Prof. Aloke Kumar is an accomplished communications professor, author, editor and scholar. He is a Faculty Member at the University of Calcutta, in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, an Associate Professor at IIM Calcutta and a Visiting Lecturer at Ramakrishna Vidyamandir Belur.
His interest on Hindu Mythology developed from his father, who was an antiquarian and had a formidable library of books. His interest in the Hindu Gods and Goddess appears to have been from the Hindu pantheon he had encountered in the different scriptures. His father’s collection includes most of the major popular deities of the pantheon reconstructed from the Puranic literary corpus. These have served as a personal study collection for Prof. Kumar which led him to study it in its different nuance and write on them.
Professor Aloke Kumar
Kali is an embodiment of creative feminine force (Shakti). Kali exists in a state of svātantrya, independence from the universe. She is thus considered the fiercer, demon-fighting form of Shiva's wife. Kali is the Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy. "She who destroys".
Lakṣmī puja is the most neglected and taken for granted puja in the Hindu Almanac. Since she has just visited us accompanying her mother in the Sharadotsav and coming back on the fifth day after returning to Kailash, her position is somewhat eroded like the married daughter coming home too early.
Jagatdhatri জগদ্ধাত্রী, 'Bearer of the World' is another form the goddess Durga, who is particularly worshipped in the Indian states of West Bengal. Her cult is directly derived from Tantra where she is a symbol of sattva beside Durga and Kali, respectably symbolized with Rajas and Tamas.
During my many sojourns abroad I used to be embarrassed with the question of worship of the Shiva Lingam. I could not answer it to my satisfaction and a lot remained unanswered. I tried my best , and among many a mumble and eating of words explained it as the worship of a form of the God.
Devi Durga, the cosmic power principle of the Absolute manifested herself in response to the collective prayer of the gods for subduing devilish death-bound demons creating perpetual disharmony in creation. As a part of this cosmic play , where good triumphs over evil, Durga Puja is celebrated.
I am most surprised at many of my friend wishing Shubho Mahalaya. Most of them are educated and many of them well read.
Just to be on the same page and to bring to context it is like wishing someone a Merry Christmas on the All Souls Day.
During Durga Puja, the transition from Ashtami (eighth day) to Navami (ninth day), the period of 48 minutes, Goddess Durga is believed to take the form of Chamunda. The belief is that these are final moments of the battle between two demons Chanda and Mundo, and Ma Durga. The demons are killed in these moments. Intense prayers are offered during this period and it is called the Sandhi Puja.
Saraswati is the everday Goddess of our household. She is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and nature. She is a part of the trinity of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati.