By Ashadeep Mohanty
Bhubaneswar: ‘Living Durga’ at a decorated Mandap has left the pandal hoppers in the capital city spellbound adding to the festive spirit of Dussehra.
While other decorative and theme-based Puja pandals in the city are drawing huge footfalls in the city, the ‘living’ gods and goddesses at the Bhajan Mandap at Old Town here are keeping the visitors glued to the pandal organised by the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya, BJB Nagar branch.
Adorned in elaborate costumes and holding various weapons, members of the spiritual organisation stand still at the pandal with Durga holding a trident and pointing it at Mahishasur, Saraswati holding Veena and Lakshmi sporting a pot of wealth. Similarly, two others were dressed-up as Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartike. All are in the age group of 15 to 40 years.
They stand in their respective postures for four hours from 6pm to 10pm. A curtain is pulled before them on frequent intervals to give them a break for five to seven minutes. The ‘living Durga’ show that was put up on the Ashtami would continue till Dussehra.
Aradhana Manoswini, a 15-year-old girl and a student of the BJEM School here, is portrayed as goddess Durga. When asked if she feels nervous while doing this in front of a huge number people, Aradhana said, “Maa Durga is the ultimate source of power. So when I am portraying the goddess, I feel even more energetic. We all are more of soul conscious when we perform this. Hence, we do not feel any body fatigue while doing this.”
Sister Tapaswini of the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya said the artistes have been able to perform this as they practice Raja Yoga meditation everyday at the Vishwa Vidyalaya.
“We are organising the ‘Living Durga’ show every year since 2000. The main objective of this initiative is to inculcate positive thoughts in the minds of the people and make them aware of the importance of meditation and self-realisation,” she said.
Sister Tapaswini further said, “Through the show, we want give a message to the society that there are godly and evil character qualities in all human beings. But they need to discover the traits of godly character in themselves. They should imbibe the spiritual virtues in their lives so that they can realise their hidden potentials and develop the same. This will also help them solve various complex everyday problems.”