The Divine Mother Comes Home
A sweet Bengali legend holds that every autumn Mother Durga takes leave from Her husband, Lord Shiva. She leaves Mount Kailash high in the Himalayas to visit Her ancestral home to spend time with Her family. Ma gets a fervent welcome-home party with blowing conches, drum rolls, bells, chants and prayers. Kolkata comes to a standstill for four days. All of Kolkata pays homage to Ma Durga. People dressed in their finest new clothes are out in the streets to receive the Goddess in their homes and in their hearts. Ma has come to kill all the demons that lurk even in the darkest corners of our hearts. The battle rages for nine days and nights (Navaratri). On the tenth day, Ma Durga emerges victoriously. All Her children are happy and lovingly exchange gifts and feed one another.
At Kali Mandir, we observed Devi Navaratri, with special homa fires & nightly talks on the Chandi, celebrating the Divine Power’s victory over the forces of darkness. We worshipped Ma Durga with full hearts along with Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya. A crowd of devotees attended this elaborate ritual which included Kumari Puja, in which the Goddess is worshiped in the form of young girls.