Devotees Celebrate Kumari Puja
Saturday, 26 September 2009
Thousands of Hindu devotees thronged revered Ramkrishna Mission in Dhaka to worship Kumari Devi on Saturday as part of their biggest religious festival-- Sharadiya Durga Puja.
Kumari Puja is a vital part of the annual festival when devotees offer prayer on 'Mahaashtami' with the belief that the Goddess, although omnipresent, exists in the virgin. Reverence to female children as goddesses is an age-old part of the celebration.
Kumari Puja was held between 11:20am and 11:45am, as devotees worshipped Grade-2 student Madhu Manjuri Chakrabarty as this year's Kumari Devi. Nicknamed Malini, she is a student of Hazaribagh Tarun Shikkha Niketan.
The devotees worshipped the devi using five elements – fire, water, cloth, flower and air.
Ramkrishna Mission's Maharaj Swami Sthiratmananda conducted the Puja.
"Females come as the symbol of mother. So Kumari Puja means devotees are worshipping mother. When we worship mother, it means we worship the God," said Sthiratmananda.
Kumari devi shared her feeling with bdnews24.com: "Everybody is worshipping me. Earlier I used to visit Kumari Devi, but today I am being worshipped. It's great."
The festivities celebrating the biggest festival of the followers of the Sanatan religion started off with the awakening (Bodhon) of Anandamoyi Devi on Thursday.
After 'Mahaashtami', 'Mahanabami Puja' will be held on Sunday. The rituals end on Monday through 'Vijaya Dashami', when devotees bid Goddess Durga a tearful goodbye and invite her to return next year.
Nimchandra Bhoumik, chair of Bangladesh Puja Celebration Committee, said over 23,000 pavilions have been set up across the country this year.
The capital city has 172 puja pavilions.
The government has said adequate security measures have been taken to ensure peaceful celebration.