I HAVE DECIDED.. AFTER MUCH DISCUSSION WITH LOCAL FRIENDS.. SEVERAL OF WHOM SAID.. “CAP GET OUT OF CALCUTTA FOR THE FESTIVAL (or PUJA).. IT WILL BE CRAZY CAP!”
The real expert said.. “Cap.. you have never been in India for a MAJOR PUJA like this.. so why not stay put?” THAT CAME FROM INDIA FOLLOWER.. PATTI 99501.. where it is FREEZING COLD AT 50 degrees F AND BELOW.. HOW DO YOU WITHSTAND THIS FRIGID WEATHER UP THERE..
We.. in the Christian world.. seemingly have one God.. the God of Abraham.. I say ‘seemingly’ because the Christian Right and the Christian Fundamentalist’s seem to have their own.. different take.. on this matter.. THEIR God of Abraham is different from other Christian’s version of God of Abraham..
In India they have NO RELIGIOUS HIERARCHY..
THERE IS NO POPE (and no Pope figure).. There is NO ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY (or one similar to him).. There is NO ARCH BISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE..
In India. In the Hindi Faith Belief System.. there is NO ONE IN CHARGE.. so.. since there are no bosses.. there is NO ONE SAYING .. “DO IT OUR WAY OR YOU ARE DOOMED”.. ‘WE KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS.. JUST ASK US”.. “IF YOU DON’T GET BAPTIZED OUR WAY IT IS CURTAINS BABY!”..
In A.A. here in India I once asked a local member.. “Droova.. you have so many Gods” and Droova shot-me-dead replying.. “Cap.. it IS .. God as you understand God”.. checkmate Captain on the third move of the Chess Match..
India is also a matriarchal society.. property passes from the Femme Fatale to the daughters..
So IT FIGURES THAT IN CALCUTTA.. GOD IS A WOMAN.. WHATTA CONCEPT..
GOD HAS A NAME HERE IN CALCUTTA.. AND HER NAME IS .. DURGA .. and DURGA AND I HAVE HAD SOME DEALINGS between us we two..
In March of 1991.. I was in an Ashram in Ganishpuri.. north of Bombay.. where the Guru was also a lady.. Guru Mayi of Guru Dev Seda Peth..
My third day at the Ashram I was formally introduced to DURGA.. keep in mind that Bombay and the Ashram in Ganishpuri north of Bombay is like the difference between San Francisco on our West Coast and New York City on our East Coast.. Bombay is on the West Coast of India and Calcutta is on the Eastern side of India.. WHY DURGA GOT TO BOMBAY AND SOME ENVIRONS ONLY THE GODS HERE IN INDIA KNOW..
OK.. on my third day at the Ashram I was taken in front of a (it mustta been eight or even ten feet tall) gigantic figure of DURGA.. I looked up at her.. huge.. and I was told .. “We will now instruct you on how to approach DURGA”.. THEN I was told what to do.. First I was to bow down in front of DURGA.. to get the HELL DOWN ON THY HANDS AND THY KNEES AND .. and.. then to reverently touch my forehead to the ground in front of Durga.. and after having done that.. to then get up and to walk COUNTER CLOCKWISE around DURGA one time or three times “as YOU please”..
HAVING ONLY LISTENED.. HAVING DONE NOTHING YET.. I quietly and respectfully said to my hosts.. “This is NOT my God.. MY God has asked me to NOT BOW DOWN BEFORE FALSE IDOLS.. sorry but.. I am OUTTA HEAH (said like a Southern Sheriff.. outta heeeyyyyahhhh)..
I may ask Andrej to come up with a photo of Durga and to post in under photos..
DURGA LOOKS FEROCIOUS.. WHEW..’ BAD-HAIR-DAY’ EACH AND EVERY DAY..
DURGA has .. not two (2) arms.. DURGA has.. not four (4) or six (6) or even eight (8) arms.. DURGA HAS TEN (10) COUNT THEM.. TEN (10) ARMS.. two (2) of DURGA’s ten arms are folded in front of her.. the other eight (8) .. FOUR (4) on each of her sides.. are holding eight (8) DIFFERENT WEAPONS..
“What ‘Zilla?” .. “OK ‘Zilla” ..
DURGA is a female GODDESS with ten arms.. eight of which are holding eight different weapons..
DURGA WAS CREATED by other Gods.. to slay the dragon or to slay the mythical Indian BAD GOD who was causing trouble because he was changing life forms and life shapes and NO ONE GOD HAD THE CORRECT WEAPON TO SLAY THIS BAD GOD..
PRESTO HERE CAME DURGA.. with eight (8) weapons DURGA had the proper weapon and DURGA HAD IT NOW.. to slay the BAD GOD.. and DID..
Paper (she had scissors).. Rock (she had paper).. Scissors (she had rock)..
So.. I am staying put.. I am NOT TALKING WHILE THE FLAVOR LASTS..
My local Indian friends said.. “OK Cap.. IF you do stay for THE PUJA.. during the day light hours.. things are pretty normal.. lots of sales and lots of activity but basically normal.. BUT .. BUT.. BUT.. LISTEN TO US CAP.. we STRONGLY suggest.. we URGE that you STAY IN YOUR HOTEL ROOM AT NIGHT BECAUSE there is always some trouble when a few million Indians get together for a PUJA in the streets during the night..”
Patti 99501 thinks she agrees with this concept..
I already know all of the banks are going to be closed.. my local merchant Joseph is leaving Calcutta on Sunday and not returning until late Thursday.. let me tell you.. NOT A FEW LOCALS ARE LEAVING.. so I have about a one week supply of bottled water stashed for the four day PUJA..
The MAJOR PORTION OF THE DURGA PUJA WILL BEGIN NEXT MONDAY THE 3RD OF OCTOBER AND CEASE NEXT THURSDAY EVENING THE 6TH OF OCTOBER..
LOCAL TOUR COMPANIES ARE advertising TOURS each day that will visit up to fourteen (14) different PUJA locations in Calcutta KNOWN FOR FAMOUSLY DECORATIVE AND ACTIVE DURGA PUJA CELEBRATIONS..
Much Joy.. There You Have It.. as always.. WITH MUCH LOVE.. Cap.. from Calcutta hunkering down for the PUJA..
“What Festival? What PUJA?.. “Oh ‘Zilla what am I going to do witch you!” .. (smiles Jim and Claudia)..
- For What It’s Worth.. 28.. September 28, 2011
- For What It’s Worth.. 30.. September 30, 2011