It is close to celebrate the rise and victory of the Goddess of Power, [[Shakti]] herself, the Divine Mother [[Durga]] . It’s been several years (almost close to a decade) since I attended the last Durga Puja. The Durga Puja celebrates
the battle and eventual victory of Ma [[Durga]] over the forces of Evil, led by the Buffalo demon [[Mahishasura]] . People all over India celebrate these five days (MahaShashti to Vijayadashami) to mark and remember the Victory of Good over Evil. The Divine Mother in her various forms has inspired great Spiritual stalwarts such as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the whole practice of Shakta Tantra (practiced in Eastern/North-Eastern India).
The Divine Mother holds a special place since she not only signifies the fact that the feminine is a hallowed state of being in the Indic traditions but also because the symbolic significance of the Shakti that she represents.
The Mahalaya Amavasya starts seven days before the beginning of Durga Puja (the advent of the Divine Mother in her resplendent glory).
Growing up, the Mahalaya morning (4 AM) held a special place, since our Grandfather would wake us up and the whole household would gather around the venerable Transistor Radio to listen to the epic Mahishasura Mardini in the immortal voice of Sri Birendra Kishore Bhadra (Biren Bhadra), broadcast by All India Radio.
As a side note, our grandfather’s personal commentary (build up before and after the event) added more flavor and intrigue to the whole experience since he was a personal friend of Sri Bhadra and the author of this musical (Bani Kumar).
The result of listening to this glorious work brings goosebumps and tears in my eyes today (part bhakti, part nostalgia I guess). This composition is partially in Sanskrit and partially in Bangla.
For those Medhavis who don’t speak or understand Bangla, my recommendation is to just sit back, close your eyes and let the energy of this composition wash over you and fill your hearts and minds. I can guarantee that the everything will make sense by the Mother’s blessings.
Here’s wishing you all a VERY HAPPY DUSSEHRA/Vijaya Dashami. May the Divine Mother bless this whole world with Wisdom and good judgement.
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah|
Sarve santu niramaya||
Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu|
Ma kaschit dukha bhag bhavet||
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