Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bangladesh: Mother Durga


Durga is the progenitor of the universal process in its entirety. She is the presiding principle of the cosmic manifestation and the source of ultimate goal of all perfection and attainment of all existence. She is essentially Unique and One. She is the fountain-head of the highest good—both spiritual attainment and material prosperity. The worship of the Mother Durga would ensure our communion with her. The constant communion with her would promote the development of friendly relations and universal fraternity. We pray to the Divine Mother for succour to save us from the tyranny and turmoil of national and international life of a confused world order.

Mother Durga
Prem Ranjan Dev

Sanatan Dharma is the most ancient and insightful among the Dharmas of the world ; it is called Hinduism. Our Vedas, Sastra, Puranas and Gita have dealt with it extensively. This Vedic Hinduism is an eternal and unfathomable ocean. Hidden beneath its surface are the pearls of wisdom and essence of life. Many sages and great men have traveled on the path of this goal of finding the truth and experiencing total enlightenment. They left behind their legacy to inspire and help mankind. At a time when the impact of Hindu thought and spirituality is increasing globally and when scholars from many disciplines are discovering parallels between Hindu thinking and scientific thought, true spirit of Hinduism is very relevant to present times. It has answers to problems of relationship between man and man, and man and god ; it brings man closer to man and creates love for all creation. Sanatana Dharma explains the way for attaining liberation according to each individual stage in life. However, there are a number of concepts in Sanatana Dharma which are rarely understood in true depth. But now man's superior intellect, wisdom and inventions failed to bring a real solution to the world problems. An aggravation of all these is experienced on the other hand. Today, the confusions of the world make it, so to say, a vicious circle.

Man has created such an environment that it reacts unwholesomely upon him. Mankind is terribly heading as if' towards a total annihilation by commiting licentious suicide. Heart-rendering cry for peace, happiness and poise is heard from all corners of this bewildered world. The state of affairs resembles that of the Devas in the reign of Mahisasura. In the course of the eternal strife of the Devas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons), the former being defeated, the latter reigned supreme in the heaven inflicting inhuman sufferings to the Devas. The helpless Devas came to Brahma, the creator of their distress. Brahma, afflicted with the sorrows and sufferings of the Devas, led the commission of the Gods to Vishnu and Shiva for appraisal of the grave situation and redress. The tales of intolerable atrocities of Mahisasura raged vehement anger in Vishnu and Shiva and in a feat of their vital energies in the form of burning flashes came out from them. This created similar reaction among the Gods whose vital energies too came out in like manner. These energies took the form of an unmatchable, sublime and superb woman. She is Divine Durga. This Divine-embodiment of all spiritual energies had decoration with the numerous weapons offered by the Gods. Thus descends the Divine Mother, the Supreme Being. Energy-incarnate who embodies in herself the multifarious modes of life. She happens to be too affectionate to Her children to become fierce to those who tend to do evil to them. On the other hand, Durga is also daughter of Bengali Hindu.

Durga is tranquil and turbulent, serene and fierce, Soumya and Rudra at the same time. This is because her all embracing motherliness makes her intolerant of those that are inimically disposed of towards her human and divine children. The Mother Durga in a feat of destruction raised such a tumultuous uproar that the frightened Asuras came out in large numbers being equipped with armours and weapons and the severe war that followed between Her and the innumerable Asuras brought the ruin of Mahisasura. The other Asuras met the same fate. The heaven was recovered and the Devas cheered the victory with an elegant hymn addressed to the Mother.

Durga is the progenitor of the universal process in its entirety. She is the presiding principle of the cosmic manifestation and the source of ultimate goal of all perfection and attainment of all existence. She is essentially Unique and One. She is the fountain-head of the highest good—both spiritual attainment and material prosperity. The worship of the Mother Durga would ensure our communion with her. The constant communion with her would promote the development of friendly relations and universal fraternity. We pray to the Divine Mother for succour to save us from the tyranny and turmoil of national and international life of a confused world order.

Man is the maker of his destiny and he can exercise his free will but at the same time he has taken upon himself the responsibility to ensure full participation in the entire cosmos and consequently, between man and gods, man and nature, man and other living beings and finally, between man and man. May our Durga Puja become fruitful.

New Nation 21/10/2004