17 Oct 2023

Navratri: Pradeep Dutta Tells Why Durga Idols Are Made Using Clay Of Courtyards Of Nagar Vadhus, What Message Is Hidden?

Prayagraj: The significance of using the collected soil from the courtyards of the Nagar Vadhus in the idols of Mahishasura Mardini, which are installed in the Durga Puja pandals during Shardiya Navratri, is an attempt to bring these women in the mainstream of the society and end the social contempt they have to face.
Pradeep Dutta, President of Prayagraj GTV Nagar Durga Puja Committee (Kareli) in UP, said that in Hindu culture, Kasab (prostitution) is considered wrong and in the society, a woman doing prostitution is viewed with hatred and contempt.

But during the holy festival of Navratri, the Maa Durga’s idol is considered incomplete if the soil from the courtyards of the “Kothas” is not included while making it. Many different beliefs and stories are prevalent for this.
According to the beliefs, unless the soil of the courtyards of the Nagar Vadhus is included the Durga idol is considered incomplete and Maa Durga does not even accept the puja. Pradeep Dutta said that inclusion of the soil of the courtyard of the Nagar Vadhus is a message that every woman, even if she is a 
Nagar Vadhu, is an embodiment of motherly power. She is the embodiment of power, peace and intelligence in all beings, he said.

Dutta told that Nagar Vadhus face humiliation their whole life. Mother Durga feels their pain, that is why an attempt is made to honor them by using clay collected from their courtyards.

Change in thinking of society and people

At the same time, many people see this tradition from the point of view of a change in the thinking of the society and people and it is also considered as an attempt to bring them into the mainstream of the society.

Dutta said that Durga Puja has spiritual, religious and social significance. This worship shows equal respect and love for female power. Experts of Indian epics and Puranas believe that the installation of the idol of the Goddess on the occasion of Durga Puja is completely scientific, which is like a mission carrying the flag of social reforms in the world.

Many messages hidden in Indian festivals

Renowned journalist Amitabh Bhattacharya said that there are many messages hidden in the Indian festivals and traditions. In the same sequence, this is an attempt to give respect to the despised Nagar Vadhus. He said Nagar Vadhus should also realize that they too are respected and that their existence is not disgusting but sacred. Therefore, the clay of their residences has been considered essential for making the statues of Goddess Durga.

Bhattacharya said that Durga Puja is actually the worship of Kali in Bengal. During Shardiya Navratri, there was a trend of worshiping her idol by installing it in pandals. After that the practice of worship reached every corner of the world. According to the mythological beliefs of Bengal, the Durga idol is made from the clay of Nagarvadhu's residences.

Bhattacharya said that apart from the courtyard of Nagarvadhu, soil from nine other places is said to be used to make the idols of the holy Maa Durga. According to mythological stories, when a person goes to the residence of Nagarvadhu, he leaves his purity there. His good deeds and purity remain there. That is why the soil there is the purest and is used in Durga idols.

He told that the Hindi film “Amar Prem” starring Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore is the Hindi adaptation of the Bengali film “Nishi Padma”. In this, the craftsman is shown pleading with the Nagarvadhu for clay to make the idol.

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