Saturday, September 17, 2011

Navadurga in Tuluva Folk Tradition

Daivasthana created at Bombe Mane to house Navadurga
Indian sub-continent is blessed with fertile soil because of its innumerable rivers. Right from Indus Valley civilization up to present day, farming has been the backbone of India. Man toils day in and day out in farmlands, orchards and plantations. When nature rewards him with a bountiful harvest, he is thankful. Thus the field, soil, rain and nature are subjects of thanksgiving for its people. The bond between man and nature has grown emotional with man considering nature as the divine mother. To thank her generosity (food) and seek protection from her fury (natural calamities), people across the sub-continent have venerated and appeased nature as a benign divine mother since time immemorial.

This idea of worshipping divinity as feminine has been well documented in Vedas and over centuries has spread far and wide in the sub-continent. According to Devi Mahatmya, nine manifestations of devi Durga are known as Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandra Ghanta (Chanda Khanda), Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kalaratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri (Siddhidayini) and are collectively called Navadurga. Each of them is worshipped on different nights of Navaratri.
Shailaputri                  Brahmacharini               Chandakhanda
The worship of Devi or divine mother has acquired local flavours and is highly evolved. The Tulu speaking people from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts in Karnataka follow a unique folk tradition of worshiping animals, deities and folk heroes as spirits invoked into huge wooden figures called Uru or Paapay. Tall, wide eyed figures hewn out of jackfruit wood are brightly coloured in primary colours and decorated with 'byagadi' paper which imitates gold in colour and brilliance. They are installed and worshiped in sanctified spaces called 'daivasthana' or 'bhutagaradi'.
Kushmanda                      Skandamata                              Katyayini
Veerabhadra Jarandaya the god of might, Panjurli the protector, Bobbarya the guardian, Kalabhairava Mandathaya, Jumadi the goddess of prosperity - these are few of the pantheon of Tulu folk deities. Kola and Nema are night long rituals and worship of these deities called 'daivas'. Goddess Jumadi (Dhumavati) is worshipped along with her eight other forms - Durgi, Chandi, Chamundi, Lekkasiri (Rakteshwari), Maari, Mahankali, Kanneshwari and Komala Kumari as nine manifestation of the mother goddess in Tuluva folk tradition.
Kalaratri                        Mahagauri                               Siddhidayini

Based on the iconography as suggested in the encyclopedic Sritattvanidhi, Navadurga figures have been created in jackfruit wood by Pradeep Gudigar of Kundapura. Rajesh Acharya of Udupi has casted bronze masks in traditional lost wax process. Udupi artist Purushotham Adve's acrylic on canvas depict masks and other aspects of bhutaradhane. Palimar's Venkataramana Kamath has crafted masks, scimitars and daiva figures in clay. A beautiful pillared sanctum has been created by Srikanth Sharma of Srirangapatna to house these Navadurgas. Padmanabha Pambada and his assistants have come all the way from Palimar to decorate the diorama with traditional ani ornamentation using parts of the sacred coconut and areca trees and embellishing them with floral patterns and mango leaf festoons.

This tradition of veneration is unique to the coastal strip of our state. Hundreds of garadis and daivasthanas are spread across the areas populated by Tuluvas from Sullia to Baindur.

This is an endeavour of Bombe Mane to showcase little known traditions associated with the all important devi worship. This year's Navadurga worship has been presented in traditional Tulu folk idiom.This unique flavour of Tuluva land is sure a feast for senses.

1 comment:

Kings Sanctuary said...

very nice information about mysore. great article. great work... keep on doing...

Resorts in Mysore