Author: Satyajit Ganguly | October,2020
As far back as I can remember, being a child, whenever I saw the Durga idol, always got fascinated by “Mashishaasur” as part of the whole structure. May it be the fear imposed by his appearance or be the mysterious stories of coming out of a buffalo attacking Durga and her children on her way to her parental house. Even last year while making this image it was his brutal face expressions that caught my attention urging me to click it. However, that time I never knew, that the next coming year will be a demonic year and he will be returning in a different dimension. There are no prizes for guessing the villain of choice this year. The impact is such that the celebrations for the puja is almost muted, with the focus being on precautionary norms rather than the usual razzmatazz. Although, distanced by the time zone, we can now imagine the anguish of that time as the end of reign neared. The context is almost similar in the present.
However, there cannot be just good. For something to exist, there must be an opposite to it. Something cannot be good unless one knows of an evil. Perhaps two opposites contrast together creates a balancing point. When there is free flow between the two extremes, the largest accumulation is at the balancing point. Varying levels of altruism and empathy or the lack of it, determines which sector of the good or bad one sees in a particular individual.
To sum up, one cannot have good without evil and since humans have to abide by natural laws, the majority of us will always lie between the two extremes because we human visualize by contrasts. There is a reality too, wrapped in that mythology.
Kalika Purana reveals, Mahishasur is none other than an amsha of Shiva himself who had incarnated to take half of the weight of Devi Chandika from her vehicle, lion, who is none other than Hari. Thus, if we see the structure of Durga, we find her keeping her right foot on the lion, who is an amsha of Hari and left feet on Mahishasur, who is an amsha of Shiva. The two Gods together bear the weight of Durga creating a proper balance.
Few months ago, life was what we would have called “normal”; fast-forward to June 2020, in the throes of a global pandemic and recovery efforts- the catchphrases- quarantine, social distancing, masks and stay at home have become the new norm. Thus, we can say that the round one so far has been in the devil’s favour.
Hoping Devi shall soon restore the balance back dispelling the demon stemming from our ignorance and outing the blatant disregard we displayed towards nature. This was a long overdue on us humans. Heralded as triumph of good over evil, this puja let’s seize the opportunity to press reset on our relationship with nature and get on track to a more sustainable future. Otherwise, Asur will return again and again to slay the human race .