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Women Priests To Perform Rituals For The First Time In The History Of Durga Puja In Bengal

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prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Defying stereotypes: A Durga Puja Pandal in Kolkata has four female priests performing the holy rituals

66-Pally-Durga-Puja-Kolkata.jpg



Kolkata’s Durga Puja is one of the most beautiful festivals in the country. Every year, Durga Puja organisers go to great lengths to come up with fresh concepts that draw visitors from all over the world. This year, the organisers of 66 Pally Durga Puja in Kolkata’s Rash Behari Avenue have defied a century-old stereotype by bringing in female priests to perform all of the rites.

66 Pally’s theme for this year’s Durga Puja is ‘Mayer Haate Mayer Abahon’, roughly translated to Mother goddess will be worshipped by mothers.

After the puja committee’s veteran male priest passed away at the end of last year, four women, Nandini Bhowmik, Ruma Roy, Seymanti Banerjee, and Paulomi Chakraborty, were roped in to conduct this year’s puja.

The senior office-bearer of the puja committee, Pradyuna Mukherjee said: “four women are all scholars having great command on scriptures, professors in their respective fields, and fit the bill as a worshipper of the goddess in every possible way.”

He further argued: “Don’t women make all the arrangements for conducting puja rituals in household and para puja? If there can be women clay modellers if there can be women organisers, why not women priestesses?”

According to sources, if the priestesses are approved this year, the puja committee would continue the trend next year. It also depends on the willingness of the priestesses to maintain their involvement with the puja.

Unlike traditional priest groups, the all-women priestess group claims to have no lead or head priestess. They want to teach people how to do rituals in accordance with long-standing traditions and encourage other women to travel into areas where they haven’t gone before.


Congratulations to the progressive, senior office-bearer of the puja committee, Pradyuna Mukherjee.
 

Mani_Chennai

Active member
Defying stereotypes: A Durga Puja Pandal in Kolkata has four female priests performing the holy rituals

66-Pally-Durga-Puja-Kolkata.jpg



Kolkata’s Durga Puja is one of the most beautiful festivals in the country. Every year, Durga Puja organisers go to great lengths to come up with fresh concepts that draw visitors from all over the world. This year, the organisers of 66 Pally Durga Puja in Kolkata’s Rash Behari Avenue have defied a century-old stereotype by bringing in female priests to perform all of the rites.

66 Pally’s theme for this year’s Durga Puja is ‘Mayer Haate Mayer Abahon’, roughly translated to Mother goddess will be worshipped by mothers.

After the puja committee’s veteran male priest passed away at the end of last year, four women, Nandini Bhowmik, Ruma Roy, Seymanti Banerjee, and Paulomi Chakraborty, were roped in to conduct this year’s puja.

The senior office-bearer of the puja committee, Pradyuna Mukherjee said: “four women are all scholars having great command on scriptures, professors in their respective fields, and fit the bill as a worshipper of the goddess in every possible way.”

He further argued: “Don’t women make all the arrangements for conducting puja rituals in household and para puja? If there can be women clay modellers if there can be women organisers, why not women priestesses?”

According to sources, if the priestesses are approved this year, the puja committee would continue the trend next year. It also depends on the willingness of the priestesses to maintain their involvement with the puja.

Unlike traditional priest groups, the all-women priestess group claims to have no lead or head priestess. They want to teach people how to do rituals in accordance with long-standing traditions and encourage other women to travel into areas where they haven’t gone before.


Congratulations to the progressive, senior office-bearer of the puja committee, Pradyuna Mukherjee.
 

Mani_Chennai

Active member
Our ancestors elevated women to Devi level , thus did not want them to any more temple priest job. But nothing prevents them, excepting when they have to go through pain for 3 or four days when they are young. After menopause, they can also perform puja. The only trouble is most lazy men will then expect women to do all chores and also compulsorily perform puja. So, either they have to learn puja rules and Mantras or Porri ( சூர்யா போற்றி, சுந்தரா போற்றி.. ஒங்கப்பா ஏன் இதெல்லாம் கூடவா கத்து கொடுக்கலை.. !!) and this will add to their troubles.( But they do perform when necessary. GOD will not reject their prayers as they are also His/Her children. After all, Shiva has half a part as women- Ardha NAreswaran and if you believe it, shows that treat women with respect whatever they do (excepting when they are angry and abusive due to mental stress). But these ladies deserve our appreciation.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
To begin with, I do not even find it powerful or hard-hitting as a campaign against domestic violence. A staunchly religious middle-class Hindu man might recite the Durga chalisa every day and yet beat up his wife for talking back at him.

Pedestalisation of women as goddesses is as damaging as portraying them as sex objects. Both dehumanise women. Both leave no space in between for women to exercise their will or have feelings and opinions and flaws and desires as human beings. Trapping women into images of a supposed ideal is one of the oldest strategies of patriarchy – and if they do not fit the image, it is deemed alright to ‘punish’ and violate them.
 

sravna

Well-known member
When you say women are treated on par with God it is for the respect. It is not a strategy by patriarchy. It is well meaning to give women their due place. We need to strive to live up to that level and not reduce the standards we afford to women.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
When you say women are treated on par with God it is for the respect. It is not a strategy by patriarchy. It is well meaning to give women their due place. We need to strive to live up to that level and not reduce the standards we afford to women.
Do you really mean it?

Badminton ace P.V. Sindhu said Indians rarely walk their talk in terms of respecting women, and said that the recent ‘Me Too’ movement increased awareness on sexual harassment at workplace.

Addressing a symposium on sexual harassment at the workplace titled ‘SH(Out) – Sexual Harassment Out: We are Listening’ organised by She Teams of Hyderabad Police in association with Soroptimist International Hyderabad here on Friday, Ms. Sindhu talked on the contrast between India and foreign countries in this respect.

“When I was travelling abroad, I noticed that people have a lot of respect for women and their privacy, and I felt happy about it. But in India, people only say that women should be respected, but the same is not practised,” she said. The ‘Me Too’ movement has ushered in a lot of awareness about sexual harassment, and has educated both men and women of their responsibility towards society, she said. “Women should be strong and believe in themselves. They should come out and speak about the harassment that they face,” Ms. Sindhu said.

Please talk to common womenfolks in India.

Please educate yourself before posting absolutely false and misinformed items.

 

sravna

Well-known member
Yes Prasad ji I mean it. I referred to Vedic times when women and men were at par. Your own cited article says that. I am saying it is not a strategy but well meaning and we need to rise to that level again.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Sravnaji,
When you and I say that women were treated with respect in Vedic times, it is hearsay and may apply to a minority. We have no records of how the majority of people were treated during the Vedic period. We do not have any record of a common person's life.

Let us talk of life in the present time.

India is ranked 105 amongst 128 countries in its Education for All Development Index. Among SAARC nations, India stands third behind Sri Lanka, and Maldives. India still has one of the lowest female literacy rate in Asia. As per the India’s last census in 2011, the female literacy stands at 65.46% compared to 82.14% of males. estimates show that for every 100 girls in rural India only a single one reaches class 12 and almost 40% of girls leave school even before reaching the fifth standard.

Violence against Women​


Given to India’s patriarchal nature, domestic violence remains as culturally accepted because of cultural and religious reasons. In a survey with young men and women in India, 57% of boys and 53% girls accept women beating by husbands is justified. In another recent survey between 2015-2016, it revealed, 80% of working women suffer domestic violence at the hands of their husbands.

Communities need crucial paradigm change from ‘Crime Against Women’ to We’re all part of the problem’. We have a problem of looking at issues such as rape or gender violence as isolated and affecting some ‘third’ person. Instead of looking at rape or dowry as isolated incidents, we need to look at regular, continuous outcomes of complex social and economic factors affecting every individual and the community.

 

mangalam

Member
even in wealthy countries .........

Key statistics on violence against women in Australia

  • On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.1
  • 1 in 3 Australian women (30.5%) has experienced physical violence since the age of 15.2
  • 1 in 5 Australian women (18.4%) has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.3
  • 1 in 3 Australian women (34.2%) has experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by a man since the age of 15.4
  • 1 in 4 Australian women (23.0%) has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner since age 15.5
  • to read more https://www.ourwatch.org.au/quick-facts/
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
even in wealthy countries .........

Key statistics on violence against women in Australia

  • On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.1
  • 1 in 3 Australian women (30.5%) has experienced physical violence since the age of 15.2
  • 1 in 5 Australian women (18.4%) has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.3
  • 1 in 3 Australian women (34.2%) has experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by a man since the age of 15.4
  • 1 in 4 Australian women (23.0%) has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner since age 15.5
  • to read more https://www.ourwatch.org.au/quick-facts/
OK, so are you saying it is not important that Indian women are marginalized?
What is the meaning of your post in this thread?
We are talking about the condition of women in India at the present time.
 

sravna

Well-known member
OK, so are you saying it is not important that Indian women are marginalized?
What is the meaning of your post in this thread?
We are talking about the condition of women in India at the present time.
I agree Prasad ji. At the present time condition of women is bad in India. But I think it is everywhere the same. That may indicate a deeper problem. So if we understand that we can address the problem better.
 

Mani_Chennai

Active member
Patriarchal society had been dominant for a very long time throughout in history. Slavery is another one. All will take several generations to change. Societal changes are extremely slow. Sathi was abolished only in the 19th century. As long as both political and economic freedom are constrained, women will be treated badly even though Indians will worship Mataji- Kali, saraswathi, Parvathi….. and chant Laxmi Ashtoram etc. Even when a horoscope is written “ janani janma saukyanam, varadadham kula sampatham.. “ Also.

Saundarya Lahari : Soundarya Lahari Sloka 1
“Shivah Shakthyaa Yuktho Yadi Bhavathi Shakthaha Prabhavithum
Na Chedevam Devo Na Khalu Kushalaha Sphandithumapi
Athasthvaamaaraadhyaam Hariharavirinchaadibhirapi
Prananthum Sthothum Vaa Kathamakruthapunyaha Prabhavathi!”
Meaning :


“Shiva becomes capable of creating the Universe, only when united with Shakthi (Thee), but otherwise (when not so joined with Thee), He is incapable of even a stir, How then could one, who has not acquired merit (punya)- in this and previous births worship Thee or at least praise Thee, who is adored even by Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma and others?”

Thus, at least Indian Hindu male chants and wants blessings from these Female Gods yet treat the women as an untouchable(except in the night). Rishis and Rish Patnis of our ancestors did not discriminate again women (exception Akalya was cursed by so called Rishi Gautama) even though that was predetermined for Akhalya to get blessed by Lord Rama.

If we are real Brahmans in this forum , let us take an oath that we will not mistreat women – daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmas… But economical and ego based society will never prosper.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Patriarchal society had been dominant for a very long time throughout in history. Slavery is another one. All will take several generations to change. Societal changes are extremely slow. Sathi was abolished only in the 19th century. As long as both political and economic freedom are constrained, women will be treated badly even though Indians will worship Mataji- Kali, saraswathi, Parvathi….. and chant Laxmi Ashtoram etc. Even when a horoscope is written “ janani janma saukyanam, varadadham kula sampatham.. “ Also.

Saundarya Lahari : Soundarya Lahari Sloka 1
“Shivah Shakthyaa Yuktho Yadi Bhavathi Shakthaha Prabhavithum
Na Chedevam Devo Na Khalu Kushalaha Sphandithumapi
Athasthvaamaaraadhyaam Hariharavirinchaadibhirapi
Prananthum Sthothum Vaa Kathamakruthapunyaha Prabhavathi!”
Meaning :


“Shiva becomes capable of creating the Universe, only when united with Shakthi (Thee), but otherwise (when not so joined with Thee), He is incapable of even a stir, How then could one, who has not acquired merit (punya)- in this and previous births worship Thee or at least praise Thee, who is adored even by Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma and others?”

Thus, at least Indian Hindu male chants and wants blessings from these Female Gods yet treat the women as an untouchable(except in the night). Rishis and Rish Patnis of our ancestors did not discriminate again women (exception Akalya was cursed by so called Rishi Gautama) even though that was predetermined for Akhalya to get blessed by Lord Rama.

If we are real Brahmans in this forum , let us take an oath that we will not mistreat women – daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmas… But economical and ego based society will never prosper.
Dear Shri Mani,

Well said. Brahmins have to not only take the initiative to show the way but also should take initiatives to enlighten others in whatever way possible.

I think it is a complex problem. The best approach would be to play down the importance of excess materialism. Another important and onerous task is to make political power and other strong external influences on people's lives benevolent.

I believe fundamentally the corrupting influence of money and power is very damaging to society. Some beginning has to be made in seriously addressing this problem.

The point is if people are made to think in a positive and constructive way respect to women is a consequence and so also solution to many other pressing problems facing society.

But yes some quick fixes have to be made as the above approach is a long term one.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
If we are real Brahmans in this forum , let us take an oath that we will not mistreat women – daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmas… But economical and ego based society will never prosper.
This site is open to all. There are members who are not birth-brahmins.
Secondly, it should apply to the entire human race.
 

Mani_Chennai

Active member
जननी जन्म सौख्यानाम् वर्धनी कुल सम्पदाम् ।पदवीपूर्व पुण्यानाम् लिख्यते जन्म पत्रिका ।।
When we grow in a joint family, in general, women are respected. That is how I grew up. However, economic, political and other pressures have now separated families, thus we do not see the Devis in our women. No matter how women sometimes shout, in their heart the love is always present. I knew a lady who took care of her swindling father and will be restless if she can not find him on time. பால் நினைந்து ஊட்டும் தாயினும் சாலப் பரிந்து.. with some explicit love (not sexual type) women in general, melt. Also, with mitochondria DNA has never changed in the last 7000 generation (yutube: Are we related") almost ever one is our cousin. Now, when the harmone Testosterone is high - between 12-18 years old, it is almos very difficult to control boys unless they have external hard outdoor activities.
Crime agains women is high even where sex is easy, which is unfortunate and a crime.
As one person said, that this applies to all communities is true, but if a Brahman says that then it will be ignored. Each community has to take responsibility to protect women, which is a tall task. No wishful thinking will change.
So, girls need to learn to bite hard on attackers etc., learn Karate.. to show the bastards that they are attacking their own sisters and cousins.
I shared the views that I practice and not to brag about it, rather the benefit, affection and welcome I get from my extended families.
 

mangalam

Member
I agree, my grandmother who passed away when I was little is said to have ruled the whole clan. When this uneducated paatti said jump everyone would do so. Any young lady in our family displaying strong personality, they would say paatti is reborn.

The kailyuga problem is twofold, one is internet delivering pornography to everyone's finder tips.
While we the old timers are discussing brahmin habits, God only knows what the youth are doing. How I know pornography is a big issue is, when I attended the Parliament of world religions -2015 there was a stall to the shock of everyone called Pornography, discussing how to safeguard people from falling in that pit.
2nd is the shocking way women are portrayed in movies, clothes have shrunk over the years and they are dancing in their underwear. to please whom ? Their barely clad vulgar movements will bring out the base in some.
 

sravna

Well-known member
I just watched a leading scientist speaking about the developments in AI. It is both inspiring and terrifying. Inspiring for obvious reasons. Terrifying because that intelligence and power is going into the hands of politicians and the establishment. Makes the task of fight against them even more uphill. The control the politicians will have over people is really frightening. It is the case of evil genius at work. Only God should show the way
 

sravna

Well-known member
So as we fight the politicians and the powerful we need to fight the evil technology also by producing a countering good technology. Makes the task tough and long drawn.
 
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