Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This puja pandal salutes the Hindu monk of India

The Vivekananda Rock memorial in Kanayakumari on the meeting point of Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea will come closer for citizens here as Darbhanga puja committee pandal this year has been modeled on its lines. The idea is backed by the coincidence that Prayag, as Allahabad is also known, too stands on the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers. The picturesque Vivekananda Rock Memorial has been replicated artfully at the pandal. 

The young Indian sage and youth icon of the country, Swami Vivekananda came to Kanyakumari on February 24, 1892 before his departure for Chicago to participate in the World Religious Conference in 1893. He sat in meditation on this rock for two days and went on to be a powerful spiritual leader and philosopher. Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built in 1970 and is a blend of various architectural styles of India. 

Talking to TOI, general secretary of Darbhanga colony puja committee Debobroto Basu said "It is the sesquicentennial year (150th year) of Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary, so we decided to recreate the Vivekananda Rock Memorial at the puja pandal." The unique characteristic of the pandal is that it is located on a raised platform about 25 to 30 foot above the ground while the entire structure has been erected on a bamboo framework. The height of the pandal is about 60 feet from ground. The is exquisitely decorated interior of the pandal has specially designed idols of Ganesha etched on the walls, along with floral motifs. 

About 15 artists from Kolkata have been called who are toiling day and night to give shape to the pandal. Artist Vibhas Das, says "We are ardent devotees of Goddess Durga and it is our labour of love and devotion." 

To replicate the memorial, special effects using water would be created in front of the pandal to give it the semblance of sea surrounding it. The structure would be complete and ready for display on October 20. The Durga idol placed in the pandal has been prepared by artists from West Bengal. 

Durga and Symbolism 

Goddess Durga is believed to be the mother of the universe and the power behind all creation, preservation, and destruction of the world. Since time immemorial she has been worshipped as the supreme being and mentioned in Yajur Veda, Vajasaneyi Samhita and Taittareya Brahman. The word 'Durga' in Sanskrit means fort, or a place which is difficult to overrun. Another meaning is 'Durgatinashini', which translates into 'the one who eliminates sufferings'. 

Many Forms 

There are many incarnations of Durga: Kali, Bhagvati, Bhavani, Ambika, Lalita, Gauri, Kundalini, Java, Rajeswari, etc. Durga incarnated as the united power of all divine beings, who offered her the required physical attributes and weapons to kill the demon Mahishasur. Her nine appellations are Skondamata, Kusumanda, Shailaputri, Kaalratri, Brahmacharini, Maha Gauri, Katyayani, Chandraghanta and Siddhidatri. 

Many Arms 

Durga is depicted as having eight or ten hands. These represent eight quadrants or 10 directions in Hinduism and suggests she protects devotees from all directions. 

Her Vehicle, The Lion 

The lion represents power, will and determination. Mother Durga riding the lion symbolises mastery over all forces and suggests to the devotee that one has to possess all these qualities to get over the demon of ego. 

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