The organic nature of this festival doesn’t cease to amaze me.
Growing we heard the story of Narakasura who captured 1600 women, made them his slaves eventually Krishna the Yadava rescued them. The legend also as it that Narakasura could only be killed by his mother.
As Deepavali approaches kids begin collecting trash like old clothes, and old news papers build effigies of Narakasura, burning of this effigy takes place late in the evening.. Heralding the onset of Deepavali. This of course has now turned into a refined fund-raising, sponsors from various outlets and political entities, contests of best Narakasura etc.
Narakasura the effigy has gradually evolved to look like he is picking himself from the commode, lets not go there, for the descripition ajanubahu translates to a man who has hands extending below in his knee… and that could be a polite way of saying some one is disproportionate.
Naraka-asura would be Naraka is also another word for filth, slough, or any decay of any kind. Naraka asura would be filth, slough debri which is capable of reviving itself,as asura’s are beings with power of regenerate, or revive. That being so, Narakasura could be the collective debris that washes on the shores by the flowing waters, this can only be handled by bio-degradation.
Nature or mother earth commands the cycle of birth—decay – death and rebirth in all plant and animal kingdom, which is why the Narakasura can only be killed by his mother, or eliminated by the creator. We need to take care of our own garbage.
Off we go in the evening to send off the guardian of garbage.
Stories of Goa, by the Goans are collected and published as an anthology. This is sponsored by Fundacao Oriente, and publishers are the Broadway book house.
pick your copy here The Broadway Bookstore Online.