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Durga Puja- A deep insight!

While Durga puja is celebrated in pomp and splendor all over Bengal
and other parts of the world, read through HG Jananivasa Prabhu's
wonderful class on the real meaning of Durga puja. Class was on the
Bhagavad Gita verse 17.14, where Lord explains about the austerity of
the body. In the purport, Prabhupada writes one should not do anything
which is not sanctioned by the scriptural injunctions. Following is
the transcription of the class on Durga puja.

As long as we are in this material world, it is understood that we are
in prison and the head of this prison is Durga devi. As prisoners are
given a particular type of uniform, similarly this body, the material
body, be it an animal body, plant body or human body, but we have a
material body means we have a uniform. This body is like uniform of
the prisoners. As long as we have this body, we are under the realm of
Durga devi , that means, we are all prisoners. As most of the prison
uniforms have stripe marks, similarly, if we mark stripes i.e. tilak
marks in this body, which is our uniform, and then we will be
prisoners of Krishna and no more of Durga.

We should understand that Durga devi is working under the direction of
Krsna. As, we see in Brahma Samhita,

sristi stithi pralaya sadhana saktireka
chayeva yasya bhuvanani bibharti durga
icchanurupam api yasya ca cestate sa
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

The external potency Maya who is of the nature of the shadow of the
cit potency, is worshiped by all people as Durga, the creating,
preserving and destroying agency of this mundane world. I adore the
primeval Lord Govinda in accordance with whose will Durga conducts

So, she is not independent or the controller but simply she acts under
the direction of the Supreme Lord just as shadow follows the
She has two sons-Ganesh and Kartikeya- represents mundane success and
beauty and that's why people who wish to be materially successful
worship Ganesha. She is seen as standing along with lakshmi and
saraswati who represents mundane knowledge and opulence. She carries
20 weapons in her arms, which represents various pious activities
enjoined in Vedas. She holds a snake in her hand. This represents the
beauty of destructive time. She tramples over the demon Mahisasura.
This represents how she tramples over the vices in this world.
When Jiva forgets eternal relationship with Krsna, he is put into
Durga's realm and the veil of Karma acts as the instrument for
punishing rebellious jivas. Durga's business is to punish all these
rebellious jivas. This is not actually punishment. It is meant for
reformation. When somebody is sent into prison, it is not really meant
for punishment but for reformation. So, Durgadevi is also having a
trident-the Trishul. Trishul represents the threefold material

, adibautika and adidaivika.miseries. Every moment
in life and everyone without any exception suffers due to one, two or
all the three of these miseries. So these miseries are not but trishul
of Durga. She is constantly pricking up the jivas with her trishul.
But the idea is to wake up the jiva and not punishing.
'Why am I suffering so much in this material world? Why am I forced to
be in womb, packed up for nine months, in the upside down position in
darkness with worms biting me every moment?'
There was a report in Australia two years ago, when a baby was born
and he actually spoke-"No, not again!not again!". The doctors were
surprised and rushing towards the baby to know what is happening!
Anyway, Krsna reminds us the misery of this world- old age is coming,
disease ,death and it's always suffering! So, the living entity comes
to the point, 'Why am I suffering'! How can I find solution to this
problem? Then he turns to Vedas, brahmanas and Guru to whom he can
Sanatana Goswami, our sambandha guru, when he approached Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, he inquired, 'why am I suffering'? When someone asks this
question, human life starts at this point. Then, Vedas and spiritual
master can give us knowledge. You are not this body. You are the Soul.
Soul is eternal, full of bliss and knowledge.
Jiva asks, 'Why am I suffering in this material world? This is not my
place and where is that situation where I can live my eternity, bliss
and knowledge?'
Then spiritual master says, it is not this material world, dear son,
it is the spiritual world-back home back to Godhead where you
originally belong to. There is no disease, old age and death.
Guru Maharaj, how can I get that?
Guru says, 'Yes, you have to perform devotional service.'
How can I perform devotional service?
'Just Chant Hare Krishna and be happy '(Jai!)

Guru says chant Hare Krsna, be happy and go back to Godhead. So, this
is the situation.
So, Durga devi, when that person becomes devotee of Krsna, she becomes
so happy. Let me help him go back to Godhead.
Then that personality who is keeping you here becomes instrument to
help you transcend this material world. How? We have all the 33 crores
of demigods and they are all present everywhere in the body
controlling and she is their mother. When she is happy, seeing the
jivas advancement in Krishna Consciousnees, she orders all the devatas
to clear from the route. This is what she wants. She doesn't want to
keep anyone imprisoned in this world forever.
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur once commented, 'Durga Puja is
not dancing for hindi songs, taking intoxication and having fun', as
we see nowadays in puja pandals.
Real Durga puja is to become a Krishna Bhakta. Then Durga will be
really happy. But if we worship her in anyway we like, whimsically,
Srila Prabhupada says they are fools. This body is her property. So,
ultimately she is going to take over your body. So, they are
worshipping her means they are worshipping their own death. So, they
are fools.

We do not want to do Durga puja as fools but do Durga puja by becoming
a Krsna bhakta!

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