India’s Durga Puja celebrates divine feminine with modern takes on ancient ritual

Blog note. The Lord God, Jesus Christ, provides 21 (3×7) Biblical verses instructing mankind to “not build any graven images of false gods.” Do men listen to and respect the word of God? End of note.

Exodus 20:4 … Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Deuteronomy 7:5… But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

Deuteronomy 7:25… The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therin: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God.

Deuteronomy 12:3… And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

2 Kings 17:41… So these nations feared the Lord, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children’s children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.

2 Chronicles 33:19… His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sins, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers.

2 Chronicles 34:7… And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.

Psalm 78:58… For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.

Psalm 97:7… Confounded be all they that serve graven images,that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.

Isaiah 10:10… As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;

Isaiah 21:9… And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

Isaiah 30:22… Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.

Isaiah 42:8… I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Isaiah 42:17… They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.

Jeremiah 8:19… Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the Lord in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?

Jeremiah 50:38… A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

Jeremiah 51:47… Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.

Jeremiah 51:52… Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will do judgment upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan.

Hosea 11:2… As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.

Micah 1:7… And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.

Micah 5:13… Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.

This is part of the Mystery Religion of Babylon were all faiths/false religions are accepted except for Christianity. The ‘goddess’ Semiramis? The ‘goddess’ Mary? The ‘goddess’ Durga? The ‘goddess’ Ishtar? It’s all a “mystery” (religion). No true worship of Jesus Christ. All just a bunch of man-made idols (graven images).

India’s Durga Puja celebrates divine feminine with modern takes on ancient ritual

October 19, 2018. RNS.

KOLKATA, India (RNS) — Every year, Durga Puja is celebrated across India during the seventh month of the Hindu calendar, marking the victory of female power over the buffalo-demon Mahishasura. Durga Puja festivities, which took place this week, overlap with the nine-night Navaratri, also celebrating the divine feminine, in other traditions of Hinduism.

But while worship of the 10-armed goddess is primarily a religious occasion across most of the Indian subcontinent, in the state of West Bengal it is much more than that, a high point of the year that is seen as an expression and celebration of the once-dominant Bengali culture.

Kolkata, the cultural capital of Bengal, celebrates the five main days of the festival with fervor. The numinous energy draws people out of their homes in the middle of the night into streets thick with the aromas of night-blooming jasmine, fried foods and incense. They visit the highly decorative pandals — makeshift bamboo structures that celebrate the goddess in art — as well as attend cultural events and dance to drumbeats and loud chants.

Preparations for the carnival start months in advance, with artists and artisans vying to create the most innovative art works from scrap, recycled products and homespun ideas. Idols of the goddess astride a lion are placed at elaborately designed pandals, where the art inside covers serious issues — trafficking of women, child labor at tea shops or the plastic surgery obsession among young adults or scenes straight out of Bollywood movies.

Many homes, clubs, apartment blocks and temples construct their own puja scenes, so that every street corner holds a surprise for the unsuspecting visitor. “Kolkata’s pandals must be showcased to the world,” Leandro Blanco, a Spanish filmmaker who documented the festival in in Kolkata, told the Times of India in 2016. “They aren’t just art, but a medium of expressing important messages.”

The elegance of Kolkata’s Durga Puja also lies in the depictions of the goddess in her many avatars rendered on ceremonial gates in sparkling lights, in outdoor installations and floor art, transforming the city into a massive open-air art gallery with a profusion of themes.

Hindu purists have been critical of the way theme pujas adapt Goddess Durga’s avatar to modern topics and artistic sensibilities. Subhasis Ghose, a member of a traditional family in Kolkata’s old quarter, says, “The over-commercialization of Durga Puja could rob the festival of its original flavor. We need to prioritize ritualistic ceremonies over glamour.”

The solemnity of Durga Puja comes at the festival’s end, with today’s Vijaya Dashami (Oct. 19), the 10th day of the victory of the goddess over the demon, when she’s led in huge processions to local rivers. Here, the idols are immersed — symbolic of Goddess Durga’s return to her husband Shiva in the Himalayas.

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