Missing Bengal's Durga Pujo? Watch it online!
Devotees all over the world will now be able to watch the unique Durga Puja of Belurmath, where a young girl is worshipped along with the Goddess, as the Ramakrishna Mission has decided to stream it live on Internet.
With eight hi-tech cameras covering diverse angles and a running English and Bengali commentary, all ceremonies, rituals and celebrations will be streamed live on the website www.belurmath.tv from Saturday, a monk-in-charge of the website department said.
“This initiative has been taken so that all those who cannot personally attend the Durga Puja, particularly those living outside Bengal, can be a part of the prayers. We will also have repeat telecast,” the monk told PTI.
So far, the Puja was shown live only on the state-run television channel Doordarshan.
Started in 1901 by philosopher-saint Swami Vivekananda at the headquarters of the monastic order here, a few KMs away from Kolkata, Belurmath’s Durga Puja attracts thousands of devotees each year for being the only one of its kind.
Known as the “Kumari Puja”, a young girl worshipped ritually during the Durga Puja.
On the day of Ashtami, the same kind of offerings made to the Goddess is given to the ‘Kumari’ also, and finally ‘Arati’ is performed in elaborate ritualistic style.
Even senior monks offer flowers at her feet. During his lifetime Vivekananda had also performed “Kumari Puja” to create awareness on the potential divinity of women and ensure a respectful attitude towards them.
This tradition follows the ideals of his guru and 19th century mystic saint Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa who said that the Divine Mother manifests herself more in a pure-hearted girl. He used to bow down before little girls looking upon them as manifestations of the Goddess.
He had also decreed that the Puja should be done in the name of Holy Mother Sarada Devi, wife of Ramakrishna. It was upon her desire that animal sacrifice was not made part of the rituals.
Instead, banana, white pumpkin and sugarcane are sacrificed as a symbolic ‘bali’ on the days of Asthami and Navami.
On the last day of Dashami or Dusshera, the Durga idol is immersed in the river Ganga as blessed devotees give a teary farewell to the Goddess.