of Acts of Assembly passed at a General Assembly, begun and held at the capitol, in the city of Williamsburg from 1732 into 1754.[17]
• 3 editions of A letter to the Right Reverend Father in God the Lord-B-----p of L------n. Occasioned by a letter of His Lordship's to the L--ds of Trade, on the subject of the act of Assembly passed in the year 1758, intituled, An act to enable the inhabitants of this colony to discharge their publick dues, &c. in money for the ensuing year, from Virginia of 1759.[18]
• 3 editions of Anno regni Georgii II. Regis Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, & Hiberniae, tricesimo tertio of 1759 into 1760.[19]
• 3 editions of Anno regni Georgii II, Regis Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, & Hiberniae, tricesimo secundo of 1758 into 1759.[20]
• 3 editions of Anno regni Georgii II, Regis Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, & Hiberniae, vicesimo nono of 1755 into 1756.[21]
• 2 editions of The duty of living peaceably with all men recommended, in a sermon (on Romans XII. v. 18.) preached at Williamsburg, November 11th 1759. Before the General Assembly of Virginia. By the Revd William Giberne, Rector of Hanover Parish, King-George County. ; Printed at the request of the worshipful the House of Burgesses of 1759.[22]
• 2 editions of Anno regni Georgii III. Regis Magnae-Britanniae, Franciae & Hiberniae, secundo of 1761.[23]
• 1 editions of The speech of the Honourable Francis Fauquier, Esq; His Majesty's lieutenant-governour, and commander in chief, of the colony and dominion of Virginia, to the General Assembly of 1760.[24]

See also

• Alexander Purdie (publisher)
• Joseph Royle (publisher)
• Isaac Collins (printer)
• David Hall (publisher)
• John Holt (publisher)
• Elizabeth Timothy
• Louis Timothee
• Jane Aitken

References

1. Bryson 2000, p. 526.
2. Tenny, Anne (1981). "David Holt of Virginia, and John Holt of Williamsburg and New York City". National Genealogical Society Quarterly. National Genealogical Society. 69 (29): 254.
3. "Previous Archaeology". Ravenscroft Site. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
4. Ford 1959, p. 31.
5. Wroth 1964, p. 43.
6. Virginia State Library 1908, p. 108.
7. "History of Ravenscroft / William Hunter". The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
8. "History of the Ravenscroft Property". The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
9. Thomas 1810, p. 361.
10. Wroth 1964, p. 67.
11. Navarro 2001, p. 21.
12. Virginia State Library 1908, p. 148.
13. Ford 1959, p. 11.
14. "A History of The Virginia Gazette". vagazette.com. The Virginia Gazette. 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
15. "The journal of the House of Burgesses". Open Library. Internet Archive. 2009–2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
16. "The speech of the Honorable Robert Dinwiddieauthor=". Open Library. Internet Archive. 2009–2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
17. "Acts of Assembly". Open Library. Internet Archive. 2009–2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
18. "A letter to the Right Reverend Father in God the Lord-B-----p of L------n". Open Library. Internet Archive. 2009–2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
19. "Anno regni Georgii II. Regis Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, & Hiberniae, tricesimo tertio". Open Library. Internet Archive. 2009–2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
20. "Anno regni Georgii II, Regis Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, & Hiberniae, tricesimo secundo". Open Library. Internet Archive. 2009–2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
21. Anno regni Georgii II, Regis Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, & Hiberniae, vicesimo nono. Internet Archive. 2009–2012. OL 18462071M.
22. "The duty of living peaceably with all men recommended". Open Library. Internet Archive. 2009–2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
23. "Laws, etc. (Session laws : 1762 Jan.)". Open Library. Internet Archive. 2009–2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
24. "The speech of the Honourable Francis Fauquier, Esq; His Majesty's lieutenant-governour, and commander in chief, of the colony and dominion of Virginia, to the General Assembly=". Open Library. Internet Archive. 2009–2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.

Bibliography

• Bryson, William Hamilton (2000). Virginia Law Books: Essays and Bibliographies, Volume 239. American Philosophical Society. ISBN 0871692392.
• Ford, Thomas K. (1959). The Bookbinder in Eighteenth-century Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. ISBN 0910412154.
• Navarro, Bob (2001). The First Executives. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 1462820786.[self-published source?]
• Thomas, Isaiah (1810). The history of printing in America, with a biography of printers, and an account of newspapers. To which is prefixed a concise view of the discovery and progress of the art in other parts of the world.
• Virginia State Library (1908). Report of the Virginia State Library, Volumes 5-7. Virginia State Library, Division of Purchase and Printing.
• Wroth, Lawrence C. (1964). The Colonial Printer. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0486282945.

External links

• Inventory of Estate of William Hunter 1761
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33222
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:03 am

Radhakanta Deb
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/2/21

The Calcutta School-Book Society in the years after being set up in 1817, constituted of a managing committee of sixteen Europeans members and eight Indians. Some eminent people included amongst others were Mrityunjay Vidyalankar, Tarini Charan Mitra, Radhakanta Deb, Ram Comul Sen [Ramkamal Sen] and Moulvi Aminullah. Mrityunjay and Tarini Charan, who was also one of the secretaries along with Mr. F. Irving, were teachers at the Fort William College and Radhakanta Deb was a philanthropist from Calcutta. These few people shaped what would be the beginning of the "Bengal Renaissance"....

Radhakanta Deb (1784–1867) was the grandson of Maharaja Nabakrishna Deb, who was a trusted munshi to the East India Company and had received the decoration of the Knight Commander of the Star of India and his title of 'Raj Bahadur', based on merit for his service under Sir Warren Hastings and Robert Clive. Radhakanta was an accomplished scholar, and like his father Gopimohan Deb, was one of the foremost leaders of the Calcutta Hindu society. Radhakanta was fluent in Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit and also developed a good knowledge of English. He published an eight-volume dictionary of the Sanskrit language called Shabdakalpadruma, between 1822 and 1856, which met the needs of educational institutions, the court of law and students learning Sanskrit. He was also the recipient of several international awards including honours from the Royal Asiatic Society, London. Radhakanta Deb also had a keen interest in promoting elementary education and was involved as director of the Calcutta Hindu College, 1817. He was involved in establishing the Calcutta School-Book Society in 1817 and Calcutta School Society in 1818. He worked towards improving and reforming primary schools. In 1851, he was appointed the President of the British Indian Association. Radhakanta Deb was also founded the Dharma Sabha (Association in Defence of Hindu Culture), a social conservatism body that opposed Lord Bentinck’s abolishing of Sati by a government law in 1829. Radhakanta’s attitudes toward culture and intellectual development are reflected best in his publications for the Calcutta School-Book Society.[3]

-- Calcutta School-Book Society [Calcutta Book Society], by Wikipedia


Sir Raja Radhakanta Deb Bahadur (10 March,1784– 19 April,1867) was a scholar and a leader of the Calcutta conservative Hindu society, son of Gopimohan Deb of Shovabazar Raj who was the adopted son and heir of Maharaja Nabakrishna Deb of sovabajar Raj.[1][2]

An accomplished scholar, Radhakanta was proficient in Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic. He published Shabda Kalpadruma, a Sanskrit language dictionary. Hara Kumar Tagore another contemporary Sanskrit scholar and scion of Tagore family had assisted him in compiling Shabda Kalpadruma.[3] He also wrote articles that were published in Ishwar Chandra Gupta's newspaper Sambad Prabhakar.[4]

Radhakanta Deb always showed a marked interest in promoting education, particularly English education among the Hindus; he also advocated female education.[2] Radhakanta Deb was actively involved in the establishment and activities of the Calcutta School Book Society in 1817 and the Calcutta School Society in 1818.[2] Radhakanta was an active member of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India since its establishment in 1818. He was founder-president British Indian Association in 1851, a position he held till his death.[2] He helped David Hare and funded founding of the Hindu College in Calcutta.[1]

Despite his contribution to the cause of education, he was a strong upholder of social conservatism. Although sati was not practised in his own family, he came forward to defend the custom when the Government contemplated its abolition. When Lord William Bentinck's government had finally abolished sati by regulation in December 1829, Radhakanta Deb, along with his conservative Hindu friends, was the leader a society called Dharma Sabha (founded by his father Gopi Mohun Deb), protested against this measure by presenting a petition to the Governor-General on behalf of the orthodox section of the Hindu community.

References

1. Kunal Chakrabarti; Shubhra Chakrabarti (22 August 2013). Historical Dictionary of the Bengalis. Scarecrow Press. pp. 154–155. ISBN 978-0-8108-8024-5. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
2. AF Salahuddin Ahmed (2012). "Dev, Radhakanta". In Sirajul Islam and Ahmed A. Jamal (ed.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
3. Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali, p. 611
4. Indrajit Chaudhuri (2012). "Sangbad Prabhakar". In Sirajul Islam and Ahmed A. Jamal (ed.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33222
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:18 am

Gopi Mohun Deb
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/2/21

Gopi Mohun Deb (1798-1847)[1] was one of scions the Shovabazar Raj family, a noted philanthropist educationist and foremost leader of Calcutta's Hindu society.

Image
Shobhabazar Rajbari

The Sovabazar Raj family, seated at Sovabazar Palace were the Zamindars of Shobhabazar. The clan begins with a Maharaja Naba Krishna Deb Bahadur left behind two sons, adopted son Raja Gopimohan Deb (1768) and his own son Raja Raj Krishna Deb. Raja Gopimohan Deb was founder director of Hindu College and founder of famous Dharma Sabha. He offered much precious gold and silver to Maa Kali of Kalighat. A very well known scholar in Hindi, Parsi, and English. His son was Radhakanta Deb, whereas Raja Rajkrishna Deb (1782–1823) had eight sons.

• Shiv Krishna
• Kali Krishna
• Debi Krishna
• Apurba Krishna
• Kamal Krishna
• Madhab Krishna
• Narendra Krishna Deb

The Zamindari consisted more than half of Sutanuti and thousands of acres of lands in several districts of Bengal (now parts of West Bengal and Bangladesh).[1][2]

-- Sovabazar Raj, by Wikipedia


He was son of Ram Sundar Deb and was later adopted by his uncle Raja Naba Krishna Deb.[1][2] Raja Naba Krishan later had a son from his marriage in later life named, Rajkrishna Deb (Raja Bahadur), with whom Gopi Mohun shared the affairs of Sovabazar Estate, jointly.

Gopi Mohan was a noted Persian scholar and one of the first five founder members and Directors of the Hindu College along with David Hare and others.[2] He was given title of Raja Bahadur by British and was generally referred to as Raja Gopi Mohun Deb.

He was the founder of famous Dharma Sabha, a conservative Hindu religious body, which spoke on views and rights of Hindus.[1]

His son Raja Radhakanta Deb was also a noted a scholar and a leader of the Calcutta Hindu society.

References

1. A Biographical Sketch of David Hare - by Peary Chand Mitra, Gauranga Gopal Sengupta - 1979 Page 176
2. [1]

See also

• Shobhabazar Rajbari

**************************

Shobhabazar Rajbari
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/2/21

Image
Shobhabazar Rajbari
The Thakurdalan inside the "Palace"
Alternative names Sovabazar Rajbari
General information
Status: Residential building
Address: 33 to 36 Raja Nabakrishna Street
Town or city: Kolkata
Country" India
Construction startedL Main building: probably predates 1757; Nat Mandap: 1830s
Owner: The house: private; Nat Mandap: Kolkata Municipal Corporation

Shobhabazar Rajbari (Shobhabazar Royal Palace) is the palace of the Shobhabazar royal family located in the Indian city of Kolkata. Maharaja Nabakrishna Deb (1737–97), founder of the Shobhabazar Rajbari (at 35), started life as a modest aristocrat but soon amassed considerable wealth in his service to the British, in particular by his role in assisting to topple Siraj ud-Daulah. During his lifetime Raja Nabakrishna Deb built two houses. The building at 35 Raja Nabakrishna Street (known as Shobhabazar Rajbari or "Baag ola Bari - House with the lions"), on the northern side of the road, was the one first constructed by him, subsequently inherited by his adopted son from his elder brother Gopimohan and his descendants including his son Radhakanta Deb. The house at 33 Raja Nabakrishna Street (known as Choto Rajbari) was built by him when a son was born to him later in life, and was left to his biological son Rajkrishna and his descendants.

Role in Cultural and Social life of Bengal

• Raja Nabakrishna Deb celebrated Durga Puja in 1757 on a grand scale after the British defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah at the battle of Plassey. Lord Clive and Warren Hastings were in the list of invitees.
• It was here that the first civic reception of Swami Vivekananda after his return from Chicago Parliament of Religions was organised in 1897 by Raja Binoy Deb Bahadur.


Features

Although originally a saat-mahala house the most intact of the remaining spaces is the courtyard with the thakurdalan. A saat khilan thakurdalan with multi-foliate arches supported on pairs of squared pilasters. Pairs of columns with plain shafts rise up between the arches to support the entablature above.

The main residence

Image
The Nat Mandap.

A large central courtyard with the thakurdalan at the northern end. A paanch khilan takurdalan with multifoil arches supported on compound columns. the double storey wings on either side of the courtyard connect the thakurdalan with the naach ghar to the south. The roof of the naach ghar has fallen through and very little of the superstructure remains.

The Nat Mandap

A set of eight massive Tuscan columns support a wide projecting cornice at roof level. Two rows of multifoliate arches at the northern end provide access to the nabaratna temple at the rear.

Gallery

Image
Outside View of Shobhabazar Rajbari

Image
The Main Entrance also called the Singhadwar (literal translation: Entrance or Door with Lions)

Image
A closer view of the Durga idol at Shobhabazar Rajbari in 2006

Image
Old painting of Durga Puja in Kolkata, possibly at Shobhabazar

Image
Painting of Raja Rajakrishna Dev at Shobhabazar Rajbari Thakurdalan

Image
Durga Puja 2016 at Shobhabazar Rajbari

Image
Raja Narayan Deb of Shobhabazar Rajbari

References

1. "Shobhabazar Rajbari, Shobhabazar, Calcutta". Retrieved 24 March 2012.
2. "Shobhabajar raajbari". Retrieved 24 March 2012.
3. "Shovhabazar Raajbari". Retrieved 23 March 2012.

External links

Kolkata/North Kolkata travel guide from Wikivoyage

See also

• Nabakrishna Deb
• Shobhabazar
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33222
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:47 am

Nabakrishna Deb
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/2/21

Image
Raja Nabakrishna Deb (1737–97)

Maharaja Nabakrishna Deb
Born: 10 October 1733
Died: 22 December 1797, Kolkata, India
Known for: Royal, Raja, Aristocrat, Treachery

Maharaja Nabakrishna Deb (also known as Raja Nabakrishna Deb, archaic spelling Nubkissen) (1733–1797), founder of the Shovabazar Raj family, was a prominent Raja and close confidante/ally of Robert Clive. He was the key figure in the plot against Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula although some believed him to be a traitor of India, who sold his motherland to the British and enabling them to rule India.[1]

Early life

Raja Nabakrishna Deb lost his father, Ramcharan Deb, early in life but his mother took care to ensure that he learnt Urdu and Persian initially and later Arabic and English. Deb was appointed Persian teacher of Warren Hastings in 1750. At one point of time he was munshi (clerk-cum-interpreter) of Governor Drake, advised the British on foreign relations and was a great supporter for the establishment of British power in India. He started his life as a Munshi for Lakshmikanta Dhar or Noku Dhar, the famous banker and businessman of Kolkata, from where he was recommended to Robert Clive when the latter was looking for an able clerk-cum-interpreter. He had carried out confidential work for the British East India Company, prior to and during the Battle of Palashi. After the death of Siraj ud-Daulah, Deb along with Mir Jafar, Amir Beg and Ramchand Roy earned eight crore rupees (approximately 600 million US dollars in present-day value) worth of treasures from the secret treasury.[2]

Achievements

Durga Puja


He is also famous for the Durga Puja he organised in his newly constructed grand Shobhabazar Rajbari (King's Palace) in Kolkata (then Calcutta) in 1757, as a patron of numerous performing artistes, and his philanthropy.[2] The puja in the magnificent palace continues even today.

After his victory in the Battle of Palashi, in 1757, which laid the foundation for British rule in India, Lord Clive wanted a grand thanksgiving ceremony but the only church in Kolkata had been razed to the ground by Siraj ud-Daulah, during his attack a year earlier. When Deb came to know of Clive's desire, he advised, "Offer your thanks at the goddesses' feet at my Durga Puja." "But I am a Christian," protested Clive.

"That can be managed," smiled the wily Deb.

Lord Clive drove in his carriage all the way from his residence in what was then known as New Town (part of the city where the British people used to live) of Kolkata to Shovabazar in the Old Town (where the natives used to live), for the Durga Puja.
Thereafter, it came to be known as the "Company Puja".[3]


Raja Nabakrisna Deb set a pattern for the puja which became a fashion and a status symbol among the upcoming merchant class of Kolkata. The number of Englishmen attending the family Durga Puja became an index of prestige. Religious scruples fell by the wayside. The Englishmen attending the dance-parties, dined on beef and ham from Wilson's Hotel, and drank to their heart's contentment.[3]

While barowari (community) pujas subsequently took over in a big way, the Durga Pujas of the old zemindar and Royal families in and around Kolkata still attract crowds. Shovabazar Rajbari organised the 250th Durga Puja in 2006.[4]


Later life

With Lord Clive backing him, Deb earned the title of Maharaja Bahadur in 1766. The position offered him some administrative powers also. Later he became a political banyan (a powerful middleman) of the British East India Company. When Warren Hastings took over as governor (Governor General of Fort William in Bengal) in 1772, he became even more powerful. In 1776, he earned the talukdari (landholder with peculiar tenure) of Sutanati.[2]

It is one of the inevitable results of a foreign occupation that the history of modern India as written by Englishmen – and no one else has cared to write it – takes little account of the Indian helper whose aid has been essential, and whose advice and knowledge has been invaluable, to the men who built up the fabric of English rule. Nowhere, perhaps is this reticence or history more marked than in the case of Maharaja Nubkissen, the friend and counsellor of Clive and Hastings who beginning life as the Persian tutor of the latter, rose to be the Company's interpreter and crowned career as their political banyan. Mill makes no reference to him: Orme does not mention him, and his name is absent from the pages of Sir John Malcolm. Yet he was no ordinary man, and the influence and power wielded by him during the thirty years which precede his death in 1797 was extraordinarily large.[5]

-- Cotton, H.E.A.


It is beyond reasonable doubt that along with Mir Jafar, Jagat Sheth, Omichund and Krishna Chandra Roy, Ram Chandra Roy, Ali Beg; Nabakrishna Deb also played a crucial role in turning India to a British colony, instrumental in the plot against Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula.[6] [1]

He created a sensation in those days by spending Rs. 1 million (1 million) for the sraddha (the last rites ceremony by Hindu tradition) of his mother, feeding the poor, honouring the learned, and doing everything on a grand scale. He constructed the 50 km (31 mi) road from Behala to Kulpi (presently in South 24 Parganas district) in what was then jungle territory.[2]

He organised a conference of learned men in his Rajbari and patronised many musicians. Harekrishna Dirghangi, Nitai Baisnab and other kabials enjoyed his hospitality. He donated to different causes irrespective of religious denominations. He gave money to start the Calcutta Madrasa, donated land for St.John's Church and earned a reputation as a philanthropist.[2]

Family

He left behind two sons, one adopted and the other his own begetting. His adopted son, Gopi Mohun Deb (Raja) was famous for his musical taste. His natural born son was Rajkrishna Deb (Raja). He had one grandson on the adopted side – Radhakanta Deb (Raja, Sir). His natural born son was father of eight distinguished sons, prominent among whom were Kali Krishna Deb (Raja Bahadur), Kamal Krishna Deb (Maharaja) and Narendra Krishna Deb (Maharaja Bahadur, Sir). All of them, and some others belonging to subsequent generations in the family, have roads named after them in Kolkata. His most recent descendant, Agnish Krishna Deb is currently living in Kolkata.

Historical Palace Shobhabazar Rajbari

Main article: Shobhabazar Rajbari

Raja Nabakrishna Deb (1737–97) founder of the Shobhabazar Rajbari, started life modestly but soon amassed considerable wealth in his service to the British, in particular by his role in assisting to topple Siraj ud-Daulah. During his lifetime Raja Nabakrishna Deb built two palaces. The palace at 33 Raja Nabakrishna Street, on the northern side of the road, was the one first constructed by him, subsequently given over by him to his adopted son Gopimohan. He built the palace at 36 Raja Nabakrishna Street when a son was born to him later in life and left it to his natural son, Raja Rajkrishna and his descendants.

Gallery

Image
Thakurdalan at Shobhabazar Rajbari

Image
Singh Dwar (Lion gate) at Shobhabazar Rajbari

Image
Natmandir at Shobhabazar Rajbari

See also

• Shobhabazar
• Shobhabazar Rajbari

References

1. "Durga puja's colonial roots - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". 21 October 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
2. Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali, Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) (in Bengali), Vol I, 1998 edition, p 242. ISBN 81-85626-65-0
3. Jaya Chaliha and Bunny Gupta, Durga Puja in Calcutta in Calcutta The Living City Vol II, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, Oxford University Press, first published 1990, paperback edition 2005, pp 332–333. ISBN 0-19-563697-X
4. Mukherjee Pandey, Jhimli (30 September 2006). "Shobhabazar Raj Bari". Family tradition alive in the City of Joy. Times of India. Retrieved 18 February 2007.
5. Cotton, H.E.A., Calcutta Old and New, 1909/1980, p288-289, General Printers and Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
6. Sarah Menin (24 February 2004). Constructing Place: Mind and the Matter of Place-Making. Routledge. pp. 156–. ISBN 978-1-134-37909-5. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
6. Samsad Bengali Charitabhidhan (Vol.1) ( Biographical Dictionary) ed. Anjali Bose. ISBN 978-81-7955-135-6
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33222
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:58 am

Durga
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/5/21

-- Nabakrishna Deb, by Wikipedia

-- Gopi Mohun Deb, by Wikipedia

-- Radhakanta Deb, by Wikipedia

-- Shobhabazar Rajbari, by Wikipedia

-- Durga Puja, by Wikipedia

-- Durga, by Wikipedia

-- The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future, by Cynthia Eller

-- Interesting Historical Events, Relative to the Provinces of Bengal, and the Empire of Indostan. With a Seasonable Hint and Persuasive to the Honourable The Court of Directors of the East India Company. As Also The Mythology and Cosmogony, Fasts and Festivals of the Gentoo's, Followers of the Shastah. And a Dissertation on the Metempsychosis, commonly, though erroneously, called the Pythagorean Doctrine, Parts I, II, and III, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

-- India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends.

-- The Black Hole: The Question of Holwell's Veracity, by J. H. Little

-- Full Proceedings of the Black Hole Debate, Bengal, Past & Present, Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society

-- History of Hindostan; From the Earliest Account of Time, To the Death of Akbar; Translated From the Persian of Mahummud Casim Ferishta of Delhi: Together With a Dissertation Concerning the Religion and Philosophy of the Brahmins; With an Appendix, Containing the History of the Mogul Empire, From Its Decline in the Reign of Mahummud Shaw, to the Present Times, by Alexander Dow.

-- Reflections on the Present State of our East-India Affairs; With Many Interesting Anecdotes Never Before Made Public, by Gentleman Long Resident in India

-- The History of British India, vol. 1 of 6, by James Mill

-- The History of British India, vol. II, by James Mill

-- The History of British India, vol. III, by James Mill

-- The Golden Bough: A study of magic and religion, by Sir James George Frazer

-- The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults, Symbolism and Mythology, and in its Relation to Indian Buddhism, by Laurence Austine Waddell, M.B., F.L.S., F.R.G.S.


Image
Durga
Mother Goddess; Goddess of Preservation, Strength and Protection
Durga slays the Buffalo demon, Mahishasura
Affiliation Devi, Shakti, Adi-Parashakti, Chandi, Kali
Weapon Chakra (discus), Shankha (conch shell), Trishula (Trident), Gada (mace), Bow and Arrow, Khanda (sword) and Shield, Ghanta (bell)
Mount Tiger or Lion[1][2]
Festivals Durga Puja, Durga Ashtami, Navratri, Vijayadashami
Personal information
Siblings Vishnu[3]
Consort Shiva[4][note 1]
Manipuri equivalent Panthoibi[5]

Durga (Sanskrit: दुर्गा, IAST: Durgā) is one of the principal Hindu deities, described to the goddess of war, strength and protection.[6][7][8] Her legend centres around combating evils and demonic forces that threaten peace, prosperity, and Dharma the power of good over evil.[7][9] Durga is also a fierce form of the protective mother goddess, who unleashes her divine wrath against the wicked for the liberation of the oppressed, and entails destruction to empower creation.[10]

The earliest depiction of Durga is found in the seals of Indus Valley Civilization.

The Harappan Goddess of War?
by Harappa.com
January 15th, 2017
[Sitewide Search for "Durga" at Harappa.com yielded Zero "0" results]
https://www.harappa.com/category/blog-subject/seals

Image

"The Harappans had a goddess of war connected with the tiger, another large feline that was once native to the Indus Valley. On a cylinder seal from Kalibangan (Image 1, 2), a goddess in long skirt and plaited hair holds the hands of two warriors in the process of spearing each other. Next to this scene, the same deity is shown with an elaborate horn crown and the back part of a tiger as a continuation of her body. The hair of the two warriors is arranged into the double bun' or chignon at the back of the head, characteristic of Late Early Dynastic Mesopotamian kings on the warpath. As in the later South Asian tradition, this tiger-riding goddess of war apparently received water buffaloes in sacrifice. There are several Harappan images of a man who spears a water buffalo while placing one of his feet on the head of the beast. This pose came to signify 'victory' in Mesopotamian glyptic art during the reign of Sargon the Great (2334-2279 BCE)."

Asko Parpola, The Harappan Unicorn in Eurasian and South Asian perspectives, p. 158.


Image

The Pashupati Seal is a steatite seal that was discovered at the Mohenjo-daro archaeological site of the Indus Valley Civilization. The seal depicts a seated figure that is possibly tricephalic (having three heads). It was once thought to be ithyphallic, an interpretation that has been questioned by many critics and even supporters. The man has a horned headdress and is surrounded by animals. He may represent a horned deity. The seal is kept in the National Museum of India in New Delhi.

It has one of the more complicated designs in the thousands of seals found from the Indus Valley Civilization, and is unusual in having a human figure as the main and largest element; in most seals this is an animal. It has been claimed to be one of the earliest depictions of the Hindu god Shiva, or a "proto-Shiva" deity. The name given to the seal, "pashupati", meaning "lord of animals", is one of Shiva's epithets. It has also been associated with the Vedic god Rudra, generally regarded as an early form of Shiva. Rudra is associated with asceticism, yoga, and linga; regarded as a lord of animals; and Shiva may be depicted with three heads. The figure has often been connected with the widespread motif of the Master of Animals found in ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean art, and the many other traditions of horned deities.

The seal was uncovered in 1928-29, in Block 1, Southern Portion of the DK-G Area of Mohenjo-daro, at a depth of 3.9 meters below the surface. Ernest J. H. Mackay, who directed the excavations at Mohenjo-daro, and dated the seal to the Intermediate I Period (now considered to fall around 2350-2000 BCE) in his 1937-38 report in which the seal is numbered 420, giving it its alternate name.

The seal is carved in steatite and measures 3.56 cm by 3.53 cm, with a thickness of 0.76 cm. It has a human figure at the centre seated on a platform and facing forward. The legs of the figure are bent at the knees with the heels touching and the toes pointing downwards. The arms extend outwards and rest lightly on the knees, with the thumbs facing away from the body. Eight small and three large bangles cover the arms. The chest is covered with what appear to be necklaces, and a double band wraps around the waist. The figure wears a tall and elaborate headdress with central fan-shaped structure flanked by two large striated horns. The human figure is surrounded by four wild animals: an elephant and a tiger to its one side, and a water buffalo and a rhinoceros on the other. Under the dais are two deer or ibexes looking backwards, so that their horns almost meet the center. At the top of the seal are seven pictographs, with the last apparently displaced downwards for lack of horizontal space.

Interpretations

Marshall's identification with proto-Shiva


An early description and analysis of the seal's iconography was provided by archaeologist John Marshall who had served as the Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India and led the excavations of the Indus Valley sites. In addition to the general features of the seal described above, he also saw the central figure as a male deity; as three-faced, with a possible fourth face towards the back; and, as ithyphallic, while conceding that what appeared to be the exposed phallus could instead be a tassel hanging from the waistband. Most significantly he identified the seal as an early prototype of the Hindu god Shiva (or, his Vedic predecessor, Rudra), who also was known by the title Pashupati ('lord or father of all the animals') in historic times. In a 1928–29 publication, Marshall summarized his reasons for the identification as follows:

My reasons for the identification are four. In the first place the figure has three faces and that Siva was portrayed with three as well as with more usual five faces, there are abundant examples to prove. Secondly, the head is crowned with the horns of a bull and the trisula are characteristic emblems of Siva. Thirdly, the figure is in a typical yoga attitude, and Siva [sic] was and still is, regarded as a mahayogi—the prince of Yogis. Fourthly, he is surrounded by animals, and Siva is par excellence the "Lord of Animals" (Pasupati)—of the wild animals of the jungle, according to the Vedic meaning of the word pashu, no less than that of domesticated cattle.


Later, in 1931, he expanded his reasons to include the fact that Shiva is associated with the phallus in the form of linga, and that in medieval art he is shown with deer or ibexes, as are seen below the throne on the seal. Marshall's analysis of the Indus Valley religion, and the Pashupati seal in particular, was very influential and widely accepted for at least the next two generations. For instance, Herbert Sullivan, wrote in 1964 that Marshall's analysis "has been accepted almost universally and has greatly influenced scholarly understanding of the historical development of Hinduism". Writing in 1976, Doris Srinivasan introduced an article otherwise critical of Marshall's interpretation by observing that "no matter what position is taken regarding the seal's iconography, it is always prefaced by Marshall's interpretation. On balance the proto-Śiva character of the seal has been accepted." Thomas McEvilley noted, in line with Marshall, that the central figure was in the yoga pose Mulabandhasana, quoting the Kalpa Sutra's description "a squatting position with joined heels" used with meditation and fasting to attain infinite knowledge (kevala). And Alf Hiltebeitel noted in 2011 that, following Marshall's analysis, "nearly all efforts at interpreting the [Indus Valley] religion have centered discussion around [the Pashupati seal] figure". A lot of discussion has taken place about this seal. While Marshall's work has earned some support, many critics and even supporters have raised several objections.

Doris Srinivasan's reinterpretation

Doris Srinivasan, a professor of Indian studies, raised objections to Marshall's identification, and provided a new interpretation for the figure, where she postulated the lateral projections were cow-like ears rather than faces. In 1975-76, she published a journal article titled 'The So-Called Proto-śiva Seal from Mohenjo-Daro: An Iconological Assessment' in the academic journal Archives of Asian Art. In 1997, she reiterated her views in a book titled Many Heads, Arms, and Eyes: Origin, Meaning, and Form of Multiplicity in Indian Art.

According to her, the two extra faces could be reinterpreted as possible ears, and the central face has predominant bovine features. She has drawn similarities between the central figure of seal 420, and other artefacts from the Indus Valley such as the horned mask from Mohenjo-Daro, the terracotta bull from Kalibangan, and the depiction of a horned deity on a water pitcher from the archaeological site of Kot Diji. She has also noted that the yogic posture of the figure is repeated on a number of other seals and sealings, some of which indicate that the figure receives worship. On the basis of these observations, she suggests that the figure of seal 420 could be a divine buffalo-man.

Dravidian Interpretations

Scholars who consider the Indus Valley Civilisation to be associated with Dravidian culture have offered other interpretations. According to Alf Hiltebeitel, Professor of Religion, History, and Human Sciences at George Washington University, the horned figure could be identified with Mahishasura, the buffalo demon enemy of the Hindu goddess Durga. He has also argued that the tiger depicted in the seal could represent the goddess Durga who is often depicted as riding a tiger (or a lion) in the Hindu pantheon. He also suggested that the surrounding animals could represent the vahanas (vehicles, mounts) of deities for the four cardinal directions.

Herbert Sullivan from Duke University interpreted the figure as a female goddess on the grounds that the so-called erect phallus actually represents a girdle, a feature he had found only on female figurines. The American archaeologist Walter Fairservis tried to translate what he considered to be a Dravidian inscription, and was of the view that the seal could be identified with Anil, the paramount chief of four clans represented by the animals. The Finnish Indologist, Asko Parpola has suggested that the yogic pose could be an imitation of the Proto-Elamite way of representing seated bulls. He attempted to translate the inscription which he considers to be an early form of Dravidian, and found that the figure represents a servant of an aquatic deity. He finds that the animals depicted on the seal best resemble those associated with the Hindu god Varuna who could be associated with the aquatic themes which are prominent in the Indus religion.

Vedic Interpretations

There are some scholars who think the seal represents a Vedic deity, and believe that this points to an Indo-Aryan identity of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The Indian archaeologist, S.R. Rao who is credited with discoveries of a number of Harappan sites, identified the figure in the seal with the Vedic deity Agni. He attempted to translate the text and claimed that the evidence pointed to the three-headed blazing, fire god Agni who belongs to the Vedic pantheon. The animals represent the various clans which accepted the supremacy of Agni.

E. Richter-Ushanas identified the figure with the sage Rishyasringa who was born with horns, and who officiated the sacrifice of King Dasaratha in the ancient Indian epic Ramayana. The considers the four animals to be a representation of the four seasons, and found similar motifs on the Gundestrup cauldron discovered in Denmark. Other scholars such as Talageri, Rajaram and Frawley, have postulated that the cauldron presents compelling evidence towards India as the home of the Indo-European people. S.P. Singh identified the figure with the Hindu god Rudra who is associated with the storm and the hunt. He identified the surrounding animals with the Maruts who are storm deities and sons of Rudra. His argument for this identification is based on hymn 64 of the first mandala (book) of the Rigveda which compares the Maruts to various animals, including a bull, an elephant, a lion, a deer, and a serpent. M.V.N. Krishna Rao identified the figure with the Hindu god Indra. He argued that the tiger could be ignored since it is much larger than the other animals, and the two deer could also be ignored since they were seated under the table. Then he combined the first phoneme of each of the animals, and the word 'nara' meaning man, and arrived at the term 'makhanasana' which is an epithet of Indra.

-- Pashupati seal, by Wikipedia


There are several hints to her in the early Vedic texts and by the time of the epics, she emerges as an independent deity. According to Hindu legends, Durga is created by the gods to defeat the demon Mahishasura, who could be only killed by a female. Durga is seen as a motherly figure and often depicted as a beautiful woman, riding a lion or tiger, with many arms each carrying a weapon and often defeating demons.[2][11][12][13] She is widely worshipped by the followers of the goddess centric sect, Shaktism, and has importance in other denominations like Shaivism and Vaishnavism. Under these traditions, Durga is associated and identified with other deities.[14][9]

The two most important texts of Shaktism, Devi Mahatmya and Devi-Bhagavata Purana, reveres Devi or Shakti (goddess) as the primordial creator of the universe and the Brahman (ultimate truth and reality).[15][16][17] While all major texts of Hinduism mention and revere the goddess, these two texts center around her as the primary divinity.[18][19][20] The Devi Mahatmya is considered to be as important a scripture as the Bhagavad Gita by the Shakta Hindus.[21][22]

Durga has a significant following all over India, Bangladesh and Nepal, particularly in its eastern states such as West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Assam and Bihar. Durga is revered after spring and autumn harvests, specially during the festivals of Durga Puja and Navratri.[23][24]

The word Durga (दुर्गा) literally means "impassable",[23] [6] "invincible, unassailable".[25] It is related to the word Durg (दुर्ग) which means "fortress, something difficult to defeat or pass". According to Monier Monier-Williams, Durga is derived from the roots dur (difficult) and gam (pass, go through).[26] According to Alain Daniélou, Durga means "beyond defeat".[27]

The word Durga and related terms appear in the Vedic literature, such as in the Rigveda hymns 4.28, 5.34, 8.27, 8.47, 8.93 and 10.127, and in sections 10.1 and 12.4 of the Atharvaveda.[26][28][note 2] A deity named Durgi appears in section 10.1.7 of the Taittiriya Aranyaka.[26] While the Vedic literature uses the word Durga, the description therein lacks the legendary details about her that is found in later Hindu literature.[30]

The word is also found in ancient post-Vedic Sanskrit texts such as in section 2.451 of the Mahabharata and section 4.27.16 of the Ramayana.[26] These usages are in different contexts. For example, Durg is the name of an Asura who had become invincible to gods, and Durga is the goddess who intervenes and slays him. Durga and its derivatives are found in sections 4.1.99 and 6.3.63 of the Ashtadhyayi by Pāṇini, the ancient Sanskrit grammarian, and in the commentary of Nirukta by Yaska.[26] Durga as a demon-slaying goddess was likely well established by the time the classic Hindu text called Devi Mahatmya was composed, which scholars variously estimate to between 400 and 600 CE.[18][19][31] The Devi Mahatmya and other mythologies describe the nature of demonic forces symbolised by Mahishasura as shape-shifting and adapting in nature, form and strategy to create difficulties and achieve their evil ends, while Durga calmly understands and counters the evil in order to achieve her solemn goals.[32][33][note 3]

There are many epithets for Durga in Shaktism and her nine appellations are (Navadurga): Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri. A list of 108 names of the goddess is recited in order to worship her and is popularly known as the "Ashtottarshat Namavali of Goddess Durga".

Other meanings may include: "the one who cannot be accessed easily",[26] "the undefeatable goddess".[27]

One famous shloka states the definition and origin of the term 'Durga': "Durge durgati nashini", meaning Durga is the one who destroys all distress.[citation needed]

History and texts

The earliest evidence of Durga like goddess comes from cylindrical seal in Kalibangan of Indus Valley civilization.[35][36]

One of the earliest evidence of reverence for Devi, the feminine nature of God, appears in chapter 10.125 of the Rig Veda, one of the scriptures of Hinduism. This hymn is also called the Devi Suktam hymn (abridged):[37][38]

I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship.
Thus gods have established me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in.
Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them, – each man who sees, breathes, hears the word outspoken.
They know it not, yet I reside in the essence of the Universe. Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it.
I, verily, myself announce and utter the word that gods and men alike shall welcome.
I make the man I love exceedingly mighty, make him nourished, a sage, and one who knows Brahman.
I bend the bow for Rudra [Shiva], that his arrow may strike, and slay the hater of devotion.
I rouse and order battle for the people, I created Earth and Heaven and reside as their Inner Controller.
On the world's summit I bring forth sky the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean as Mother.
Thence I pervade all existing creatures, as their Inner Supreme Self, and manifest them with my body.
I created all worlds at my will, without any higher being, and permeate and dwell within them.
The eternal and infinite consciousness is I, it is my greatness dwelling in everything.

– Devi Sukta, Rigveda 10.125.3 – 10.125.8,[37][38][39]


Artwork depicting the "Goddess Durga Slaying the Buffalo demon Mahishasura" scene of Devi Mahatmya, is found all over India, Nepal and southeast Asia.

Image
9th-century Kashmir,

Image
13th-century Karnataka,

Image
9th century Prambanan Indonesia,

Image
2nd-century Uttar Pradesh.

Devi's epithets synonymous with Durga appear in Upanishadic literature, such as Kali in verse 1.2.4 of the Mundaka Upanishad dated to about the 5th century BCE.[40] This single mention describes Kali as "terrible yet swift as thought", very red and smoky coloured manifestation of the divine with a fire-like flickering tongue, before the text begins presenting its thesis that one must seek self-knowledge and the knowledge of the eternal Brahman.[41]

Durga, in her various forms, appears as an independent deity in the Epics period of ancient India, that is the centuries around the start of the common era.[42] Both Yudhisthira and Arjuna characters of the Mahabharata invoke hymns to Durga.[40] She appears in Harivamsa in the form of Vishnu's eulogy, and in Pradyumna prayer.[42] Various Puranas from the early to late 1st millennium CE dedicate chapters of inconsistent mythologies associated with Durga.[40] Of these, the Markandeya Purana and the Devi-Bhagavata Purana are the most significant texts on Durga.[43][44] The Devi Upanishad and other Shakta Upanishads, mostly dated to have been composed in or after the 9th century, present the philosophical and mystical speculations related to Durga as Devi and other epithets, identifying her to be the same as the Brahman and Atman (self, soul).[45][46]

Origins

The historian Ramaprasad Chanda stated in 1916 that Durga evolved over time in the Indian subcontinent. A primitive form of Durga, according to Chanda, was the result of "syncretism of a mountain-goddess worshiped by the dwellers of the Himalaya and the Vindhyas", a deity of the Abhiras conceptualised as a war-goddess. Durga then transformed into Kali as the personification of the all-destroying time, while aspects of her emerged as the primordial energy (Adya Sakti) integrated into the samsara (cycle of rebirths) concept and this idea was built on the foundation of the Vedic religion, mythology and philosophy.[47]

Epigraphical evidence indicates that regardless of her origins, Durga is an ancient goddess. The 6th-century CE inscriptions in early Siddhamatrika script, such as at the Nagarjuni hill cave during the Maukhari era, already mention the legend of her victory over Mahishasura (buffalo-hybrid demon).[48]

European traders and colonial era references

Some early European accounts refer to a deity known as Deumus, Demus or Deumo. Western (Portuguese) sailors first came face to face with the murti of Deumus at Calicut on the Malabar Coast and they concluded it to be the deity of Calicut. Deumus is sometimes interpreted as an aspect of Durga in Hindu mythology and sometimes as deva. It is described that the ruler of Calicut (Zamorin) had a murti of Deumus in his temple inside his royal palace.[49]

Legends

Image
'Durga in Combat with the Bull, Mahishasura', 19th century painting

The most popular legend associated with the goddess is of her killing of Mahishasura. Mahishasura was half buffalo demon who did severe penance in order to please Brahma, the creator. After several years, Brahma, pleased with his devotion appeared before the demon. The demon opened his eyes and asked the god for immortality. Brahma refused, stating that all must die one day. Mahishasura then thought for a while and asked a boon that only a woman should be able to kill him. Brahma granted the boon and disappeared. Mahishasura started to torture innocent people. He captured heaven and was not in any kind of fear, as he thought women to be powerless and weak. The devas were worried and they went to Trimurti. They all together combined their power and created a warrior woman with many hands. The devas gave her a copy of their weapons. Himavan, the lord of Himalayas, gifted a lion as her mount. Durga on her lion, reached before Mahishasura's palace. Mahishasura took different forms and attacked the goddess. Each time, Durga would destroy his form. At last, Durga slayed Mahishasura when he was transforming as a buffalo.[50][51]

Attributes and iconography

Image
Durga as buffalo-demon slayer from a 6th century Aihole Hindu temple, Karnataka;

Image
in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu.

Durga has been a warrior goddess, and she is depicted to express her martial skills. Her iconography typically resonates with these attributes, where she rides a lion or a tiger,[1] has between eight and eighteen hands, each holding a weapon to destroy and create.[52][53] She is often shown in the midst of her war with Mahishasura, the buffalo demon, at the time she victoriously kills the demonic force. Her icon shows her in action, yet her face is calm and serene.[54][55] In Hindu arts, this tranquil attribute of Durga's face is traditionally derived from the belief that she is protective and violent not because of her hatred, egotism or getting pleasure in violence, but because she acts out of necessity, for the love of the good, for liberation of those who depend on her, and a mark of the beginning of soul's journey to creative freedom.[55][56][57]

Image
Durga killing Mahishasura in a Durga Puja celebration in Bengal

Durga traditionally holds the weapons of various male gods of Hindu mythology, which they give her to fight the evil forces because they feel that she is the shakti (energy, power).[58] These include chakra, conch, bow, arrow, sword, javelin, trishul, shield, and a noose.[59] These weapons are considered symbolic by Shakta Hindus, representing self-discipline, selfless service to others, self-examination, prayer, devotion, remembering her mantras, cheerfulness and meditation. Durga herself is viewed as the "Self" within and the divine mother of all creation.[60] She has been revered by warriors, blessing their new weapons.[61] Durga iconography has been flexible in the Hindu traditions, where for example some intellectuals place a pen or other writing implements in her hand since they consider their stylus as their weapon.[61]

Archeological discoveries suggest that these iconographic features of Durga became common throughout India by about the 4th century CE, states David Kinsley – a professor of religious studies specialising on Hindu goddesses.[62] Durga iconography in some temples appears as part of Mahavidyas or Saptamatrkas (seven mothers considered forms of Durga). Her icons in major Hindu temples such as in Varanasi include relief artworks that show scenes from the Devi Mahatmya.[63]

In Vaishnavism, Durga whose mount is Lion, is considered as one of the three aspects or forms of Goddess Lakshmi, the other two being Sri and Bhu.[64] According to professor Tracy Pintchman, "When the Lord Vishnu created the gunas of prakriti, there arose Lakshmi in her three forms, Sri, Bhu and Durga. Sri consisted of sattva, Bhu as rajas and Durga as tamas".[65]

Durga appears in Hindu mythology in numerous forms and names, but ultimately all these are different aspects and manifestations of one goddess. She is imagined to be terrifying and destructive when she has to be, but benevolent and nurturing when she needs to be.[66] While anthropomorphic icons of her, such as those showing her riding a lion and holding weapons, are common, the Hindu traditions use aniconic forms and geometric designs (yantra) to remember and revere what she symbolises.[67]

Worship and festivals

Durga is worshipped in Hindu temples across India and Nepal by Shakta Hindus. Her temples, worship and festivals are particularly popular in eastern and northeastern parts of Indian subcontinent during Durga puja, Dashain and Navaratri.[2][23][68]

Durga puja
Main article: Durga Puja

Durga festival images

Image
Durga Puja pandal with a Durga idol with 1 million hands standing on top a bull's head to symbolize her victory over Mahishasura in Kolkata,

Image
Dancing on Vijaya Dashami,

Image
women smearing each other with colour,

Image
and family get together for Dashain in Nepal.

As per the Markandeya Purana, Durga Puja can be performed either for 9 days or 4 days (last four in sequence). The four-day-long Durga Puja is a major annual festival in Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar.[2][23] It is scheduled per the Hindu luni-solar calendar in the month of Ashvina,[69] and typically falls in September or October. Since it is celebrated during Sharad (literally, season of weeds), it is called as Sharadiya Durga Puja or Akal-Bodhan to differentiate it from the one celebrated originally in spring. The festival is celebrated by communities by making special colourful images of Durga out of clay,[70] recitations of Devi Mahatmya text,[69] prayers and revelry for nine days, after which it is taken out in procession with singing and dancing, then immersed in water. The Durga puja is an occasion of major private and public festivities in the eastern and northeastern states of India.[2][71][72]

The day of Durga's victory is celebrated as Vijayadashami (Bijoya in Bengali), Dashain (Nepali) or Dussehra (in Hindi) – these words literally mean "the victory on the Tenth (day)".[73]

This festival is an old tradition of Hinduism, though it is unclear how and in which century the festival began. Surviving manuscripts from the 14th century provide guidelines for Durga puja, while historical records suggest royalty and wealthy families were sponsoring major Durga puja public festivities since at least the 16th century.[71] The 11th or 12th century Jainism text Yasatilaka by Somadeva mentions a festival and annual dates dedicated to a warrior goddess, celebrated by the king and his armed forces, and the description mirrors attributes of a Durga puja.[69]

The prominence of Durga puja increased during the British Raj in Bengal.[74] After the Hindu reformists identified Durga with India, she became an icon for the Indian independence movement.[citation needed]The city of Kolkata is famous for Durga puja.

Dashain

In Nepal, the festival dedicated to Durga is called Dashain (sometimes spelled as Dasain), which literally means "the ten".[68] Dashain is the longest national holiday of Nepal, and is a public holiday in Sikkim and Bhutan. During Dashain, Durga is worshipped in ten forms (Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, Mahakali and Durga) with one form for each day in Nepal. The festival includes animal sacrifice in some communities, as well as the purchase of new clothes and gift giving. Traditionally, the festival is celebrated over 15 days, the first nine-day are spent by the faithful by remembering Durga and her ideas, the tenth day marks Durga's victory over Mahisura, and the last five days celebrate the victory of good over evil.[68]

During the first nine days, nine aspects of Durga known as Navadurga are meditated upon, one by one during the nine-day festival by devout Shakti worshippers. Durga Puja also includes the worship of Shiva, who is Durga's consort, in addition to Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya, who are considered to be Durga's children.[75] Some Shaktas worship Durga's symbolism and presence as Mother Nature. In South India, especially Andhra Pradesh, Dussera Navaratri is also celebrated and the goddess is dressed each day as a different Devi, all considered equivalent but another aspect of Durga.

Other cultures

In Bangladesh, the four-day-long Sharadiya Durga Puja is the most important religious festival for the Hindus and celebrated across the country with Vijayadashami being a national holiday. In Sri Lanka, Durga in the form of Vaishnavi, bearing Vishnu's iconographic symbolism is celebrated. This tradition has been continued by Sri Lankan diaspora.[76]

In Buddhism

Image
The Buddhist goddess Palden Lhamo shares some attributes of Durga.[77]

According to scholars, over its history, Buddhist Tantric traditions have adopted several Hindu deities into its fold.[78][79][80] The Tantric traditions of Buddhism included Durga and developed the idea further.[81] In Japanese Buddhism, she appears as Butsu-mo (sometimes called Koti-sri).[82] In Tibet, the goddess Palden Lhamo is similar to the protective and fierce Durga.[83][77] Several aspects of Tārā is believed to have originated as a form of the goddess Durga, notably her fierce guardian form.[84]

In Jainism

The Sacciya mata found in major medieval era Jain temples mirrors Durga, and she has been identified by Jainism scholars to be the same or sharing a more ancient common lineage.[85] In the Ellora Caves, the Jain temples feature Durga with her lion mount. However, she is not shown as killing the buffalo demon in the Jain cave, but she is presented as a peaceful deity.[86]

In Sikhism

See also: Chandi di Var

Durga is exalted as the divine in Dasam Granth, a sacred text of Sikhism that is traditionally attributed to Guru Gobind Singh.[87] According to Eleanor Nesbitt, this view has been challenged by Sikhs who consider Sikhism to be monotheistic, who hold that a feminine form of the Supreme and a reverence for the Goddess is "unmistakably of Hindu character".[87]

Outside Indian subcontinent

Goddess Durga in Southeast Asia

Image
7th/8th century Cambodia,

Image
10/11th century Vietnam,

Image
8th/9th century Indonesia.

Archeological site excavations in Indonesia, particularly on the island of Java, have yielded numerous statues of Durga. These have been dated to be from 6th century onwards.[88] Of the numerous early to mid medieval era Hindu deity stone statues uncovered on Indonesian islands, at least 135 statues are of Durga.[89] In parts of Java, she is known as Loro Jonggrang (literally, "slender maiden").[90]

In Cambodia, during its era of Hindu kings, Durga was popular and numerous sculptures of her have been found. However, most differ from the Indian representation in one detail. The Cambodian Durga iconography shows her standing on top of the cut buffalo demon head.[91]

Durga statues have been discovered at stone temples and archaeological sites in Vietnam, likely related to Champa or Cham dynasty era.[92][93]

Influence

Durga is a major goddess in Hinduism, and the inspiration of Durga Puja – a large annual festival particularly in the eastern and northeastern states of India.[94]

One of the devotees of her form as Kali was Sri Ramakrishna who was the guru of Swami Vivekananda. He is the founder of the Ramakrishna Mission.

Durga as the mother goddess is the inspiration behind the song Vande Mataram, written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, during Indian independence movement, later the official national song of India. Durga is present in Indian Nationalism where Bharat Mata i.e. Mother India is viewed as a form of Durga. This is completely secular and keeping in line with the ancient ideology of Durga as Mother and protector to Indians. She is present in pop culture and blockbuster Bollywood movies like Jai Santoshi Maa. The Indian Army uses phrases like "Durga Mata ki Jai!" and "Kaali Mata ki Jai!". Any woman who takes up a cause to fight for goodness and justice is said to have the spirit of Durga in her.[95][96]

Notes

1. In Hinduism, encompassing Shaktism, Shaivism, and Vaishnavism, consider her intrinsically identical and interchangeable with Shiva, her spouse.
2. It appears in Khila (appendix, supplementary) text to Rigveda 10.127, 4th Adhyaya, per J. Scheftelowitz.[29]
3. In the Shakta tradition of Hinduism, many of the stories about obstacles and battles have been considered as metaphors for the divine and demonic within each human being, with liberation being the state of self-understanding whereby a virtuous nature and society emerging victorious over the vicious.[34]

References

1. Robert S Ellwood & Gregory D Alles 2007, p. 126.
2. Wendy Doniger 1999, p. 306.
3.
1. Raman, Sita Anantha (8 June 2009). Women in India: A Social and Cultural History [2 volumes]: A Social and Cultural History. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-01440-6.
2. Kumar, Vijaya (1 December 1998). 108 Names of Durga. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 978-81-207-2027-5.
3. Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and History of the People of India, Their Religion and Institutions: Comparison of the Vedic with the later representations of the principal Indian deities. Trübner. 1863.
4. Parthasarathy, V. R.; Parthasarathy, Indu (2009). Devi: Goddesses in Indian Art and Literature. Bharatiya Kala Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-8090-203-1.
4.
1. Encyclopedia of Hinduism by Constance A. Jones and James D. Ryan
2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism by James G. Lochtefeld,
3. Handbook of Hindu mythology
4. Puranic Encyclopedia by Vettam Mani
5. Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion by David A. Leeming, Kathryn Madden, Stanton Marlan (Eds.)
6. South Indian Sculptures: A Reappraisal by Pratapaditya Pal (Boston Museum Bulletin, Vol. 67, No. 350 (1969))
7. Hindu Goddesses : Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition by David Kinsley
5. https://books.google.co.in/books?id=LVp ... AHoECAUQAw
6. Encyclopedia Britannica 2015.
7. David R Kinsley 1989, pp. 3–4.
8. Charles Phillips, Michael Kerrigan & David Gould 2011, pp. 93–94.
9. Paul Reid-Bowen 2012, pp. 212–213.
10. Laura Amazzone 2012, pp. 3–5.
11. David R Kinsley 1989, pp. 3–5.
12. Laura Amazzone 2011, pp. 71–73.
13. Donald J LaRocca 1996, pp. 5–6.
14. Lynn Foulston & Stuart Abbott 2009, pp. 9–17.
15. June McDaniel 2004, pp. 215–216.
16. David Kinsley 1988, pp. 101–102.
17. Laura Amazzone 2012, p. xi.
18. Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, p. 77 note 28.
19. Thomas B. Coburn 1991, pp. 13.
20. Thomas B. Coburn 2002, p. 1.
21. Ludo Rocher 1986, p. 193.
22. Hillary Rodrigues 2003, pp. 50–54.
23. James G Lochtefeld 2002, p. 208.
24. Constance Jones & James D Ryan 2006, pp. 139–140, 308–309.
25. Laura Amazzone 2012, p. xxii.
26. Monier Monier Williams (1899), Sanskrit English Dictionary with Etymology, Oxford University Press, page 487
27. Alain Daniélou 1991, p. 21.
28. Maurice Bloomfield (1906), A Vedic concordance, Series editor: Charles Lanman, Harvard University Press, page 486;
Example Sanskrit original: "अहन्निन्द्रो अदहदग्निरिन्दो पुरा दस्यून्मध्यंदिनादभीके । दुर्गे दुरोणे क्रत्वा न यातां पुरू सहस्रा शर्वा नि बर्हीत् ॥३॥ – Rigveda 4.28.8, Wikisource
29. J Scheftelowitz (1906). Indische Forschungen. Verlag von M & H Marcus. pp. 112 line 13a.
30. David Kinsley 1988, pp. 95–96.
31. Thomas B. Coburn 2002, pp. 1–7.
32. Alain Daniélou 1991, p. 288.
33. June McDaniel 2004, pp. 215–219.
34. June McDaniel 2004, pp. 20–21, 217–219.
35. Hiltebeitel, Alf (1988). The Cult of Draupadi, Volume 2: On Hindu Ritual and the Goddess. University of Chicago Press. p. 386. ISBN 978-0-226-34048-7.
36. Thapar, Valmik (1 January 1997). Land of the Tiger: A Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent. University of California Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-520-21470-5.
37. June McDaniel 2004, p. 90.
38. Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, p. 26.
39. The Rig Veda/Mandala 10/Hymn 125 Ralph T.H. Griffith (Translator); for Sanskrit original see: ऋग्वेद: सूक्तं १०.१२५
40. Rachel Fell McDermott 2001, pp. 162–163.
41. Mundaka Upanishad, Robert Hume, The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Oxford University Press, pages 368–377 with verse 1.2.4
42. Rachel Fell McDermott 2001, p. 162.
43. Ludo Rocher 1986, pp. 168–172, 191–193.
44. C Mackenzie Brown 1990, pp. 44–45, 129, 247–248 with notes 57–60.
45. Douglas Renfrew Brooks 1992, pp. 76–80.
46. June McDaniel 2004, pp. 89–91.
47. June McDaniel 2004, p. 214.
48. Richard Salomon (1998). Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages. Oxford University Press. pp. 200–201. ISBN 978-0-19-509984-3.
49. Jörg Breu d. Ä. zugeschrieben, Idol von Calicut, in: Ludovico de Varthema, 'Die Ritterlich und lobwürdig Reisz', Strassburg 1516. (Bild: Völkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich
50. Roa, Subba (April 1971). Tales of Durga. Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited. p. 25. ISBN 81-89999-35-4.
51. Kumar, Anu (30 November 2012). Mahishasura: The Buffalo Demon. Hachette India. ISBN 978-93-5009-538-6.
52. Laura Amazzone 2012, pp. 4–5.
53. Chitrita Banerji 2006, pp. 3–5.
54. Donald J LaRocca 1996, pp. 5–7.
55. Linda Johnsen (2002). The Living Goddess: Reclaiming the Tradition of the Mother of the Universe. Yes International Publishers. pp. 83–84. ISBN 978-0-936663-28-9.
56. Laura Amazzone 2012, pp. 4–9, 14–17.
57. Malcolm McLean 1998, pp. 60–65.
58. Alf Hiltebeitel; Kathleen M. Erndl (2000). Is the Goddess a Feminist?: The Politics of South Asian Goddesses. New York University Press. pp. 157–158. ISBN 978-0-8147-3619-7.
59. Charles Russell Coulter & Patricia Turner 2013, p. 158.
60. Linda Johnsen (2002). The Living Goddess: Reclaiming the Tradition of the Mother of the Universe. Yes International Publishers. pp. 89–90. ISBN 978-0-936663-28-9.
61. Alf Hiltebeitel; Kathleen M. Erndl (2000). Is the Goddess a Feminist?: The Politics of South Asian Goddesses. New York University Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-0-8147-3619-7.
62. David Kinsley 1988, pp. 95–105.
63. David Kinsley 1997, pp. 30–35, 60, 16–22, 149.
64. Isaeva 1993, p. 252.
65. Pintchman 2014, p. 82.
66. Patricia Monaghan 2011, pp. 73–74.
67. Patricia Monaghan 2011, pp. 73–78.
68. J Gordon Melton (2011). Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations. ABC-CLIO. pp. 239–241. ISBN 978-1-59884-206-7.
69. David Kinsley 1988, pp. 106–108.
70. David Kinsley 1997, pp. 18–19.
71. Rachel Fell McDermott 2001, pp. 172–174.
72. Lynn Foulston & Stuart Abbott 2009, pp. 162–169.
73. Esposito, John L.; Darrell J Fasching; Todd Vernon Lewis (2007). Religion & globalization: world religions in historical perspective. Oxford University Press. p. 341. ISBN 978-0-19-517695-7.
74. "Article on Durga Puja". Archived from the original on 28 December 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
75. Kinsley, David (1988) Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06339-2 p. 95
76. Joanne Punzo Waghorne (2004). Diaspora of the Gods: Modern Hindu Temples in an Urban Middle-Class World. Oxford University Press. pp. 222–224. ISBN 978-0-19-803557-2.
77. Miranda Eberle Shaw (2006). Buddhist Goddesses of India. Princeton University Press. pp. 240–241. ISBN 0-691-12758-1.
78. Wayman, Alex; The Buddhist Tantras light on Indo-Tibetan esotericism, Routledge, (2008), page 23.
79. Williams, Tribe and Wynne; Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition, chapter 7
80. Hajime Nakamura (1980). Indian Buddhism: A Survey with Bibliographical Notes. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 315. ISBN 978-81-208-0272-8.
81. Shoko Watanabe (1955), On Durga and Tantric Buddhism, Chizan Gakuho, number 18, pages 36-44
82. Louis-Frédéric (1995). Buddhism. Flammarion. p. 174. ISBN 978-2-08-013558-2.
83. Bernard Faure (2009). The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender. Princeton University Press. p. 127. ISBN 978-1400825615.
84. Mallar Ghosh (1980). Development of Buddhist Iconography in Eastern India. Munshiram Manoharlal. p. 17. ISBN 81-215-0208-X.
85. Lawrence A. Babb (1998). Ascetics and kings in a Jain ritual culture. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 146–147, 157. ISBN 978-81-208-1538-4.
86. Lisa Owen (2012). Carving Devotion in the Jain Caves at Ellora. BRILL Academic. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-90-04-20630-4.
87. Eleanor Nesbitt (2016). Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-0-19-106277-3.
88. John N. Miksic (2007). Icons of Art: The Collections of the National Museum of Indonesia. BAB Pub. Indonesia. pp. 106, 224–238. ISBN 978-979-8926-25-9.
89. Ann R Kinney; Marijke J Klokke; Lydia Kieven (2003). Worshiping Siva and Buddha: The Temple Art of East Java. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 131–145. ISBN 978-0-8248-2779-3.
90. Roy E Jordaan; Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (Netherlands) (1996). In praise of Prambanan: Dutch essays on the Loro Jonggrang temple complex. KITLV Press. pp. 147–149. ISBN 978-90-6718-105-1.
91. Trudy Jacobsen (2008). Lost Goddesses: The Denial of Female Power in Cambodian History. Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies Press. pp. 20–21 with figure 2.2. ISBN 978-87-7694-001-0.
92. Heidi Tan (2008). Vietnam: from myth to modernity. Singapore: Asian Civilisations Museum. pp. 56, 62–63. ISBN 978-981-07-0012-6.
93. Catherine Noppe; Jean-François Hubert (2003). Art of Vietnam. Parkstone. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-85995-860-5.
94. "Durga Puja – Hindu festival". Encyclopedia Britannica. 2015.
95. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (2003). Vande Mataram, the Biography of a Song. Penguin. pp. 5, 90–99. ISBN 978-0-14-303055-3.
96. Sumathi Ramaswamy (2009). The Goddess and the Nation: Mapping Mother India. Duke University Press. pp. 106–108. ISBN 978-0-8223-9153-1.

Bibliography

• Laura Amazzone (2012). Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power. University Press of America. ISBN 978-0-7618-5314-5.
• Laura Amazzone (2011). Patricia Monaghan (ed.). Goddesses in World Culture. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-35465-6.
• Chitrita Banerji (2006). The Hour of the Goddess: Memories of Women, Food, and Ritual in Bengal. Penguin Books India. ISBN 978-0-14-400142-2.
• Douglas Renfrew Brooks (1992). Auspicious Wisdom. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-1145-2.
• C Mackenzie Brown (1990). The Triumph of the Goddess: The Canonical Models and Theological Visions of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-0364-8.
• Cheever Mackenzie Brown (1998). The Devi Gita: The Song of the Goddess: A Translation, Annotation, and Commentary. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-3939-5.
• Thomas B. Coburn (1991). Encountering the Goddess: A translation of the Devi-Mahatmya and a Study of Its Interpretation. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-0446-1.
• Thomas B. Coburn (2002). Devī Māhātmya, The Crystallization of the Goddess Tradition. South Asia Books. ISBN 81-208-0557-7.
• Charles Russell Coulter; Patricia Turner (2013). Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-96397-2.
• Paul Reid-Bowen (2012). Denise Cush; Catherine Robinson; Michael York (eds.). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-18979-2.
• Alain Daniélou (1991). The Myths and Gods of India: The Classic Work on Hindu Polytheism from the Princeton Bollingen Series. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co. ISBN 978-0-89281-354-4.
• Wendy Doniger (1999). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions. Merriam-Webster. ISBN 978-0-87779-044-0.
• Robert S Ellwood; Gregory D Alles (2007). The Encyclopedia of World Religions. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4381-1038-7.
• Lynn Foulston; Stuart Abbott (2009). Hindu Goddesses: Beliefs and Practices. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-902210-43-8.
• Constance Jones; James D Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.
• David R Kinsley (1989). The Goddesses' Mirror: Visions of the Divine from East and West. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-88706-835-5.
• David Kinsley (1988). Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-90883-3.
• David Kinsley (1997). Tantric Visions of the Divine Feminine: The Ten Mahavidyas. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-91772-9.
• Donald J LaRocca (1996). The Gods of War: Sacred Imagery and the Decoration of Arms and Armor. Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 978-0-87099-779-2.
• James G Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8.
• June McDaniel (2004). Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-534713-5.
• Rachel Fell McDermott (2001). Mother of My Heart, Daughter of My Dreams: Kali and Uma in the Devotional Poetry of Bengal. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-803071-3.
• Malcolm McLean (1998). Devoted to the Goddess: The Life and Work of Ramprasad. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-3689-9.
• Patricia Monaghan (2011). Goddesses in World Culture. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-35465-6.
• Sree Padma (2014). Inventing and Reinventing the Goddess: Contemporary Iterations of Hindu Deities on the Move. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-9002-9.
• Charles Phillips; Michael Kerrigan; David Gould (2011). Ancient India's Myths and Beliefs. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4488-5990-0.
• Ludo Rocher (1986). The Puranas. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3447025225.
• Sen Ramprasad (1720–1781). Grace and Mercy in Her Wild Hair: Selected Poems to the Mother Goddess. Hohm Press. ISBN 0-934252-94-7.
• Hillary Rodrigues (2003). Ritual Worship of the Great Goddess: The Liturgy of the Durga Puja with Interpretations. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-8844-7.
• "Durga - Hindu mythology". Encyclopedia Britannica. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
• Isaeva, N. V. (1993), Shankara and Indian Philosophy, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0791412817
• Pintchman, Tracy (2014), Seeking Mahadevi: Constructing the Identities of the Hindu Great Goddess, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0791490495
• Chiulli, M. C. Kalavati (2007), Hairakhandi Mantra & Bhajans, J. Amba Edizioni publishing house, ISBN 978-8886340465

External links

• Hinduism portal
• India portal
• Religion portal
Durgaat Wikipedia's sister projects
• Media from Wikimedia Commons
• Quotations from Wikiquote
• Durga at the Encyclopædia Britannica
• Durga Battling the Buffalo Demon: Iconography, Carlos Museum, Emory University
• Devi Durga, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution
• Overview Of World Religions – Devotion to Durga
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33222
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:21 am

Part 1 of 3

Durga Puja
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/5/21


-- Nabakrishna Deb, by Wikipedia

-- Gopi Mohun Deb, by Wikipedia

-- Radhakanta Deb, by Wikipedia

-- Shobhabazar Rajbari, by Wikipedia

-- Durga Puja, by Wikipedia

-- Durga, by Wikipedia

-- The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future, by Cynthia Eller

-- Interesting Historical Events, Relative to the Provinces of Bengal, and the Empire of Indostan. With a Seasonable Hint and Persuasive to the Honourable The Court of Directors of the East India Company. As Also The Mythology and Cosmogony, Fasts and Festivals of the Gentoo's, Followers of the Shastah. And a Dissertation on the Metempsychosis, commonly, though erroneously, called the Pythagorean Doctrine, Parts I, II, and III, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

-- India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends.

-- The Black Hole: The Question of Holwell's Veracity, by J. H. Little

-- Full Proceedings of the Black Hole Debate, Bengal, Past & Present, Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society

-- History of Hindostan; From the Earliest Account of Time, To the Death of Akbar; Translated From the Persian of Mahummud Casim Ferishta of Delhi: Together With a Dissertation Concerning the Religion and Philosophy of the Brahmins; With an Appendix, Containing the History of the Mogul Empire, From Its Decline in the Reign of Mahummud Shaw, to the Present Times, by Alexander Dow.

-- Reflections on the Present State of our East-India Affairs; With Many Interesting Anecdotes Never Before Made Public, by Gentleman Long Resident in India

-- The History of British India, vol. 1 of 6, by James Mill

-- The History of British India, vol. II, by James Mill

-- The History of British India, vol. III, by James Mill

-- The Golden Bough: A study of magic and religion, by Sir James George Frazer

-- The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults, Symbolism and Mythology, and in its Relation to Indian Buddhism, by Laurence Austine Waddell, M.B., F.L.S., F.R.G.S.


Ramakrishna ashrama's religious activities include satsang and arati. Satsang includes communal prayers, songs, rituals, discourses, reading and meditation. Arati involves the ceremonial waving of lights before the images of a deity of holy person and is performed twice in a day. Ramakrishna ashramas observes major Hindu festivals, including Maha Shivarathri, Rama Navami, Krishna Ashtami and Durga Puja. They also give special place to the birthdays of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda and other monastic disciples of Ramakrishna.[29] 1 January is celebrated as Kalpataru Day.[30]

-- Ramakrishna Mission, by Wikipedia


Image
Durga Puja
Durga killing Mahishasura with her lion (replaced here with a horse). Lakshmi and Ganesha flank the left while Saraswati and Kartikeya flank the right
Observed by: Bengali, Odia, Maithils and Assamese communities as a socio-cultural and religious festival
Type: Hindu
Celebrations: Worshipping Hindu deities, family and other social gatherings, shopping and gift-giving, feasting, pandal visiting, and cultural events
Observances: Ceremonial worship of goddess Durga
Begins: On the sixth day of Ashwin shukla paksha[1]
Ends: On the tenth day of Ashwin shukla paksha[1]
2020 date: 22 October - 26 October
Frequency: Annual
Related to: Mahalaya, Navratri, Dussehra

Durga Puja (pronounced [dʊrɡa puːdʒa]), also called Durgotsava (pronounced [dʊrɡoːtsəʋə]), is an annual Hindu festival originating in the Indian subcontinent which reveres and pays homage to the Hindu goddess, Durga.[2][3] It is particularly popular and traditionally celebrated in the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Tripura and the country of Bangladesh, and the diaspora from this region, and also in Mithilanchal regions of Bihar and Nepal. The festival is observed in the Indian calendar month of Ashwin, which corresponds to the months of September–October in the Gregorian calendar,[4][5] and is a ten-day festival,[6][2] of which the last five are of significance.[7][5] The puja is performed in homes and in the public, the latter featuring temporary stage and structural decorations (known as pandals). The festival is also marked by scripture recitations, performance arts, revelry, gift giving, family visits, feasting, and public processions. [2][8][9] Durga puja is an important festival in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism.[10][11][12][/b][/size]

As per Hindu scriptures, the festival marks the victory of goddess Durga in her battle against the shape-shifting asura, Mahishasura.[13][14][A]

Asuras (Sanskrit: असुर) are a class of beings in Indian religions. They are described as power-seeking clans related to the more benevolent Devas (also known as Suras) in Hinduism. In its Buddhist context, the word is sometimes translated "titan, "demigod", or "antigod".

According to Hindu scriptures, the asuras battle constantly with the devas. Asuras are described in Indian texts as powerful superhuman demigods with good or bad qualities.
In early Vedic literature, the good Asuras are called Adityas and are led by Varuna, while the malevolent ones are called Danavas and are led by Vritra.[2](p 4) In the earliest layer of Vedic texts Agni, Indra and other gods are also called Asuras, in the sense of their being "lords" of their respective domains, knowledge and abilities. In later Vedic and post-Vedic texts, the benevolent gods are called Devas, while malevolent Asuras compete against these Devas and are considered "enemy of the gods".[2](pp 5–11, 22, 99–102)

-- Asura, by Wikipedia


"The Goddess or The queen of the warring weapons." Lha-mo (or pal-ldan-Lha-mo); Skt., Devi (or Sri-Devi). And also, in Tibetan, dMagzor rgyal-mo.

This great she-devil, like her prototype the goddess Durga of Brahmanism, is, perhaps, the most malignant and powerful of all the demons, and the most dreaded. She is credited with letting loose the demons of disease, and her name is scarcely ever mentioned, and only then with bated breath, and under the title of "The great queen" — Maha-rani.

She is figured, as at page 334, surrounded by flames, and riding on a white-faced mule, upon a saddle of her own son's skin flayed by herself. She is clad in human skins and is eating human brains and blood from a skull; and she wields in her right hand a trident-rod. She has several attendant "queens" riding upon different animals.

She is publicly worshipped for seven days by the Lamas of all sects, especially at the end of the twelfth month, in connection with the prevention of disease for the incoming year. And in the cake offered to her are added amongst other ingredients the fat of a black goat, blood, wine, dough and butter, and these are placed in a bowl made from a human skull.


-- The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults, Symbolism and Mythology, and in its Relation to Indian Buddhism, by Laurence Austine Waddell, M.B., F.L.S., F.R.G.S.


Thus, the festival epitomises the victory of good over evil [???!!!], though it is also in part a harvest festival celebrating the goddess as the motherly power behind all of life and creation.[16][17] Durga puja coincides with Navaratri and Dussehra celebrations observed by other traditions of Hinduism,[18] in which the Ram lila dance-drama is enacted, celebrating the victory of Rama against Ravana, and effigies of Ravana are burnt.[19][20]

The primary goddess revered during Durga puja is Durga but celebrations also include other major deities of Hinduism such as Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and prosperity), Saraswati (the goddess of knowledge and music), Ganesha (the god of good beginnings), and Kartikeya (the god of war). In Bengali and Odia traditions, these deities are considered to be Durga's children and Durga puja is believed to commemorate Durga's visit to her natal home with her beloved and nice children. The festival is preceded by Mahalaya, which is believed to mark the start of Durga's journey to her natal home. Primary celebrations begin on the sixth day (Shasthi), on which the goddess is welcomed with rituals. The festival ends on the tenth day (Vijaya dashami), when devotees embark on a procession carrying the worshipped clay sculpture-idols to a river, or other water body, and immerse them, symbolic of her return to the divine cosmos and her marital home with Shiva in Kailash. Regional and community variations in celebration of the festival and rituals observed exist.

Durga puja is an old tradition of Hinduism,[21] though its exact origins are unclear. Surviving manuscripts from the 14th—century provide guidelines for Durga puja, while historical records suggest that the royalty and wealthy families were sponsoring major Durga puja festivities since at least the 16th-century.[22][10] The prominence of Durga puja increased during the British Raj in the provinces of Bengal, Odisha and Assam.[23][3] In today's time, the importance of Durga puja is as much as a social and cultural festival as a religious one, wherever it is observed.

Over the years, Durga puja has become an inseparable part of Indian culture with innumerable people celebrating this festival in their own unique way while pertaining to tradition.[3]

Names

In West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and Tripura, Durga puja is also called Akalbodhan (literally, "untimely awakening of Durga"), Sharadiya pujo ("autumnal worship"), Sharodotsab ("festival of autumn"), Maha pujo ("grand puja"), Maayer pujo ("worship of the Mother"), Durga pujo,[24] or merely Puja or Pujo. In Bangladesh, Durga puja has historically been celebrated as Bhagabati puja.

Durga puja is also referred to by the names of related Shakta Hindu festivals such as Navaratri, celebrated on the same days elsewhere in India;[3] such as in Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala, and Maharashtra,[ b] Kullu dussehra, celebrated in Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh;[C] Mysore dussehra celebrated in Mysore, Karnataka;[D] Bommai golu, celebrated in Tamil Nadu; Bommala koluvu, celebrated in Andhra Pradesh;[E] and Bathukamma, celebrated in Telangana.

History and origins

Further information: Durga and Akaal bodhan

Durga is an ancient deity of Hinduism according to available archeological and textual evidence. However, the origins of Durga puja are unclear and undocumented. Surviving manuscripts from the 14th-century provide guidelines for Durga puja, while historical records suggest the royalty and wealthy families to be sponsoring major Durga Puja public festivities, since at least the 16th-century.[10] The 11th or 12th-century Jain text Yasatilaka by Somadeva mentions an annual festival dedicated to a warrior goddess, celebrated by the king and his armed forces, and the description mirrors attributes of Durga puja.[4][25]

Image
The Dadhimati Mata Temple of Rajasthan preserves a Durga-related inscription from chapter 10 of Devi Mahatmya. The temple inscription has been dated by modern methods to 608 CE.[26][27]

The name Durga, and related terms, appear in Vedic literature, such as in the Rigveda hymns 4.28, 5.34, 8.27, 8.47, 8.93 and 10.127,

Rigveda 4.28

HYMN XXVIII. Indra-Soma.
1. ALLIED with thee, in this thy friendship, Soma, Indra for man made waters flow together,
Slew Ahi, and sent forth the Seven Rivers, and opened as it were obstructed fountains.
2 Indu, with thee for his confederate, Indra swiftly with might pressed down the wheel of Sūrya.
What rolled, all life's support, on heaven's high summit was separated from the great oppressor.
3 Indra smote down, Agni consumed, O Indu, the Dasyus ere the noontide in the conflict.
Of those who gladly sought a hard-won dwelling he cast down many a thousand with his arrow.
4 Lower than all besides hast thou, O Indra, cast down the Dasyus, abject tribes of Dāsas.
Ye drave away, ye put to death the foemen, and took great vengeance with your murdering weapons.
5 So, of a truth, Indra and Soma, Heroes, ye burst the stable of the kine and horses,
The stable which the bar or stone obstructed; and piercing through set free the habitations.

Rigveda 5.34

HYMN XXXIV. Indra.
1. BOUNDLESS and wasting not, the heavenly food of Gods goes to the foeless One, doer of wondrous deeds.
Press out, make ready, offer gifts with special zeal to him whom many laud, accepter of the prayer.
2 He who filled full his belly with the Soma's juice, Maghavan, was delighted with the meath's sweet draught,
When Uśanā, that he might slay the monstrous beast, gave him the mighty weapon with a thousand points.
3 Illustrious is the man whoever presseth out Soma for him in sunshine or in cloud and rain.
The mighty Maghavan who is the sage's Friend advanceth more and more his beauteous progeny.
4 The Strong God doth not flee away from him whose sire, whose mother or whose brother he hath done to death.
He, the Avenger, seeketh this man's offered gifts: this God, the source of riches, doth not flee from sin.
5 He seeks no enterprise with five or ten to aid, nor stays with him who pours no juice though prospering well.
The Shaker conquers or slays in this way or that, and to the pious gives a stable full of kine.
6 Exceeding strong in war he stays the chariot wheel, and, hating him who pours not, prospers him who pours.
Indra the terrible, tamer of every man, as Ārya leads away the Dāsa at his will.
7 He gathers up for plunder all the niggard’s gear: excellent wealth he gives to him who offers gifts.
Not even in wide stronghold may all the folk stand firm who have provoked to anger his surpassing might.
8 When Indra Maghavan hath marked two wealthy men fighting for beauteous cows with all their followers,
He who stirs all things takes one as his close ally, and, Shaker, with his Heroes, sends the kine to him.
9 Agni! I laud the liberal Agnivesi, Satri the type and standard of the pious.
May the collected waters yield him plenty, and his be powerful and bright dominion.

Rigveda 8.27

HYMN XXVII. Viśvedevas.
1. CHEIF Priest is Agni at the laud, as stones and grass at sacrifice:
With song I seek the Maruts, Brahmaṇaspati, Gods for help much to be desired.
2 I sing to cattle and to Earth, to trees, to Dawns, to Night, to plants.
O all ye Vasus, ye possessors of all wealth, be ye the furtherers of our thoughts.
3 Forth go, with Agni, to the Gods our sacrifice of ancient use,
To the Ādityas, Varuṇa whose Law stands fast, and the all-lightening Marut troop.
4 Lords of all wealth, may they be strengtheners of man, destroyers of his enemies.
Lords of all wealth, do ye, with guards which none may harm, preserve our dwelling free from foes.
5 Come to us with one mind to-day, come to us all with one accord,
Maruts with holy song, and, Goddess Aditi, Mighty One, to our house and home.
6 Send us delightful things, ye Maruts, on your steeds: come ye, O Mitra, to our gifts.
Let Indra, Varuṇa, and the Ādityas sit, swift Heroes, on our sacred grass.
7 We who have trimmed the grass for you, and set the banquet in array,
And pressed the Soma, call you, Varuina, like men, with sacrificial fires aflame.
8 O Maruts, Visinu, Aśvins, Pūṣan, haste away with minds turned hitherward to Me.
Let the Strong Indra, famed as Vṛtra's slayer, come first with the winners of the spoil.
9 Ye Guileless Gods, bestow on us a refuge strong on every side,
A sure protection, Vasus, unassailable from near at hand or from afar.
10 Kinship have I with you, and close alliance O ye Gods, destroyers of our foes.
Call us to our prosperity of former days, and soon to new klicity.
11 For now have I sent forth to you, that I may win a fair reward,
Lords of all wealth, with homage, this my song of praise. like a milch-cow that faileth not.
12 Excellent Savitar hath mounted up on high for you, ye sure and careful Guides.
Bipeds and quadrupeds, with several hopes and aims, and birds have settled to their tasks.
13 Singing their praise with God-like thought let us invoke each God for grace,
Each God to bring you help, each God to strengthen you.
14 For of one spirit are the Gods with mortal man, co-sharers all of gracious gifts.
May they increase our strength hereafter and to-day, providing case and ample room.
15 I laud you, O ye Guileless Gods, here where we meet to render praise.
None, Varuṇa and Mitra, harins the mortal, man who honours and obeys your laws.
16 He makes his house endure, he gathers plenteous food who pays obedience to your will.
Born in his sons anew he spreads as Law commands, and prospers every way unharmed.
17 E’en without war he gathers wealth, and goes hisway on pleasant paths,
Whom Mitra, Varuṇa and Aryaman protect, sharing the gift,of one accord.
18 E’en on the plain for him ye make a sloping path, an easy way where road is none:
And far away from him the ineffectual shaft must vanish, shot at him in vain.
19 If ye appoint the rite to-day, kind Rulers, when the Sun ascends,
Lords of all wealth, at sunset or at wakingtime, or be it at the noon of day,
20 Or, Asuras, when ye have sheltered the worshipper who goes to sacrifice, at eve
may we, O Vasus, ye possessors of all wealth, come then into the midst of You.
21 If ye to-day at sunrise, or at noon, or in the gloom of eve,
Lords of all riches, give fair treasure to the man, the wise man who hath sacrificed,
22 Then we, imperial Rulers, claim of you this boon, your wide protection, as a son.
May we, Ādityas, offering holy gifts, obtain that which shall bring us greater bliss.

Rigveda 8.47

HYMN XLVII. Ādityas.
1. GREAT help ye give the worshipper, Varuṇa, Mitra, Mighty Ones! No sorrow ever reaches him whom ye, Ādityas, keep from harm. Yours are incomparable aids, and good the succour they afford.
2 O Gods, Ādityas, well ye know the way to keep all woes afar.
As the birds spread their sheltering wings, spread your protection over us.
3 As the birds spread their sheltering wings let your protection cover us.
We mean all shelter and defence, ye who have all things for your own.
4 To whomsoever they, Most Wise, have given a home and means of life,
O'er the whole riches of this man they, the Ādityas, have control.
5 As drivers of the car avoid ill roads, let sorrows pass us by.
May we be under Indra's guard, in the Ādityas’ favouring grace.
6 For verily men sink and faint through loss of wealth which ye have given.
Much hath he gained from you, O Gods, whom ye, Ādityas, have approached.
7 On him shall no fierce anger fall, no sore distress shall visit him,
To whom, Ādityas, ye have lent your shelter that extendeth far.
8 Resting in you, O Gods, we are like men who fight in coats of mail.
Ye guard us from each great offence, ye guard us from each lighter fault.
9 May Aditi defend us, may Aditi guard and shelter us,
Mother of wealthy Mitra and of Aryaman and Varuṇa.
10 The shelter, Gods, that is secure, auspicious, free from malady,
A sure protection, triply strong, even that do ye extend to us.
11 Look down on us, Ādityas, as a guide exploring from the bank.
Lead us to pleasant ways as men lead horses to an easy ford.
12 Ill be it for the demons' friend to find us or come near to us.
But for the milch-cow be it well, and for the man who strives for fame.
13 Each evil deed made manifest, and that which is concealed, O Gods,
The whole thereof remove from us to Trita Āptya far away.
14 Daughter of Heaven, the dream that bodes evil to us or to our kine,
Remove, O Lady of the Light, to Trita Āptya far away.
15 Even if, O Child of Heaven, it make a garland or a chain of gold,
The whole bad dream, whate’er it be, to Trita Āptya we consign.
16 To him whose food and work is this, who comes to take his share therein,
To Trita, and to Dvita, Dawn! bear thou the evil dream away.
17 As we collect the utmost debt, even the eighth and sixteenth part,
So unto Āptya we transfer together all the evil dream.
18 Now have we conquered and obtained, and from our trespasses are free.
Shine thou away the evil dream, O Dawn, whereof we are afraid. Yours are incomparable aids, and good the succour they afford.

Rigveda 8.93

Doesn’t exist.

Rigveda 10.127

HYMN CXXVII. Night.
1. WITH all her eyes the Goddess Night looks forth approaching many a spot:
She hath put all her glories on.
2 Immortal. she hath filled the waste, the Goddess hath filled height and depth:
She conquers darkness with her light.
3 The Goddess as she comes hath set the Dawn her Sister in her place:
And then the darkness vanishes.
4 So favour us this night, O thou whose pathways we have visited
As birds their nest upon the tree.
5 The villagers have sought their homes, and all that walks and all that flies,
Even the falcons fain for prey.
6 Keep off the she-wolf and the wolf, O Urmya, keep the thief away;
Easy be thou for us to pass.
7 Clearly hath she come nigh to me who decks the dark with richest hues:
O Morning, cancel it like debts.
8 These have I brought to thee like kine. O Night, thou Child of Heaven, accept
This laud as for a conqueror.

-- The Rig Veda, translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith


0 references to "Durga" --

2 references to "Durgaha":

7 All beings know these deeds of thine thou tellest this unto Varuṇa, thou great Disposer!
Thou art renowned as having slain the Vṛtras. Thou madest flow the floods that were obstructed.
8 Our fathers then were these, the Seven his, what time the son of Durgaha was captive.
For her they gained by sacrifice Trasadasyu, a demi-god, like Indra, conquering foemen.

11 Beside a thousand spotted kine I have received a gift of gold,
Pure, brilliant, and exceeding great.
12 Durgaha's grandsons, giving me a thousand kine, munificent,
Have won renown among the Gods.

-- The Rig Veda, translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith


and in sections 10.1 and 12.4 of the Atharvaveda[28][29][F]

Atharvaveda 10.1

BOOK X
HYMN I
A charm against witchcraft
1 Afar let her depart: away we drive her whom, made with hands, all-beautiful,
Skilled men prepare and fashion like a bride amid her nuptial train.
2 Complete, with head and nose and ears, all-beauteous, wrought with magic skill
Afar let her depart: away we drive her.
3 Made by a Sidra or a Prince, by priests or women let her go.
Back to her maker as her kin, like a dame banished by her lord.
4 I with this salutary herb have ruined all their magic arts,
The spell which they have cast upon thy field, thy cattle, or thy men.
All fall on him who doeth ill, on him who curseth fall the curse!
We drive her back that she may slay the man who wrought the witchery.
6 Against her comes the Angirasa, the Priest whose eye is over us.
Turn back all witcheries and slay those practisers of magic arts.
7 Whoever said to thee, Go forth against the foeman up the stream,
To him, O Krityā, go thou back. Pursue not us, the sinless ones.
8 He who composed thy limbs with thought as a deft joiner builds a car,
Go to him: thither lies thy way. This man is all unknown to thee.
9 The cunning men, the sorcerers who fashioned thee and held thee fast,--
This cures and mars their witchery, this, repellent, drives it back the way it came.
With this we make thee swim.
10 When we have found her ducked and drenched, a hapless cow whose calf hath died,
Let all my woe depart and let abundant riches come to me.
11 If, as they gave thy parents aught, they named thee, or at sacrifice,
From all their purposed evil let these healing herbs deliver thee.
12 From mention of thy name, from sin against the Fathers or the Gods,
These herbs of healing shall by prayer release thee, by power, by holy texts, the milk of Rishis.
13 As the wind stirs the dust from earth and drives the rain cloud from the sky,
So, chased and banished by the spell, all misery departs from me.
14 Go with a resonant cry, depart, like a she-ass whose cords are loosed.
Go to thy makers: hence! away! Go driven by the potent spell.
15 This, Krityā, is thy path, we say, and guide thee. We drive thee back who hast been sent against us.
Go by this pathway, breaking loose for onslaught even as a host complete with cars and horses.
16 No path leads hitherward for thee to travel. Turn thee from us: far off, thy light is yonder.
Fly hence across the ninety floods, the rivers most hard to pass. Begone, and be not wounded.
17 As wind the trees, so smite and overthrow them: leave not cow, horse, or man of them surviving
Return, O Krityā, unto those who made thee. Wake them from sleep to find that they are childless.
18 The charm or secret power which they have buried for thee in sacred grass, field, cemetery,
Or spell in household fire which men more cunning have wrought against thee innocent and simple,—
19 That tool of hatred, understood, made ready, stealthy and buried deep, have we discovered,
Let that go back to whence it came, turn thither like a horse and kill the children of the sorcerer.
20 Within our house are swords of goodly iron. Krityā, we know thy joints and all their places.
Arise this instant and begone! What, stranger! art thou seeking here?
21 O Krityā, I will cut thy throat and hew thy feet off. Run, begone!
Indra and Agni, Guardian Lords of living creatures, shield us well!
22 May Soma, gracious friend, imperial Sovran, and the world's Masters look on us with favour.
23 Bhava and Sarva cast the flash of lightning, the weapon of the Gods, against the sinner who made the evil thing, who deals in witchcraft!
24 If thou hast come two-footed or four-footed, made by the sorcerer, wrought in perfect beauty,
Become eight-footed and go hence. Speed back again, thou evil one.
25 Anointed, balmed, and well adorned, bearing all trouble with thee, go.
Even as a daughter knows her sire, so know thy marker, Krityā, thou.
26 Krityā, begone, stay not. Pursue as 'twere the wounded creature's track.
He is the chase, the hunter thou he may not slight or humble thee.
27 He waits, and aiming with his shaft smites him who first would shoot at him,
And, when the foeman deals a blow before him, following strikes him down.
28 Hearken to this my word; then go thither away whence thou hast come; to him who made thee go thou back.
29 The slaughter of an innocent, O Krityā, is an awful deed. Slay not cow, horse, or man of ours.
In whatsoever place thou art concealed we rouse thee up therefrom: become thou lighter than a leaf.
30 If ye be girt about with clouds of darkness, bound as with a net.
We rend and tear all witcheries hence and to their maker send them back.
31 The brood of wizard, sorcerer, the purposer of evil deed.
Crush thou, O Krityā spare not, kill those practisers of magic arts.
32 As Sūrya frees himself from depth of darkness, and casts away the night and rays of morning,
So I repel each baleful charm which an enchanter hath prepared;
And, as an elephant shakes off the dust, I cast the plague aside.

Atharvaveda 12.4

HYMN IV
On the duty of giving cows to Brāhmans, and the sin and danger of withholding the gift
1 Give the gift, shall be his word: and straightway they have bound the Cow
For Brāhman priests who beg the boon. That bringeth sons and progeny.
2 He trades and traffics with his sons, and in his cattle suffers loss.
Who will not give the Cow of Gods to Rishis children when they beg.
3 They perish through a hornless cow, a lame cow sinks them in a pit.
Through a maimed cow his house is burnt: a one-eyed cow destroys his wealth.
4 Fierce fever where her droppings fall attacks the master of the kine.
So have they named her Vasa, for thou art called uncontrollable.
5 The malady Viklindu springs on him from ground whereon she stands,
And suddenly, from fell disease, perish the men on whom she sniffs.
6 Whoever twitches up her ears is separated from the Gods.
He deems he makes a mark, but he diminishes his wealth thereby.
7 If to his own advantage one applies the long hair of her tail,
His colts, in consequence thereof die, and the wolf destroys his calves.
8 If, while her master owneth her, a carrion crow hath harmed her hair,
His young boys die thereof, Decline o'ertakes them after fell disease.
9 What time the Dāsi woman throws lye on the droppings of theCow,
Misshapen birth arises thence, inseparable from that sin.
10 For Gods and Brāhmans is the Cow produced when first she springs to life,
Hence to the priests must she be given: this they call guarding private wealth.
11 The God-created Cow belongs to those who come to ask for her.
They call it outrage on the priests when one retains her as his own.
12 He who withholds the Cow of Gods from Rishis' sons who ask the gift
Is made an alien to the Gods, and subject to the Brāhmans' wrath:
13 Then let him seek another Cow, whate'er his profit be in this.
The Cow, not given, harms a man when he denies her at their prayer.
14 Like a rich treasure stored away in safety is the Brāhmans' Cow.
Therefore men come to visit her, with whomsoever she is born.
15 So when the Brāhmans come unto the Cow they come unto their own.
For this is her withholding, to oppress these in another life.
16 Thus after three years may she go, speaking what is not understood.
He, Nārads! would know the Cow, then Brāhmans must be sought unto.
17 Whoso calls her a worthless Cow, the stored-up treasure of the Gods,
Bhava and Sarva, both of them, move round and shoot a shaft at him.
18 The man who hath no knowledge of her udder and the teats thereof,
She yields him milk with these, if he hath purposed to bestow the Cow.
19 If he withholds the Cow they beg, she lies rebellious in his stall.
Vain are the wishes and the hopes which he, withholding her, would gain.
20 The Deities have begged the Cow, using the Brāhman as their mouth:
The man who gives her not incurs the enmity of all the Gods.
21 Withholding her from Brāhmans, he incurs the anger of the beasts,
When mortal man appropriates the destined portion of the Gods.
22 If hundred other Brāhmans beg the Cow of him who owneth her,
The Gods have said, She, verily, belongs to him who knows the truth.
23 Whoso to others, not to him who hath this knowledge, gives the Cow,
Earth, with the Deities, is hard for him to win and rest upon.
24 The Deities begged the Cow from him with whom at first she was produced:
Her, this one, Nārada would know: with Deities he drove her forth.
25 The Cow deprives of progeny and makes him poor in cattle who
Retains in his possession her whom Brāhmans have solicited.
26 For Agni and for Soma, for Kāma, Mitra and Varuna,
For these the Brāhmans ask: from these is he who giveth not estranged.
27 Long as her owner hath not heard, himself, the verses, let her move
Among his kine: when he hath heard, let her not make her home with him;
28 He who hath heard her verses and still makes her roam among his kine.
The Gods in anger rend away his life and his prosperity
29 Roaming in many a place the Cow is the stored treasure of the Gods,
Make manifest thy shape and form when she would seek her dwelling-place.
30 Her shape and form she manifests when she would seek her dwelling-place;
Then verily the Cow attends to Brāhman priests and their request.
31 This thought he settles in his mind. This safely goeth to the Gods.
Then verily the Brāhman priests approach that they may beg the Cow
32 By Svadhā to the Fathers, by sacrifice to the Deities,
By giving them the Cow, the Prince doth not incur the mother's wrath.
33 The Prince's mother is the Cow: so was it ordered from of old.
She, when bestowed upon the priests, cannot be given back, they say.
34 As molten butter, held at length, drops down to Agni from the scoop,
So falls away from Agni he who gives no Cow to Brāhman priests.
35 Good milker, with rice-cake as calf, she in the world comes nigh to him,
To him who gave her as a gift the Cow grants every hope and wish.
36 In Yama's realm the Cow fulfils each wish for him who gave her up;
But hell, they say, is for the man who, when they beg, bestow her not.
37 Enraged against her owner roams the Cow when she hath been impregned.
He deemed me fruitless is her thought; let him be bound in, snares of Death!
38 Whoever looking on the Cow as fruitless, cooks her flesh at home,
Brihaspati compels his sons and children of his sons to beg.
39 Downward she sends a mighty heat, though amid kine a Cow she roams.
Poison she yields for him who owns and hath not given her away.
40 The animal is happy when it is bestowed upon the priests:
But happy is the Cow when she is made a sacrifice to Gods.
41 Nārada chose the terrible Vilipti out of all the cows Which the
Gods formed and framed when they had risen up from sacrifice
42 The Gods considered her in doubt whether she were a Cow or not.
Mirada spake of her and said, The veriest Cow of cows is she.
43 How many cows, O Nārada, knowest thou, born among mankind
I ask thee who dost know, of which must none who is no Brāhman eat?
44 Vilipti, cow, and she who drops no second calf, Brihaspati!
Of these none not a Brāhmana should eat if he hope for eminence.
45 Homage, O Nārada, to thee who hast quick knowledge of the cows.
Which of these is the direst, whose withholding bringeth death to man?
46 Vilipti, O Brihaspati, cow, mother of no second calf—Of these
none not a Brāhman should eat if he hope for eminence.
47 Threefold are kine, Vilipti, cow, the mother of no second calf:
These one should give to priests, and he will not offend Prajāpati.
48 This Brāhmans! is your sacrifice: thus should one think when he is asked,
What time they beg from him the Cow fearful in the withholder's house.
49 He gave her not to us, so spake the Gods, in anger, of the Cow.
With these same verses they addressed Bheda: this brought him to his death.
50 Solicited by Indra, still Bheda refused to give this Cow.
In strife for victory the Gods destroyed him for that sin of his.
51 The men of evil counsel who advise refusal of the Cow,
Miscreants, through their foolishness, are subjected to Indra's wrath.
52 They who seduce the owner of the Cow and say, Bestow her not.
Encounter through their want of sense the missile shot by Rudra's hand.
53 If in his home one cooks the Cow, sacrificed or not sacrificed.
Wronger of Gods and Brāhmans' he departs, dishonest, from the world.

-- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith (1895-6)


admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33222
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:03 am

Part 2 of 3

A deity named Durgi appears in section 10.1.7 of the Taittiriya Aranyaka.[28] While the Vedic literature uses the word Durga, the description therein lacks legendary details about her or about Durga puja that is found in later Hindu literature.[31]A key text associated with Durga puja is Devi Mahatmya, which is recited during the festival...

The Devi Mahatmya or Devi Mahatmyam (Sanskrit: devīmāhātmyam, देवीमाहात्म्यम्), or "Glory of the Goddess") is a Hindu religious text describing the Goddess as the supreme power and creator of the universe. It is part of the Markandeya Purana...

It is difficult to ascertain when, where, why and by whom these were written...

The oldest surviving manuscript of the Devi Māhātmya (part of Markandeya Purana), on palm-leaf, in an early Bhujimol script, Bihar or Nepal, 11th century...

The three early printed editions of this text vary from one another. The Calcutta edition ends abruptly in chapter 136, leaving the narrative of Dama halfway. The Bombay and Poona editions have complete narrative of Dama, which ends in chapter 137.

The text has been translated into English by many, including those by C.C. Mukherjee (1893) and F. E. Pargiter. However, states Coburn, Pargiter's focus was reconstruction of India's political history, not other contents of the Purana. Pargiter's work and conclusions have been widely disputed, after he published his translation in 1904.


A good translation of the Devi Mahatmya text within the Markandeya Purana, states Gregory Bailey, was published in 1991 by Thomas Coburn.

-- Markandeya Purana, by Wikipedia


The Devi Mahatmyam describes a storied battle between good and evil, where the Devi manifesting as goddess Durga leads the forces of good against the demon Mahishasura—the goddess is very angry and ruthless, and the forces of good win. In peaceful prosperous times, states the text, the Devi manifests as Lakshmi, empowering creation and happiness. The verses of this story also outline a philosophical foundation wherein the ultimate reality (Brahman in Hinduism) is female. The text is one of the earliest extant complete manuscripts from the Hindu traditions which describes reverence and worship of the feminine aspect of God.

-- Devi Mahatmya, by Wikipedia


Durga was likely well established by the time this Hindu text was composed, which scholars variously estimate Durgato date between 400 and 600 CE.[32][33][34] The Devi Mahatmya scripture describes the nature of evil forces symbolised by Mahishasura as shape-shifting, deceptive, and adapting in nature, in form and in strategy to create difficulties and thus achieve their evil ends. Durga calmly understands and counters the evil in order to achieve her solemn goals.[13][14][G]Durga, in her various forms, appears as an independent deity in the Indian texts.[35] Both Yudhisthira and Arjuna characters of the Mahabharata invoke hymns to Durga.[36] She appears in Harivamsa in the form of Vishnu's eulogy, and in Pradyumna's prayer. The prominent mention of Durga in such epics may have led to her worship.[37][4][38]

Image
A display of sculpture-idols depicting Rama and Narada praying to Durga

The Indian texts with mentions of Durga puja are inconsistent. A legend found in some versions of the Puranas mention it to be a spring festival, while the Devi-Bhagavata Purana and two other Shakta Puranas mention it to be an autumn festival. The Ramayana manuscripts are also inconsistent. Versions of Ramayana found in north, west, and south of the Indian subcontinent describe Rama to be remembering Surya (the Hindu sun god) before his battle against Ravana, but the Bengali manuscripts of Ramayana, such as the 15th-century manuscript by Krttivasa, mention Rama to be worshipping Durga.[39] According to some scholars, the worship of the fierce warrior goddess Durga, and her darker and more violent manifestation Kali, became popular in the Bengal region during and after the medieval era, marked by Muslim invasions and conquests.[40]

The significance of Durga and other goddesses in Hindu culture is stated to have increased after Islamicate armies conquered regions of the Indian subcontinent.
[41]



According to yet other scholars, the marginalisation of Bengali Hindus during the medieval era led to a reassertion of Hindu identity and an emphasis on Durga puja as a social festival, publicly celebrating the warrior goddess.[42]From the medieval era up to present-day, Durga puja has been celebrated as a socio-cultural event, while maintaining the roots of religious worship.[43]

Rituals and practices

Image
Structure of a Durga sculpture-idol being made at Kumortuli;

Image
Lady carrying offerings for the puja;

Image
Sandhi puja on the day of Ashtami;

Image
Immersion of the sculpture-idol on Vijaya Dashami.

Durga puja is a ten-day event, of which the last five days involve certain rituals and practices. The festival begins with Mahalaya, a day on which Hindus perform tarpaṇa by offering water and food to their dead ancestors. The day also marks the advent of Durga from her mythological marital home in Kailash.[3][5] The next significant day of the festival is the sixth day (Sashthi), on which devotees welcomes the goddess and festive celebrations are inaugurated. On the seventh day (Saptami), eighth (Ashtami) and ninth (Navami) days, the goddess along with Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha, and Kartikeya are revered and these days mark the main days of worship with recitation of scriptures, puja, legends of Durga in Devi Mahatmya, social visits to elaborately decorated and illuminated pandals (temporary structures meant for hosting the puja), among others.[44][45][46]

Durga Puja as a harvest festival

Om you are rice [wheat...],Om you are life, you are the life of the gods, you are our life, your are our internal life, you are long life, you give life, Om the Sun with his rays (....)

— Hymn to start the Durga Puja, Translator: David Kinsley[16]


Durga puja is, in part, a post-monsoon harvest festival observed on the same days in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism as those in its other traditions.[47][48] The practice of including a bundle of nine different plants, called navapatrika, as a symbolism of Durga, is a testament practice to its agricultural importance.[16] The typically selected plants include not only representative important crops, but also non-crops. This probably signifies the Hindu belief that the goddess is "not merely the power inherent in the growth of crops but the power inherent in all vegetation".[16]The festival is a social and public event in eastern and northeastern states of India, where it dominates religious and socio-cultural life, with temporary pandals built at community squares, roadside shrines, and temples. The festival is also observed by some Shakta Hindus as a private home-based festival.[49]The festival is started at twilight with prayers to Saraswati.[50] She is believed to be another aspect of goddess Durga, and who is the external and internal activity of all existence, in everything and everywhere. This is typically also the day on which the eyes of the deities on the representative clay sculpture-idols are painted, bringing them to a lifelike appearance.[50][51] The day also marks prayers to Ganesha and visit to pandals temples.[52]Day two to five mark the remembrance of the goddess and her manifestations, such as Kumari (goddess of fertility), Mai (mother), Ajima (grandmother), Lakshmi (goddess of wealth) and in some regions as the Saptamatrikas (seven mothers) or Navadurga (nine aspects of Durga).[53][9][54] On the sixth day major festivities and social celebrations start. [3][5] The first nine days overlap with Navaratri festivities in other traditions of Hinduism.[55][20]The puja rituals involve mantras (words manifesting spiritual transformation), shlokas (holy verses), chants and arati, and offerings. These also include Vedic chants and recitations of the Devi Mahatmya text in Sanskrit.[46] The shlokas and mantras praise the divinity of the goddess; according to the shlokas Durga is omnipresent as the embodiment of power, nourishment, memory, forbearance, faith, forgiveness, intellect, wealth, emotions, desires, beauty, satisfaction, righteousness, fulfillment and peace.[56][H] The specific practices vary by region.[60]

The rituals before the puja begins include the following:[61]

• Bodhana: Involves rites to awaken and welcome the goddess to be a guest, typically done on the sixth day of the festival.[62]
• Adhivasa: Anointing ritual wherein symbolic offerings are made to Durga, with each item representing a remembrance of subtle forms of her. Typically completed on the sixth day as well.[63]
• Navapatrika snan: Bathing of the navapatrika with holy water done on the seventh day of the festival.[64]
Sandhi puja and Ashtami pushpanjali: The eighth day begins with elaborate pushpanjali rituals. The cusp of the ending of the eighth day and beginning of the ninth day is considered to be the moment when per scriptures Durga engaged in a fierce battle against Mahishasura and was attacked by the demons Chanda and Munda. Goddess Chamunda emerged from the third eye of Durga and killed Chanda and Munda at the cusp of Ashtami and Navami, the eighth and ninth days respectively. This moment is marked by the sandhi puja, involving the offering of 108 lotuses and lighting if 108 lamps. It is a forty-eight minutes long ritual commemorating the climax of battle. The rituals are performed in the last 24 minutes of Ashtami and the first 24 minutes of Navami. In some regions, devotees sacrifice an animal such as a buffalo or goat, but in many regions, there isn't an actual animal sacrifice and a symbolic sacrifice substitutes it. The surrogate effigy is smeared in red vermilion to symbolize the blood spilled.[65] The goddess is then offered food (bhog). Some places also engage in devotional service.[66]
• Homa and bhog: The ninth day of festival is marked with the homa (fire oblation) rituals and bhog. Some places also perform kumari puja on this day.[67]
• Sindoor khela and immersion: The tenth and last day, called Vijaya dashami is marked by sindoor khela, where women smear sindoor or vermillion on the sculpture-idols and also smear each other with it. This ritual signifies the wishing of a blissful marital life for married women. Historically the ritual has been restricted to married women. The tenth day is the day when Durga emerged victorious against Mahishasura and it ends with a procession where the clay sculpture-idols are ceremoniously taken to a river or coast for immersion rites.[68][69] Following the immersion, Durga is believed to return to her mythological marital home of Kailasha to Shiva and the cosmos in general. People distribute sweets and gifts, visit their friends and family members on the tenth day.[70] Some communities such as those near Varanasi mark the day after Vijaya dashami, called Ekadashi, by visiting a Durga temple.[71]
• Dhunuchi naach and dhuno pora: Dhunuchi naach involves a dance ritual performed with dhunuchi (incense burner). Drummers called dhakis, carrying large leather-strung dhaks create music, to which people dance either during or not during aarati. Some places, especially home pujas, also observe dhuno pora, a ritual involving married women carrying dhunuchis burning with incense and dried coconuts, on a cloth on their head and hands,

Image
Dhaks, played during the pujo;

Image
Dhunuchi naach on Navami;

Image
Women taking part in sindoor khela on Vijaya Dashami.

Decorations, sculptures, and stages

Image
A craftsperson sculpting the face of the sculpture-idol;

Image
Durga puja pandal decorations in Kolkata;

Image
Interior decorations of a pandal;

Image
Street lights installed during the festivities.

The process of the creation of clay sculpture-idols (pratima or murti) for the puja, from the collection of clay to the ornamentation is a ceremonial process. Though the festival is observed post-monsoon harvest, the artisans begin making the sculpture-idols months before, during summer. The process begins with prayers to Ganesha and to the perceived divinity in materials such as bamboo frames in which the sculpture-idols are cast.[72]

Image
Clay statue is being made

Clay, or alluvial soil, collected from different region form the base. This choice is a tradition wherein Durga, perceived as the creative energy and material, is believed to be present everywhere and everything in the universe.[72] In certain traditions in Kolkata, a custom is to include soil samples in the clay mixture for Durga from areas believed to be nishiddho pallis (forbidden territories; territories inhabited by the "social outcasts" such as brothels).[73]

The clay base is combined with straw, kneaded, and then molded into a cast made from hay and bamboo. This is layered to a fine final shape, cleaned, painted, and polished. A layer of a fiber called jute, mixed in with clay, is also attached to the top to prevent the statue from cracking in the months ahead. The heads of the statues are more complex, and are usually made separately.[72] The limbs of the statues are mostly shaped from bundles of straws.[72] Then, starting about August, the local artisans hand-paint the sculpture-idols which are later dressed in clothing, are decorated and bejewelled, and displayed at the puja altars.[72][74]

Image
A man building statue in Rangpur, Bangladesh

The procedure for and proportions of the sculpture-idols are described in arts-related Sanskrit texts of Hinduism, such as the Vishvakarma Sashtra.[75]

Environmental impact

Image
A Durga sculpture-idol in the river, post-immersion.

The sculpture-idols for the puja are traditionally made of biodegradable materials such as straw, clay, soil, and wood.[76] In today's times, brighter colored statues have increased in popularity and have diversified the use of non-biodegradable, cheaper or more colorful substitute synthetic raw materials. Environmental activists have raised concerns about the paint used to produce the statue, stating that the heavy metals in these paints pollute rivers when the statues are immersed at the end of the Durga festival.[76]

Brighter colors that are also biodegradable and eco-friendly, as well as the traditional natural colors, are typically more expensive compared to the non biodegradable paints.[77] The Indian state of West Bengal has banned the use of hazardous paints, and various state government have started distributing lead-free paints to artisans at no cost to prevent pollution.[78]


Animal sacrifice, symbolic sacrifice

Further information: Shaktism and Animal sacrifice in Hinduism

Image
Sacrifice of a buffalo during Durga puja, in Assam.

Shakta Hindu communities mark the slaying of Mahishasura and the victory of Durga with a symbolic or actual sacrifice. Most communities prefer symbolic sacrifice, where a statue of the asura is made of flour or equivalent, is immolated and smeared with vermilion, symbolic of the blood that had spilled during the battle.[65][79] Other substitutes include a vegetable or a sweet dish considered equivalent to the animal.[80] In certain instances, devotees consider animal sacrifice distasteful, and practice alternate means of expressing devotion while respecting the views of others in their tradition.[81]

In communities performing actual sacrifice, an animal is sacrificed, mainly at temples.[82] In Nepal, West Bengal, Odisha and Assam, animal sacrifices are performed at Shakta temples to commemorate the legend of Durga slaying Mahishasura.[83] This involves slaying of a fowl, goat or a male water-buffalo.
This practice is rare among Hindus outside the regions of Bengal, Odisha and Assam.[84] In these regions, the festival season is primarily when significant animal sacrifices are observed.[84]

The Rajputs of Rajasthan worship their weapons and horses in the related festival of Navaratri, and some historically observed the sacrifice of a goat, a practice that continues in some places.[85][86] The sacrifice ritual, supervised by the priest, requires slaying of the animal with a single stroke. In the past this ritual was considered a rite of passage into manhood and readiness as a warrior.[87] The Kuldevi (clan deity) among these Rajput communities is a warrior goddess, with local legends tracing reverence for her during Rajput-Muslim wars.[88]

Pandals and theme-based pujas

Image

Image
Two theme-based pandals in Kolkata.

Months before the start of Durga Puja, youth members of the community collect funds and donations, engage priests and artisans, buy votive materials and help build pandals centred around a theme, which has rose to prominence in recent years. Such themes have included sex work,[89] celebration of humanity,[90] marginalisation of queer persons and transgender persons,[91] folk culture,[92] celebration of cinema,[93] womanhood,[92] pro-environment themes,[94] while others have chosen metaphorical themes such as celebration of maati (literally, soil or ash) and "finding one's own light".[95] Pandals have also been replicated on existing temples, structures, and monuments[96][97] and yet others have been made of elements such as metal scraps,[98] nails,[99] and turmeric[100] among others. Durga puja pandals have also been centred around themes to acknowledge political events such as the 2019 Balakot airstrike and to protest against the National Register of Citizens of India.[101][102]

Designs and sculpture-idols are made by commissioned artisans, which is also a team effort involving labourers, architects, and community representatives hosting it. The budget required for such theme-based pujas is significantly higher than traditional pujas. For such theme-based pujas, the preparations and the building of pandals are a significant arts-related economic activity, often attracting major sponsors.[103] Such commercialised pujas attract crowds of visitors. The growth of competitiveness in theme-based pandals has escalated costs and scale of Durga puja in eastern states of India. Some segments of the society criticise the billboards, the economic competition, and seek return to basics.[104] The competition takes many forms, such as the height of statue. In 2015, an 88-foot statue of Durga in Kolkata's Deshapriya Park attracted numerous devotees, with some estimates placing visitors at one million.[105][106]

Regional celebrations and observances

Image
Durga puja at Bagbajar, Kolkata, example of a sarvajanin barowari puja.

There exists variation in worship practices and rituals associated with Durga puja, as is the case with other Hindu festivals, in the Indian subcontinent.[107] Hinduism accepts flexibility and leaves the set of practices to the choice of the individuals concerned. Different localised rituals may be observed regionally, with these variations accepted across temples, pandals, and within families.

[108] The festival is most commonly associated with Bengali Hindus, and with the community having variability and differences in practices. There may exist differences of practice between the puja of theme-based Pandals, family pujas (with puja of erstwhile aristocrat families known as bonedi puja), and community pujas (known as barowari pujas ) of neighbourhoods or apartments. [108]

The rituals of the puja also varies from being Vedic, Puranic, or Tantric, or a combination of these.[108] The Bengali Durga puja rituals typically combine all three. The non-Bengali Durga puja rituals tend to be essentially Vedic (srauta) in nature but they too incorporate esoteric elements making the puja an example of a culmination of Vedic-Tantric practices.[109]

Historical evidence suggests that the Durga puja has evolved over time, becoming more elaborate, social, and creative. The festival had earlier been a domestic puja, a form of practice that still remains popular. But it had also come to be celebrated in the sarvajanin (public) form, where communities get together, pool their resources and efforts to set up pandals and illuminations, and celebrate the event as a "mega-show to share".[110] The origins of this variation are unclear, with some sources suggesting a family in Kolkatta reviving such celebration in 1411 CE. While other set of sources suggest that a Bengali landlord, named Kamsanarayan, held a mega-show puja in late 16th-century Bengal.[110] Yet, this festival of Bengal is likely much older with the discovery of 11th and 12th-century Durga puja manual manuscripts such as Durgotsavaviveka, Durgotsava Prayoga, Vasantaviveka and Kalaviveka.[111] The rituals associated with the Durga puja migrated to other regions from Bengal, such as in Varanasi, a city that has historically attracted sponsorship from Hindus from various parts of the Indian subcontinent including Bengal.[112] In contemporary India, Durga puja is celebrated in various styles and forms.[113]

Image
Durga puja festivities by dancers and musicians in Calcutta, circa 1830s-40s;

Image
Patna style painting of Durga puja, circa 1809.

Durga puja is a widely celebrated festival in the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, and Odisha.[114] It is celebrated over a five-day period. Streets are decked up with festive lights, loudspeakers play festive songs as well as recitation of hymns and chants by priests, and pandals are erected by communities. The roads become overcrowded with revellers, devotees, and pandal-hoppers visiting the pandals on puja days. It often creates chaotic traffic conditions. Shops, eateries, and restaurants stay open all night; fairs are also set up and cultural programmes are held.[115] People form organizing committees, which plan and oversee the pandal during the festivities. Today, Durga Puja has turned into a consumerist social carnival, a major public spectacle and a major arts event riding on the wave of commercialisation, corporate sponsorship, and craze for award-winning. For private domestic pujas, families dedicate an area of their homes, known as thakur dalan, for Durga puja where the sculpture-idols for worship is placed and decorated with home-dyed fabric, sola ornamentations, and gold and silver foil decorations. Elaborate rituals like arati are performed and prasad is distributed after being offered to the deities. As a tradition, married daughters visit their parents and celebrate the Durga puja with them, a symbolism alluding to Durga who is popularly believed to return to her natal home during the puja.[116]

Image
Durga puja at the Shobhabazar Rajbari, in Kolkata, example of a bonedi puja.

Shobhabazar Rajbari (Shobhabazar Royal Palace) is the palace of the Shobhabazar royal family located in the Indian city of Kolkata. Maharaja Nabakrishna Deb (1737–97), founder of the Shobhabazar Rajbari (at 35), started life as a modest aristocrat but soon amassed considerable wealth in his service to the British, in particular by his role in assisting to topple Siraj ud-Daulah. During his lifetime Raja Nabakrishna Deb built two houses. The building at 35 Raja Nabakrishna Street (known as Shobhabazar Rajbari or "Baag ola Bari - House with the lions"), on the northern side of the road, was the one first constructed by him, subsequently inherited by his adopted son from his elder brother Gopimohan and his descendants including his son Radhakanta Deb. The house at 33 Raja Nabakrishna Street (known as Choto Rajbari) was built by him when a son was born to him later in life, and was left to his biological son Rajkrishna and his descendants.

Role in Cultural and Social life of Bengal

Raja Nabakrishna Deb celebrated Durga Puja in 1757 on a grand scale after the British defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah at the battle of Plassey. Lord Clive and Warren Hastings were in the list of invitees.
• It was here that the first civic reception of Swami Vivekananda after his return from Chicago Parliament of Religions was organised in 1897 by Raja Binoy Deb Bahadur.


-- Shobhabazar Rajbari, by Wikipedia


Durga Puja is also a gift-giving and shopping season for communities celebrating it, with people buying gifts for not only family members but also for close relatives and friends. New clothes are the traditional gift, and people wear them to go out together during Durga puja. During puja holidays, people may also go to places of tourist attractions while others return home to spend Durga puja with their family. [116] It's a common trend amongst youngsters and even those who are older to go pandal-hopping and enjoy the celebrations.[117]

The organising committees of each puja pandal hires a purohita (priest) who performs the puja rituals on behalf of the community.[118] For the priests, Durga puja is a time of activity wherein he pursues the timely completion of Vedic-Puranic-Tantric ritual sequences to make various offerings and perform fire oblations, in full public view, while the socio-cultural festivities occur in parallel.[119] The complex puja rituals include periods of accurate and melodic scripture recitation. The puja involves crowds of people visiting the pandals, with smaller groups visiting family pujas, to witness the celebrations.[120] On the last day, the sculpture-idols are carried out in immersion processions across Bengal, following which they are ritually immersed into rivers or other waterbodies. The immersion ceremony continues till a couple of days after the last day of puja. [121]

Image
Immersion procession for Durga puja, with the sculpture-idols being carried by people on bamboo poles.

According to some scholars, the ritual of immersing the Durga sculpture-idol into the river attracted the attention of colonial era travelers to the Bengal region from Europe, such as Garcin de Tassy and Emma Roberts. In 1831, Tassy reported that similar rituals were annually observed by the Muslim community in Bengal. Shia Muslims observed Muharram over ten days, taking out processions in memory of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn ibn Ali, and then cast a memorial Imam's cenotaph into a river on the tenth day. Tassy further stated that the Muslim rituals included the same offerings at the annual observation of Muharram that the Hindu rituals included during Durga puja.[122] According to yet other scholars, the ritual of immersion in water by Hindus for Durga puja in Bengal and Ganesh Chaturthi in the western states of India, may have grown because members of the Hindu community attempted to create a competing procession and immersion ritual to that of Muharram, allowed by the colonial British Indian government in the 19th and early 20th-centuries.[123]

Image
Durga puja in New Delhi, 2014.

In Maharashtra, the city of Nashik and other places such as CIDCO, Rajeevnagar, Panchavati, and Mahatmanagar host Durga puja celebrations. While in Delhi, the first community Durga puja was organised near Kashmiri Gate by a group of expatriate Bengalis, in 1910, a year before Delhi was declared the capital of British India. This group came to be the Delhi Durga Puja Samiti, popularly known as the Kashmere Gate Durga puja.[124] The Durga puja at Timarpur, Delhi was started in the year 1914.[125] In 2011, over 800 Durga pujas were held in Delhi, with a few hundred more in Gurgaon and NOIDA.[126]

Image
Sculpture-idols in Cuttack, Odisha for Durga puja, bedecked with jewellery.

In Odisha, Durga puja is the most important festival of the people of the state. Durga puja is a very important festival for Odias, during the 4 days of the festival, the streets of the city turns into a wonderland throughout the state, people welcome the arrival of their maa by rejoicing themselves, eating tasty food, wearing new clothes, seeing different pandals across the city, family gathering and gift givings. In 2019, ninety-seven pandals in Cuttack alone, Odisha were reported to bedeck respective sculpture-idols with silver jewellery for Durga puja celebrations; such club of pandals termed regionally as Chandi Medha. The state capital is famous for the modern themes and creativity In the pandals, while the Western part of the state has a more retro decoration theme to the pandal. In the northern parts of the state particularly Balasore, durga puja is celebrated with much fervor and the odia diaspora abroad especially in Australia, which originates 95% from the district of Balasore celebrates the puja in the same manner which is done back home in Balasore.[127] In September 2019, 160 pandals were reported to be hosting Durga puja in Cuttack.[128][129]

While in Tripura there were over 2,500 community Durga puja celebrations in 2013. Durga puja has been started at the Durgabari temple, in Agartala by King Radha Kishore Manikya Bahadur.[130][131]

Significance

Maharaja Nabakrishna Deb (also known as Raja Nabakrishna Deb, archaic spelling Nubkissen) (1733–1797), founder of the Shovabazar Raj family, was a prominent Raja and close confidante/ally of Robert Clive. He was the key figure in the plot against Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula although some believed him to be a traitor of India, who sold his motherland to the British and enabling them to rule India.[1]

Early life

Raja Nabakrishna Deb lost his father, Ramcharan Deb, early in life but his mother took care to ensure that he learnt Urdu and Persian initially and later Arabic and English. Deb was appointed Persian teacher of Warren Hastings in 1750. At one point of time he was munshi (clerk-cum-interpreter) of Governor Drake, advised the British on foreign relations and was a great supporter for the establishment of British power in India. He started his life as a Munshi for Lakshmikanta Dhar or Noku Dhar, the famous banker and businessman of Kolkata, from where he was recommended to Robert Clive when the latter was looking for an able clerk-cum-interpreter. He had carried out confidential work for the British East India Company, prior to and during the Battle of Palashi. After the death of Siraj ud-Daulah, Deb along with Mir Jafar, Amir Beg and Ramchand Roy earned eight crore rupees (approximately 600 million US dollars in present-day value) worth of treasures from the secret treasury.[2]

Durga Puja

He is also famous for the Durga Puja he organised in his newly constructed grand Shobhabazar Rajbari (King's Palace) in Kolkata (then Calcutta) in 1757, as a patron of numerous performing artistes, and his philanthropy.[2] The puja in the magnificent palace continues even today.

After his victory in the Battle of Palashi [Plassey], in 1757, which laid the foundation for British rule in India, Lord Clive wanted a grand thanksgiving ceremony but the only church in Kolkata had been razed to the ground by Siraj ud-Daulah, during his attack a year earlier. When Deb came to know of Clive's desire, he advised, "Offer your thanks at the goddesses' feet at my Durga Puja." "But I am a Christian," protested Clive.

"That can be managed," smiled the wily Deb.

Lord Clive drove in his carriage all the way from his residence in what was then known as New Town (part of the city where the British people used to live) of Kolkata to Shovabazar in the Old Town (where the natives used to live), for the Durga Puja.
Thereafter, it came to be known as the "Company Puja".[3]

Raja Nabakrisna Deb set a pattern for the puja which became a fashion and a status symbol among the upcoming merchant class of Kolkata. The number of Englishmen attending the family Durga Puja became an index of prestige. Religious scruples fell by the wayside. The Englishmen attending the dance-parties, dined on beef and ham from Wilson's Hotel, and drank to their heart's contentment.[3]

While barowari (community) pujas subsequently took over in a big way, the Durga Pujas of the old zemindar and Royal families in and around Kolkata still attract crowds. Shovabazar Rajbari organised the 250th Durga Puja in 2006.[4]


-- Maharaja Nabakrishna Deb, by Wikipedia


Beyond being an art festival and a socio-religious event, Durga puja has also been a political event with regional and national political parties having sponsored Durga puja celebrations. In 2019, West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee announced a grant of ₹25,000 to all community organised Durga pujas in the state.[132]

In 2019, Kolkata's Durga puja was nominated by the Indian government for the 2020 UNESCO Representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.[133][134] Durga puja also stands to be politically and economically significant. The committees organising Durga puja in Kolkata have close links to politicians.[90] Politicians patronise the festival by making donations or helping raise money for funding of community pujas, or by marking their presence at puja events and inaugurations.[90] The grant of ₹25,000 to puja organising committees in West Bengal by a debt-ridden state government was reported to cost a budget a ₹70 crores.[135] The state government also announced an additional grant of ₹5,000 to puja organising committees fully managed by women alone, while also announcing a twenty-five per-cent concession on total electricity bills for puja pandal.[135] The government had made a grant of ₹10,000 each to more than 20,000 puja organising committees in the state, in 2018.[135]


A 2013 report by ASSOCHAM states West Bengal's Durga puja to be a ₹25,000 crores worth economy, expected to grow at the compound annual growth rate of about 35 per-cent.[136] Economic slowdowns in India, such as in 2019, have hence affected corporate sponsorships and puja budgets for public celebrations.[137] In August 2019, the Income Tax Department of India had allegedly sent notices to various Durga puja organising committees in West Bengal, against which the ruling party of the state, All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) protested.[138][139] The Central Board of Direct Taxes denied sending any such notices,[140] to which AITMC politician Madan Mitra is reported to have said that the intention may have been to enquire if tax deducted at source had been deducted on payments to vendors for organising community pujas.[90]
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33222
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:42 am

Part 3 of 3

Media attention

Image
Durga puja has been a theme in various artistic works such as movies, paintings, and literature. Shown here is Pratima Visarjan by Gaganendranath Tagore, depicting a Durga puja immersion procession. This painting inspired the colour scheme of the Indian film, Kahaani.

The day of Mahalaya is marked by the Bengali community with Mahishasuramardini — a two-hours long All India Radio programme — that has been popular in the Bengali community since the 1950s. While in earlier days it used to be recorded live, a pre-recorded version has come to be broadcast in recent decades. Bengalis traditionally wake up at four in the morning on Mahalaya to listen to the radio show, primarily involving recitations of chants and hymns from Devi Mahatmyam (or Chandi Path) by Birendra Krishna Bhadra and Pankaj Kumar Mullick. The show also features various devotional melodies.[141]

Dramas enacting the legend of Durga slaying Mahishasura are telecasted on the television. Radio and television channels also air other festive shows, while Bengali and Odia magazines publish special editions for the puja known as Pujabarshiki (Annual Puja Edition) or Sharadiya Sankhya (Autumnal Volume). These contain works of writers, both established and upcoming, and are more voluminous than the regular issues. Some notable examples of such magazines in Bengali are Anandamela, Shuktara, Desh, Sananda, Nabakallol, and Bartaman.[142]

Celebrations outside India

Image
Durga puja in Germany, in 2009;

Image
Durga puja in the Netherlands, in 2017.

Durga puja is celebrated commonly by Bangladesh's Hindu community. Some Bengali Muslims also take part in the festivities.[143] In Dhaka, the Dhakeshwari Temple puja attracts visitors and devotees.[144] In Nepal, the festivities are celebrated as Dashain.[2][8]

Beyond south Asia, Durga puja is organised by Bengali communities in the United States of America.[145] Durga puja celebrations have also been started in Hong Kong by the Bengali diaspora.[146]

Celebrations are also organised in Europe. The sculpture-idols are shipped from India and stored in warehouses to be re-used over the years.[147] According to BBC News, for community celebrations in London in 2006, these "idols, belonging to a tableau measuring 18ft by 20ft, were made from clay, straw and vegetable dyes". At the end of the puja, the sculpture-idols were immersed in River Thames for the first time in 2006, after "the community was allowed to give a traditional send-off to the deities by London's port authorities".[147] In Germany, the puja is celebrated in Cologne,[148] and other cities. In Switzerland,[149] puja in Baden, Aargan has been celebrated since 2003. In Sweden, the puja is celebrated in cities such as Stockholm and Helsingborg.[150] In the Netherlands, the puja is celebrated in places such as Amstelveen, Eindhoven, and Voorschoten. In Japan Durga Puja is celebrated in Tokyo with much fanfare.[151][152]

Footnotes

1. In the Shakta tradition of Hinduism, many of the stories about obstacles and battles have been considered as metaphors for the divine and demonic within each human being, with liberation being the state of self-understanding whereby a virtuous nature & society emerging victorious over the vicious.[15]
2. Navratri Puja, -puja.org
3. Kullu Dussehra, -puja.org
4. Mysore Dussehra, -puja.org
5. "Bommai-kolu", -puja.org
6. Example Sanskrit original: "अहन्निन्द्रो अदहदग्निरिन्दो पुरा दस्यून्मध्यंदिनादभीके । दुर्गे दुरोणे क्रत्वा न यातां पुरू सहस्रा शर्वा नि बर्हीत्॥३॥ – Rigveda 4.28.8, Wikisource It appears in Khila (appendix, supplementary) text to Rigveda 10.127, 4th Adhyaya, per J. Scheftelowitz.[30]
7. In the Shakta tradition of Hinduism, many of the stories about obstacles and battles have been considered as metaphors for the divine and demonic within each human being, with liberation being the state of self-understanding whereby a virtuous nature and society emerging victorious over the vicious.[15]
8. Various versions of Devi mantra exist.[57] Examples include: [a] "We know the Great Goddess. We make a meditation of the goddess Durga. May that Goddess guide us on the right path. (Durga Gayatri Mantra, recited at many stages of Durga puja);[58][b] Hrim! O blessed goddess Durga, come here, stay here, stay here, take up residence here, accept my worship. (Durga Avahana Mantra);[59] etc.

References

1. " Puja Tithi and Timing". Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
2. Lochtefeld 2002, p. 208.
3. Bradley 2012, p. 214.
4. Kinsley 1988, pp. 106-108.
5. Encyclopedia Britannica 2015.
6. Doniger 1999, p. 306.
7. Parmita Borah (2 October 2011). " Puja - a Celebration of Female Supremacy". EF News International. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
8. Melton 2011, pp. 239–241.
9. Amazzone 2011, pp. 82-83.
10. McDermott 2001, pp. 172-174.
11. Foulston & Abbott 2009, pp. 162-169.
12. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 7-8.
13. Daniélou 1991, p. 288.
14. McDaniel 2004, pp. 215-219.
15. McDaniel 2004, pp. 20-21, 217-219.
16. Kinsley 1988, pp. 111-112.
17. Donner 2016, p. 25.
18. " Puja ( Ashtami) 2020: Is Maa Worthy to Worship?". S A NEWS. 24 October 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
19. Lochtefeld 2002, pp. 212-213.
20. Jones & Ryan 2006, pp. 308-309.
21. " Puja | Traditions & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 25 October2020.
22. https://archive.org/stream/dcc_20210214 ... 8/mode/2up
23. " Puja". Assam Online Portal. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012.
24. " Puja Festival". -puja.org. Archived from the original on 27 October 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
25. " Puja | Traditions & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 25 October2020.
26. Rocher 1986, pp. 191-195.
27. Lawrence A. Babb; John E. Cort; Michael W. Meister (2008). Desert Temples: Sacred Centers of Rajasthan in Historical, Art-historical, and Social Context. Brill. pp. 8, 65–68, 86–89. ISBN 978-81-316-0106-8. Archived from the original on 18 February 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
28. Monier Monier-Williams (1899), Sanskrit English Dictionary with Etymology, Oxford University Press, page 487
29. Maurice Bloomfield (1906), A Vedic concordance, Series editor: Charles Lanman, Harvard University Press, page 486;
30. Scheftelowitz, J. (1906). Indische Forschungen. Verlag von M & H Marcus. pp. 112 line 13a.
31. Kinsley 1988, pp. 95-96.
32. Brown 1998, p. 77 note 28.
33. Coburn 1991, pp. 13.
34. Coburn 2002, pp. 1-7.
35. McDermott 2001, p. 162.
36. McDermott 2001, pp. 162-163.
37. McDermott 2001, pp. 162-164.
38. Kinsley 1997, pp. 16-22, 30-35.
39. Brown 1990, pp. 280 note 50, 274 notes 103, 107, 109-110.
40. Bandyopadhyay 1993, p. 118.
41. Monaghan 2009, pp. 151–153.
42. McDermott 2001, p. 330 notes 98-103.
43. Bhattacharya, Tithi (November 2007). "Tracking the Goddess: Religion, Community, and Identity in the Puja Ceremonies of Nineteenth-Century Calcutta". The Journal of Asian Studies. 66 (4): 919–962. JSTOR 20203237.
44. Kinsley 1989, pp. 19-25.
45. Kinsley 1988, pp. 106-115.
46. Ghosa 1871, pp. 40–55.
47. Amazzone 2012, pp. 55-59.
48. Kinsley 1988, p. 111, Quote: " Puja is celebrated from the first through the ninth days of the bright half of the lunar month of Asvin, which coincides with the autumn harvest in North India, and in certain respects it is clear that Puja is a harvest festival in which is propitiated as the power of plant fertility"..
49. McLean 1998, p. 137.
50. Amazzone 2012, pp. 57-59, 63, 66.
51. Charles Russell Coulter & Patricia Turner 2013, pp. 148, 158-159, 256-257, 301.
52. Amazzone 2012, pp. 58-60.
53. Amazzone 2012, pp. 69-70, 83-84, 95-97, 115-117, 184.
54. McDaniel 2004, pp. 209-210.
55. Ellwood & Alles 2007, p. 126.
56. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 50, 150-151.
57. Brown 1990, pp. 143-147.
58. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 153-155, 63, 90, 177 etc.
59. Rodrigues 2003, p. 113.
60. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 17-24, 31-39.
61. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 71-74.
62. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 38-44, 84-87.
63. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 44-45, 120-127.
64. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 46-54, 132-136.
65. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 277-278.
66. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 210-213.
67. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 62-63, 224-229.
68. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 244-245.
69. McDaniel 2004, pp. 168-169.
70. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 66-67, 236-241, 246-247.
71. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 67-68.
72. Chitgopekar 2009, pp. 95–98.
73. Khanna 2015, p. 96.
74. Amazzone 2012, p. 57.
75. Rao 1988, pp. 47–49, 209.
76. Chapple 2000, pp. 490, 484–489.
77. Godfrey & Torres 2016, pp. 98–99.
78. Ipsita Pati (18 October 2012), Paint with toxic chemicals banned during Puja, The Hindu
79. McDaniel 2004, pp. 204-205.
80. McDermott 2011, pp. 204–205.
81. Katznelson & Jones 2010, p. 343.
82. Ghosa 1871, pp. 60–65.
83. Phillips, Kerrigan & Gould 2011, pp. 98-101.
84. Fuller 2004, pp. 46, 83–85.
85. Harlan 2003, p. 22.
86. Hiltebeitel & Erndl 2000, p. 77.
87. Harlan 1992, pp. 61, 88.
88. Harlan 1992, pp. 107–108.
89. Das, Shreya (16 October 2018). "A Kolkata Puja pandal pays tribute to sex workers". Indian Express. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
90. Duttagupta, Ishani (25 August 2019). "Pandal Politics: Why this year's Puja in Bengal is different". The Economic Times. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
91. Das, Soumya (15 September 2018). " Puja speaks for homosexuals, transgenders". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
92. Dhar, Sujoy (12 October 2018). " Puja theme & venues in South Kolkata". Times Travel. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
93. " puja in Delhi to bring alive 100-year journey of Bengali cinema". Times of India. 18 September 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
94. "Green themes abound in Puja marquees". Business Standard. 14 October 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
95. Roy, Ujjainee (20 September 2019). " Puja special: Watch out for this 12 landmark Pujas in Kolkata". Times of India. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
96. "Photos: From Facebook to Lego: 15 interesting Puja pandal themes we've seen over the years". News18. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
97. Dhaor, Ashni (17 October 2018). "Your guide to pandal hopping in Noida". Times of India. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
98. " Puja: Pandal made from scrap, spare parts glitters in Kolkata". Business Standard. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
99. Bose, Rakhi (16 October 2018). "In Kolkata, a Puja Pandal Crafted Out of Nails and Threads to Make it 'Visible' to the Blind". News18. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
100. Mehta, Puja (12 October 2018). "In West Bengal, a Puja pandal made out of turmeric". DNA. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
101. "Terrorists vs Abhinandan Varthaman: Balakot airstrikes becomes theme for Puja pandal". India Today. 15 September 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
102. Bhattacharjee, Satananda (18 September 2019). "Novel NRC protest at puja pandals". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
103. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 1-2, 10-11, 24-26, 351-352.
104. "Puja on the billboards". The Telegraph. Kolkata. 13 September 2009. Archived from the original on 10 October 2010.
105. "Have you ever seen a Idol this tall". Rediff. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
106. "Near stampede shuts down Deshapriya Park Puja". The Times of India. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
107. Rodrigues 2003, p. 17.
108. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 17-18.
109. Rodrigues 2003, p. 18.
110. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 18-19.
111. McDermott 2011, pp. 12-14.
112. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 20-27.
113. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 17-21.
114. McDermott 2011, p. 11.
115. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 27-28.
116. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 27-29.
117. McDermott 2011, pp. 138-143.
118. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 27-30.
119. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 27-30, 39-48, 58-64, 106-114.
120. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 27-32.
121. Rodrigues 2003, pp. 27-32, 64-75.
122. Alexander, Chatterji & Jalais 2016, pp. 190 note 76.
123. Jones & Marion 2014, pp. 97–98.
124. "Roots run deep". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 6 August 2009. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
125. Sidhartha Roy (6 July 2011). "Making Delhi their own, religiously". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 13 May 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
126. "Bamboo barricading in Yamuna to check water pollution". The Daily Pioneer. 4 October 2011. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011.
127. "Three more 'Chandi Medha' to adorn Silver City's Puja celebration". New Indian Express. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
128. "Bad roads dampen spirit of Cuttack's Millennium City Puja organisers". New Indian Express. 11 September 2019. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
129. "Odisha Decks Up For Navratri; Preparations For Puja Reach Final Stages". OdishaTV. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
130. "Five must-visit Puja pandals of Agartala". The Northeast Today. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
131. " Puja begins in Tripura with traditional guard of honour to Goddess". Jagran Post. Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
132. " Puja in West Bengal turns political battlefield between BJP and Trinamool Congress". Orissa Post. PPN and Agencies. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
133. "Kolkata Puja nominated for UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list". The Statesman. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
134. Srivastava, Vanita (1 April 2019). "Kolkata's Puja nominated for Unesco list". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
135. Mehta, Pooja (31 August 2019). "Debt-ridden Mamata Banerjee govt 'gifts' Rs 70 crore to West Bengal Puja organisers". Zee News India. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
136. Kundu, Indrajit (12 September 2019). "Bengal's puja loses sheen due to economic slowdown". India Today. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
137. Rakshit, Avishek (14 September 2019). "Economic slowdown cloud on Bengal's Puja; sponsorship takes a hit". Business Standard. Retrieved 18 September2019.
138. "'No tax on Puja committees': TMC on day-long protest as Mamata sets stage for fresh clash with Centre over I-T notices". Financial Express. 13 August 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
139. "IT dept's taxation of Puja irks Mamata". The Hindu. 11 August 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
140. "CBDT denies reports of issuing tax notices to Puja committees in Kolkata". Business Today. PTI. 13 August 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
141. "Mahalaya ushers in the Puja spirit". The Times of India. 19 September 2009.
142. "Sharodiya Pujabarshiki". Archived from the original on 3 September 2011.
143. Tripathi 2016, p. 5: "The intertwining of cultural traditions reinforced a society which was tolerant and the faiths borrowed from each other. (...) Many Bangladeshi Muslim women wear saris and bindis, or teeps, the dot on their forehead, usually seen only among Hindu women; they celebrate pujo, a Hindu festival for the goddess , and they have no hesitation ushering in Poyla Baisakh, to celebrate the Bengali new year."
144. London 2004, p. 38.
145. Ghosh, Nirmalya (3 November 2016). " Puja After Two Decades". Indo American News.
146. " Puja". HK Yanto Yan.
147. "BBC Thames immersion for Hindu sculptures". BBC News. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
148. "Indische Kultur Verein e.V". www. puja.de.
149. " Puja in Switzerland". http://www.swisspuja.org. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
150. "Home". Bengali Cultural Society - South Sweden.
151. "Bengali Community of The Netherlands". Hoichoi.
152. "Home". Anandadhara.

Bibliography

• Alexander, Claire; Chatterji, Joya; Jalais, Annu (2016). The Bengal Diaspora. Rethinking Muslim Migration. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-53073-6.
• Amazzone, Laura (2012). Goddess and Sacred Female Power. University Press of America. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
• Amazzone, Laura (2011). Patricia Monaghan (ed.). Goddesses in World Culture. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-35465-6.
• Bandyopadhyay, Pranab (1993). Mother Goddess Kali. UW Press. ISBN 978-81-85328-15-7.
• Banerji, Chitrita (2006). The Hour of the Goddess: Memories of Women, Food, and Ritual in Bengal. Penguin Books India. ISBN 978-0-14-400142-2.
• Bradley, Cynthia (2012). Denise Cush; Catherine Robinson; Michael York (eds.). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-18979-2.
• Brooks, Douglas Renfrew (1992). Auspicious Wisdom. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0791411452.
• Brown, C Mackenzie (1990). The Triumph of the Goddess: The Canonical Models and Theological Visions of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-0364-8.
• Brown, Cheever Mackenzie (1998). The Devi Gita: The Song of the Goddess: A Translation, Annotation, and Commentary. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-3939-5.
• Chapple, Christopher (2000). Hinduism and ecology: the intersection of earth, sky, and water. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-945454-25-0.
• Chitgopekar, Nilima (20 July 2009). Book Of . Penguin Books India. pp. 111–. ISBN 978-0-14-306767-2.
• Coburn, Thomas B. (1991). Encountering the Goddess: A translation of the Devi-Mahatmya and a Study of Its Interpretation. State University of New York Press. ISBN 0791404463.
• Coburn, Thomas B. (2002). Devī Māhātmya, The Crystallization of the Goddess Tradition. South Asia Books. ISBN 81-208-0557-7.
• Charles Russell Coulter; Patricia Turner (2013). Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-96397-2.
• Reid-Bowen, Paul (2012). Denise Cush; Catherine Robinson; Michael York (eds.). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-18979-2.
• Daniélou, Alain (1991). The Myths and Gods of India: The Classic Work on Hindu Polytheism from the Princeton Bollingen Series. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co. ISBN 978-0-89281-354-4.
• Doniger, Wendy (1999). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions. Merriam-Webster. ISBN 978-0-87779-044-0.
• Donner, Henrike (2016). Domestic Goddesses: Maternity, Globalization and Middle-class Identity in Contemporary India. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-14848-7.
• Ellwood, Robert S; Alles, Gregory D (2007). The Encyclopedia of World Religions. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4381-1038-7.
• Foulston, Lynn; Abbott, Stuart (2009). Hindu Goddesses: Beliefs and Practices. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-902210-43-8.
• Fuller, Christopher John (2004). The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-69112-04-85.
• Ghosa, Pratapacandra (1871). Puja: with notes and illustrations. Calcutta: Hindoo Patriot Press.
• Godfrey, Phoebe; Torres, Denise (2016). Emergent Possibilities for Global Sustainability: Intersections of Race, Class and Gender. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-57017-2.
• Harlan, Lindsey (2003). The Goddesses' Henchmen: Gender in Indian Hero Worship. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-534834-7.
• Harlan, Lindsey (1992). Religion and Rajput Women: The Ethic of Protection in Contemporary Narratives. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-07339-5.
• Hiltebeitel, Alf; Erndl, Kathleen M. (2000). Is the Goddess a Feminist?: The Politics of South Asian Goddesses. New York University Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-3619-7.
• Katznelson, Ira; Jones, Gareth Stedman (2010). Religion and the Political Imagination. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-49317-8.
• Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.
• Jones, David; Marion, Michele (2014). The Dynamics of Cultural Counterpoint in Asian Studies. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-1-4384-5191-6.
• Kinsley, David (1989). The Goddesses' Mirror: Visions of the Divine from East and West. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-88706-835-5.
• Kinsley, David (1988). Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-90883-3.
• Kinsley, David (1997). Tantric Visions of the Divine Feminine: The Ten Mahavidyas. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-91772-9.
• Lochtefeld, James G (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8.
• McDaniel, June (2004). Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-534713-5.
• Khanna, Vikas (2015). Indian Harvest: Classic and Contemporary Vegetarian Dishes. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-63286-200-6.
• London, Ellen (2004). Bangladesh. Gareth Stevens. ISBN 978-0-8368-3107-8.
• McDermott, Rachel Fell (2001). Mother of My Heart, Daughter of My Dreams: Kali and Uma in the Devotional Poetry of Bengal. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-803071-3.
• McDermott, Rachel Fell (2011). Revelry, Rivalry, and Longing for the Goddesses of Bengal: The Fortunes of Hindu Festivals. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-12919-0.
• McLean, Malcolm (1998). Devoted to the Goddess: The Life and Work of Ramprasad. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-3689-9.
• Melton, J. Gordon (2011). Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-59884-206-7.
• Monaghan, Patricia (2009). Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-34990-4.
• Monaghan, Patricia (2011). Goddesses in World Culture. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-35465-6.
• Sree Padma (2014). Inventing and Reinventing the Goddess: Contemporary Iterations of Hindu Deities on the Move. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-9002-9.
• Phillips, Charles; Kerrigan, Michael; Gould, David (2011). Ancient India's Myths and Beliefs. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4488-5990-0.
• Rao, Saligrama Krishna Ramachandra (1988). Pratima Kosha: Descriptive Glossary of Indian Iconography. IBH Prakashana.
• Rocher, Ludo (1986). The Puranas. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3447025225.
• Sen Ramprasad (1720–1781). Grace and Mercy in Her Wild Hair: Selected Poems to the Mother Goddess. Hohm Press. ISBN 0-934252-94-7.
• Rodrigues, Hillary (2003). Ritual Worship of the Great Goddess: The Liturgy of the Puja with Interpretations. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-8844-7.
• Tripathi, Salil (2016). The Colonel Who Would Not Repent: The Bangladesh War and Its Unquiet Legacy. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-21818-3.
• " - Hindu mythology". Encyclopedia Britannica. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
• Isaeva, N. V. (1993), Shankara and Indian Philosophy, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0791412817
• Pintchman, Tracy (2014), Seeking Mahadevi: Constructing the Identities of the Hindu Great Goddess, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0791490495

Further reading

• Banerjee, Sudeshna (2004). Puja: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Rupa and Co, Calcutta. ISBN 81-291-0547-0.
• Bhattacharyya, BK (6 October 2008). "Earthen sculptures of Goddess ". The Assam Tribune. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012.
• Dutta, Krishna. (2003) Calcutta: a cultural and literary history. Signal Books, Oxford, United Kingdom. ISBN 1-902669-59-2.
• Muthukumaraswamy, M.D.; Kaushal, Molly (2004). Folklore, public sphere, and civil society. National Folklore Support Centre(India). ISBN 978-81-901481-4-6. (Chapter 6: "Of Public Sphere and Sacred Space: Origins of Community Puja in Bengal.")
• Saraswati, Swami Satyananda (2001). Puja Beginner, Devi Mandir. ISBN 1-887472-89-4.

External links

• Media from Wikimedia Commons
• News from Wikinews
• Texts from Wikisource
• Resources from Wikiversity
• Puja Samagri on Aastha
• Puja at the Encyclopædia Britannica
• Puja 2020 Date, Time, Muhurt - Astha Darbaar
• Puja at Curlie
• History of Puja in Bengal
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33222
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:29 am

Pashupati seal
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/6/21

Image
The Pashupati seal, showing a seated and possibly tricephalic figure, surrounded by animals; circa 2350-2000 BCE

The Pashupati Seal is a steatite seal that was discovered at the Mohenjo-daro archaeological site of the Indus Valley Civilization. The seal depicts a seated figure that is possibly tricephalic (having three heads). It was once thought to be ithyphallic, an interpretation that has been questioned by many critics and even supporters.[1] The man has a horned headdress and is surrounded by animals. He may represent a horned deity.[2] The seal is kept in the National Museum of India in New Delhi.[3][4]

It has one of the more complicated designs in the thousands of seals found from the Indus Valley Civilization, and is unusual in having a human figure as the main and largest element; in most seals this is an animal.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

-- Seals and tablets with inscriptions from the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, by Harappa.com


It has been claimed to be one of the earliest depictions of the Hindu god Shiva, or a "proto-Shiva" deity. The name given to the seal, "pashupati", meaning "lord of animals", is one of Shiva's epithets. It has also been associated with the Vedic god Rudra, generally regarded as an early form of Shiva. Rudra is associated with asceticism, yoga, and linga; regarded as a lord of animals; and Shiva may be depicted with three heads. The figure has often been connected with the widespread motif of the Master of Animals found in ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean art, and the many other traditions of horned deities.[2]

Discovery and description

Image
A view of the Mohenjo-daro excavation site. The DK-G Area where the seal was found lies north-east of the Great Bath seen in the foreground.[5]

The seal was uncovered in 1928-29, in Block 1, Southern Portion of the DK-G Area of Mohenjo-daro, at a depth of 3.9 meters below the surface.[6] Ernest J. H. Mackay, who directed the excavations at Mohenjo-daro, and dated the seal to the Intermediate I Period (now considered to fall around 2350-2000 BCE) in his 1937-38 report in which the seal is numbered 420, giving it its alternate name.[7]

Image
An impression made from the steatite seal

The seal is carved in steatite and measures 3.56 cm by 3.53 cm, with a thickness of 0.76 cm. It has a human figure at the centre seated on a platform and facing forward. The legs of the figure are bent at the knees with the heels touching and the toes pointing downwards. The arms extend outwards and rest lightly on the knees, with the thumbs facing away from the body. Eight small and three large bangles cover the arms. The chest is covered with what appear to be necklaces, and a double band wraps around the waist. The figure wears a tall and elaborate headdress with central fan-shaped structure flanked by two large striated horns. The human figure is surrounded by four wild animals: an elephant and a tiger to its one side, and a water buffalo and a rhinoceros on the other. Under the dais are two deer or ibexes looking backwards, so that their horns almost meet the center. At the top of the seal are seven pictographs, with the last apparently displaced downwards for lack of horizontal space.[8][9]

Interpretations

Marshall's identification with proto-Shiva


An early description and analysis of the seal's iconography was provided by archaeologist John Marshall who had served as the Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India and led the excavations of the Indus Valley sites. In addition to the general features of the seal described above, he also saw the central figure as a male deity; as three-faced, with a possible fourth face towards the back; and, as ithyphallic, while conceding that what appeared to be the exposed phallus could instead be a tassel hanging from the waistband. Most significantly he identified the seal as an early prototype of the Hindu god Shiva (or, his Vedic predecessor, Rudra), who also was known by the title Pashupati ('lord or father of all the animals') in historic times.[10] In a 1928–29 publication, Marshall summarized his reasons for the identification as follows:

My reasons for the identification are four. In the first place the figure has three faces and that Siva was portrayed with three as well as with more usual five faces, there are abundant examples to prove. Secondly, the head is crowned with the horns of a bull and the trisula are characteristic emblems of Siva. Thirdly, the figure is in a typical yoga attitude, and Siva [sic] was and still is, regarded as a mahayogi—the prince of Yogis. Fourthly, he is surrounded by animals, and Siva is par excellence the "Lord of Animals" (Pasupati)—of the wild animals of the jungle, according to the Vedic meaning of the word pashu, no less than that of domesticated cattle.[6]


Later, in 1931, he expanded his reasons to include the fact that Shiva is associated with the phallus in the form of linga, and that in medieval art he is shown with deer or ibexes, as are seen below the throne on the seal.[10][11] Marshall's analysis of the Indus Valley religion, and the Pashupati seal in particular, was very influential and widely accepted for at least the next two generations. For instance, Herbert Sullivan, wrote in 1964 that Marshall's analysis "has been accepted almost universally and has greatly influenced scholarly understanding of the historical development of Hinduism".[12] Writing in 1976, Doris Srinivasan introduced an article otherwise critical of Marshall's interpretation by observing that "no matter what position is taken regarding the seal's iconography, it is always prefaced by Marshall's interpretation. On balance the proto-Śiva character of the seal has been accepted."[13] Thomas McEvilley noted, in line with Marshall, that the central figure was in the yoga pose Mulabandhasana, quoting the Kalpa Sutra's description "a squatting position with joined heels" used with meditation and fasting to attain infinite knowledge (kevala).[14] And Alf Hiltebeitel noted in 2011 that, following Marshall's analysis, "nearly all efforts at interpreting the [Indus Valley] religion have centered discussion around [the Pashupati seal] figure".[15] A lot of discussion has taken place about this seal.[16] While Marshall's work has earned some support, many critics and even supporters have raised several objections.[1]

Doris Srinivasan's reinterpretation

Doris Srinivasan, a professor of Indian studies, raised objections to Marshall's identification, and provided a new interpretation for the figure, where she postulated the lateral projections were cow-like ears rather than faces. In 1975-76, she published a journal article titled 'The So-Called Proto-śiva Seal from Mohenjo-Daro: An Iconological Assessment' in the academic journal Archives of Asian Art.[17] In 1997, she reiterated her views in a book titled Many Heads, Arms, and Eyes: Origin, Meaning, and Form of Multiplicity in Indian Art.

Image
Mahishasura, the buffalo demon being slayed by the goddess Durga

According to her, the two extra faces could be reinterpreted as possible ears, and the central face has predominant bovine features. She has drawn similarities between the central figure of seal 420, and other artefacts from the Indus Valley such as the horned mask from Mohenjo-Daro, the terracotta bull from Kalibangan, and the depiction of a horned deity on a water pitcher from the archaeological site of Kot Diji. She has also noted that the yogic posture of the figure is repeated on a number of other seals and sealings, some of which indicate that the figure receives worship. On the basis of these observations, she suggests that the figure of seal 420 could be a divine buffalo-man.[18]

Dravidian Interpretations

Scholars who consider the Indus Valley Civilisation to be associated with Dravidian culture have offered other interpretations. According to Alf Hiltebeitel, Professor of Religion, History, and Human Sciences at George Washington University,[19] the horned figure could be identified with Mahishasura, the buffalo demon enemy of the Hindu goddess Durga. He has also argued that the tiger depicted in the seal could represent the goddess Durga who is often depicted as ridding a tiger (or a lion) in the Hindu pantheon. He also suggested that the surrounding animals could represent the vahanas (vehicles, mounts) of deities for the four cardinal directions.[20][21]

Herbert Sullivan from Duke University[22] interpreted the figure as a female goddess on the grounds that the so-called erect phallus actually represents a girdle, a feature he had found only on female figurines.[12] The American archaeologist Walter Fairservis tried to translate what he considered to be a Dravidian inscription, and was of the view that the seal could be identified with Anil, the paramount chief of four clans represented by the animals. The Finnish Indologist, Asko Parpola has suggested that the yogic pose could be an imitation of the Proto-Elamite way of representing seated bulls. He attempted to translate the inscription which he considers to be an early form of Dravidian, and found that the figure represents a servant of an aquatic deity.[23] He finds that the animals depicted on the seal best resemble those associated with the Hindu god Varuna who could be associated with the aquatic themes which are prominent in the Indus religion.[21]

Vedic Interpretations

Image
Agni is the god of fire, and a prominent deity in the Vedas.

There are some scholars who think the seal represents a Vedic deity, and believe that this points to an Indo-Aryan identity of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The Indian archaeologist, S.R. Rao who is credited with discoveries of a number of Harappan sites, identified the figure in the seal with the Vedic deity Agni. He attempted to translate the text and claimed that the evidence pointed to the three-headed blazing, fire god Agni who belongs to the Vedic pantheon. The animals represent the various clans which accepted the supremacy of Agni.

E. Richter-Ushanas identified the figure with the sage Rishyasringa who was born with horns, and who officiated the sacrifice of King Dasaratha in the ancient Indian epic Ramayana. The considers the four animals to be a representation of the four seasons, and found similar motifs on the Gundestrup cauldron discovered in Denmark. Other scholars such as Talageri, Rajaram and Frawley, have postulated that the cauldron presents compelling evidence towards India as the home of the Indo-European people. S.P. Singh identified the figure with the Hindu god Rudra who is associated with the storm and the hunt. He identified the surrounding animals with the Maruts who are storm deities and sons of Rudra. His argument for this identification is based on hymn 64 of the first mandala (book) of the Rigveda which compares the Maruts to various animals, including a bull, an elephant, a lion, a deer, and a serpent.[24] M.V.N. Krishna Rao identified the figure with the Hindu god Indra. He argued that the tiger could be ignored since it is much larger than the other animals, and the two deer could also be ignored since they were seated under the table. Then he combined the first phoneme of each of the animals, and the word 'nara' meaning man, and arrived at the term 'makhanasana' which is an epithet of Indra.[21]

See also

• Gundestrup cauldron
• Cernunnos
• Gutasaga

References

1. See e. g. James G. Lochtefeld, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, vol. 2: N–Z. The Rosen Publishing Group, New York 2002, p. 633, who doubts the connection of the seal to Shiva, given the supposedly late age of the god.
2. Werness, Hope B., Continuum Encyclopedia of Animal Symbolism in World Art, p. 270, 2006, A&C Black, ISBN 0826419135, 9780826419132, google books
3. "Walk back to the past: Take a tour of the Harappan civilisation in a Delhi museum". Hindustan Times. 29 July 2017.
4. "Pre-History & Archaeology". National Museum India.[permanent dead link]
5. Kenoyer, Jonathan Mark. "Mohenjo-daro: Introduction". Archived from the original on 2013-12-01.
6. Mackay 1928–29, pp. 74-75.
7. Mackay 1937–38, plate XCIV; no. 420.
8. Possehl 2002, p. 141.
9. Marshall 1931, p. 52.
10. Marshall 1931, pp. 52-57.
11. McEvilley 1981, pp. 45-46.
12. Sullivan 1964.
13. Srinivasan 1975–76, p. 47.
14. McEvilley 1981, pp. 47-51.
15. Hiltebeitel 2011, p. 399.
16. Bryant, Edwin, p.163
17. Srinivasan, Doris (1975–1976). "The So-Called Proto-śiva Seal from Mohenjo-Daro: An Iconological Assessment". Archives of Asian Art. 29: 47–58. JSTOR 20062578.
18. Srinivasan, Doris (1997). Many Heads, Arms, and Eyes: Origin, Meaning, and Form of Multiplicity in Indian Art. 181: Brill. ISBN 9004107584.
19. Hiltebeitel, Alf. "Alf Hiltebeitel". Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
20. Hiltebeitel 2011, pp. 399-432.
21. Bryant, Edwin (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate. Oxford University Press. pp. 163. ISBN 0199881332.
22. Sullivan, Herbert (1964). "A re-examination of the religion of the Indus civilization". Google Books.
23. Ratnagar, Shereen (2006). Trading Encounters: From the Euphrates to the Indus in the Bronze Age. Oxford University Press. p. 25. ISBN 9780195666038.
24. "Rigveda, Book I, Hymn 64". Wikisource.

Sources

• Hiltebeitel, Alf (2011). "The Indus Valley "Proto-Śiva", Reexamined through Reflections on the Goddess, the Buffalo, and the Symbolism of vāhanas". In Adluri, Vishwa; Bagchee, Joydeep (eds.). When the Goddess was a Woman: Mahabharata Ethnographies - Essays by Alf Hiltebeitel. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-19380-2.
• Mackay, Ernest John Henry (1928–29). "Excavations at Mohenjodaro". Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of India: 67–75.
• Mackay, Earnest John Henry (1937–38). Further excavations at Mohenjo-Daro : being an official account of archaeological excavations at Mohenjo-Daro carried out by the Government of India between the years 1927 and 1931. Delhi: Government of India.
• McEvilley, Thomas (1981). "An Archaeology of Yoga". RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics. 1 (1): 44–77. doi:10.1086/RESv1n1ms20166655. JSTOR 20166655. S2CID 192221643.
• Marshall, John (1931). Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization: Being an Official Account of Archaeological Excavations at Mohenjo-Daro Carried Out by the Government of India Between the Years 1922 and 1927. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 978-81-206-1179-5.
• Possehl, Gregory L. (2002). The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective. Rowman Altamira. ISBN 978-0-7591-1642-9.
• Srinivasan, Doris (1975–76). "The So-Called Proto-śiva Seal from Mohenjo-Daro: An Iconological Assessment". Archives of Asian Art. 29: 47–58. JSTOR 20062578.
• Srinivasan, Doris Meth (1997). Many Heads, Arms and Eyes: Origin, Meaning and Form in Multiplicity in Indian Art. Brill. ISBN 978-9004107588.
• Sullivan, Herbert P. (1964). "A Re-Examination of the Religion of the Indus Civilization". History of Religions. 4 (1): 115–125. doi:10.1086/462498. JSTOR 1061875. S2CID 162278147.
• Bryant, Edwin (2001). The quest for the origins of vedic culture the Indo-Aryan migration debate. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195137774. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
Further reading[edit]
• McIntosh, Jane (2001). A Peaceful Realm: The Rise And Fall of the Indus Civilization. Boulder: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3532-9.
• McIntosh, Jane (2008). "Religion and ideology". The Ancient Indus Valley: New Perspectives. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-907-2.
• Thapar, Romila (2004). Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24225-8.
• Witzel, Michael (February 2000). "The Languages of Harappa" (PDF). Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies.
• Wright, Rita P. (2010). The Ancient Indus: Urbanism, Economy, and Society. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-57219-4.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 33222
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

PreviousNext

Return to Articles & Essays

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests