Thursday, March 25, 2010

one thousand names

Achintya, who made my tigers, lives in beautiful old family home in Mandirtala, with a joint household of around fifty people. They are Brahmins and have lived there for many generations. The family temple at one end of the compound, is over two hundred and fifty years old and is well known among Hindu pilgrims.

On Tuesday they celebrated Annapurna Puja and invited me to join them. Annapurna is a manifestation of Parvati, Shiva's consort and she is the goddess of nourishment. And Annapurna has one thousand names.

Achintya constructed the deities, as he does for all their pujas.

I took some rasgullas, sandesh and burfi from Jugal's Sweet Shop which were offered to Annapurna for blessing by the priests (Achintya's uncle and brother). They had been chanting since 6.30 am and would continue throughout the day until around midnight. People were coming and going and with all the household there as well, it was bustling and relaxed.

Tonight the family will carry the deities in procession down to the Ganges and immerse them in the river, completing the puja for another year.

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